Flames stand pat on D-Day
STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency
CALGARY - Asked last week whether he’d be a buyer or seller, Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster didn’t want to say.
Turns out the answer was neither.
Standing pat at the NHL trade deadline, the Flames’ only move was re-signing winger Tim Jackman to a two-year extension.
Although he emotionally suggested during an intermission interview last week he might just tear the team apart (well, assuming any of the 11 Flames with no-trade clauses gave him permission), deliberation on deadline day led the team to conclude prices were too high to add and the value of the players they could sell off was higher on their team than what they’d get back.
“We were in on a number of things today that had the price been right for something we were willing to give up to get a player to add to the group, we would have,” Feaster said after the 1 p.m. deadline passed.
“At the end of the day, we felt the prices we had to do, we were not prepared to do it. We had some conversations where the other team said they wouldn’t move this particular player. We worked it hard.”
Jackman was one of a handful of potential unrestricted free agents the Flames might have been able to move.
But they determined as a staff they wouldn’t be looking to sell them off unless the return was significant.
“We went into it from the standpoint that we were not selling. As it relates to our pending UFAs, we were not selling,” Feaster said. “We had teams inquire about some guy. There was nothing compelling to us.
“People would call and say this is what we would do for this particular player. We would evaluate it and say, ‘Based on where we are right now and how much this player contributes, are we prepared not to have that player in our lineup compared to the asset we would receive?’ ”
Apparently, that answer was no.
And despite not making a single trade, Feaster is happy with the way things went. They didn’t make any rash decisions and still believe they have all the pieces required for a playoff push.
They sat three points back of eighth as of Monday morning and hope that healthy bodies returning over the next few weeks will make the kind of impact a trade would have.
“I believe the answers are in that room,” Feaster said. “I believe by the end of this week or beginning of next week, David Moss is going to be back. In a couple of weeks, we will get Chris Butler out there. When Butler comes back, we will have eight defenceman at this level.
“We like that Blair Jones, hopefully, comes back by the middle of the month. When we say we need a top-nine forward and we have the chance to get David Moss coming back off IR, that’s as good a top-nine forward we could get off the market today. We didn’t need to give up an asset to do it.”
So the team — minus Krys Kolanos, who cleared waivers Monday — looks just like it did last week when Feaster emotionally suggested he was unhappy and might be forced to keep the media busy on deadline day.
“As we approach the final 21 games, we like this group. We feel the answers are still in that room. We feel we’ve had a number of productive conversations with a few of our guys over the last two or three days.
“We’re ready to get going and chase this last playoff spot.”
On Twitter: @SUNMacfarlane