May 16, 2011, 3:23 PM EDT
Earlier today, we pointed out that signing Curtis Glencross to a four-year, $10.2 million deal is the type of move made by a full-fledged general manager. As it turns out, one could consider that the first move Jay Feaster made with “interim” removed from his job title.
As many expected, the Calgary Flames officially announced that Feaster will be their general manager going forward.
The Flames seemed genuinely relieved once former GM Darryl Sutter stepped down. They were a fairly miserable 16-18-3 when he resigned but made a strong playoff push once he left. The team didn’t make it to the postseason, but Feaster’s prospects of keeping the job improved greatly thanks to the team’s 25-11-9 mark with him taking over.
That being said, Feaster’s biggest move was probably a non-move. He decided not to trade beloved (but aging and expensive) captain Jarome Iginla. Iginla had another great season in Calgary, putting up 43 goals and 86 points (including 39 points in the 31 games that followed the All-Star Break). Something tells me that $7.5 million per year question won’t go away, especially if the team struggles next season.
Obviously, the wisdom of this semi-promotion will be illustrated in the next seasons. Feaster won’t receive much cap space to work with and hasn’t always been the wisest with contract negotiations.* On the other hand, he does have a Stanley Cup on his resume from his stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning, so he has his pros and cons.
If nothing else, he gives the Flames stability since he was able to get acquainted with the team as Sutter’s assistant GM. We’ll see how he does now that he holds the throne.
* – Feaster signed Brad Richards (five years, $39 million; $7.9 million annual cap hit) and Dan Boyle (six years, $40 million; $6.66 million annual cap hit) to deals that were simply rich for the Tampa Bay Lightning to handle. They eventually needed to trade both players.
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