Flames happy with Feaster
ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency
No official decision has been made, but it sure seems likely Jay Feaster will lose his ‘acting’ tag and become the Flames fulltime GM soon.
While plenty of hockey minds have directed resumes King’s way since Darryl Sutter was excused last Christmas, King and the owners are comfortable with the job Feaster has done as acting GM.
While his body of work with the Flames is barely visible to the general public due to the club’s lack of personnel moves, King says he’s “extremely happy” with Feaster’s management style and communication skills.
Popular with the media and players for his openness and approachability, the former Tampa Bay Lightning GM did well to connect with all stakeholders as he assimilated into the organization.
It’s only a matter of time before the man hired last summer as a “resource” and backup plan for Sutter is officially given full GM status.
Hired initially to bridge the gap between the coaching staff and Sutter, Feaster travelled to every game with the club and formed a tight bond with Brent Sutter.
Having already counted on Sutter for crucial input all year, you can bet Feaster will continue to lean heavily on the experience and contacts Brent has moving forward.
Feaster will also continue to work very closely with King and owner Murray Edwards as the team has taken a 180-degree turn from the management style that saw Darryl Sutter run the club almost single-handedly during his reign. That won’t be allowed to happen again.
While many are calling for massive change after two years without playoff hockey, Feaster’s hands are largely tied due to the US$57 million in salaries already committed to next year. (The salary cap is expected to go up to $61 million.)
Feaster said since Christmas he was drawing up a few different blueprints for the organization and fans will soon see how he intends to negotiate choppy waters ahead.
Eric Francis appears regularly as a panellist on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada