Feaster not fretting about fate with Flames
STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency
So much speculation has been spewed about the status of the Calgary Flames acting general manager that Jay Feaster felt the need to make himself available to talk about his fate Friday.
“It seems to be the question of the day,” Feaster said.
Joining a crowd at Father David Bauer arena Friday morning, the man with the seemingly uncertain future said he isn’t losing any sleep over the fact he has yet to be named the next GM on a full-time, official basis.
“It’s not something I’m worried about. It’s not something that stops me from doing my job,” Feaster said during the Flames’ final practice of the season.
“When I took the job as acting general manager at the end of December, (team president Ken King) indicated at that time that we would talk about things at the end of the season. And while the hockey season, unfortunately for us, will end tomorrow night, the work of the hockey season from a management perspective does not end.”
In fact, there’s plenty of work still ahead of him, from exit meetings with players to discussions with coaches in both Calgary and Abbotsford.
There are ratings to be completed with scouting staff, and heavy planning to be completed before it can be determined Feaster will be the guy to put the plan into effect during the off-season.
“I’m confident that Ken and I will sit down with ownership and we’ll determine or I’ll find out where things stand as far as going forward,” Feaster said.
By no means does he feel like he has been limited by his interim title.
“I have the full responsibility and the full authority,” he said. “That’s how we’ve been operating and that’s how I intend to operate as we do the year-end review and as we have these meetings.
“Things have gone very well. I’ve had good support from ownership and from Ken.”
Supporting the idea Feaster is a strong candidate to assume the top role without the ‘acting’ tag this summer is the fact he’s been in contact with the players on expiring contracts.
“Absolutely. In fact, I’ve already had some preliminary conversations with the pending free agents,” said Feaster, who’s looking at potentially losing the likes of Alex Tanguay, Curtis Glencross, Brendan Morrison, Anton Babchuk and Henrik Karlsson.
“There has not been a situation where we have not been able to do something because I’m in the role of acting general manager. There’s no substance to that whatsoever.
“There’s not a day that I wake up and go, ‘Boy, I’m concerned about where things are with me.’ ”
That doesn’t mean Feaster is happy about the way things have gone for the Flames. He knows the task at hand for this franchise will involve long days and nights of work over the next five months or so in order to turn things around after two seasons without playoff appearances.
“We do have a lot of work ahead of us. We are not content with being where we are,” said Feaster, speaking like a man who is confident he will be part of that plan after submitting his to ownership. “It’s going to be a long summer, but at the same time I’m excited about it.
“As we finish with our meetings, it will be an even more definitive and comprehensive plan. That process has been ongoing. It won’t be something that surprises Ken and the owners because we’ve already been laying the groundwork.”