Jan 31, 2013, 6:35 PM EDT
Jay Feaster has been with the Flames organization for three years, serving as the assistant general manager before taking the head GM gig in 2011.
Yet despite those ties to Calgary, his heart lies elsewhere.
On Tuesday, Feaster returned to his old stomping ground of Tampa Bay — he was the Lightning’s GM from 2002-08 — and said he’s still incredibly close to Central Florida.
“I love it here,” Feaster told the St. Petersburg Times. “I still bleed Tampa blue. I spent 10 years with this organization and we did some real good things, so this is always home.”
Feaster was in Tampa Bay to celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary celebration.
He was a key figure at the celebration, the architect of the first and only Stanley Cup championship in franchise history in 2004.
(When the Bolts defeated, oddly enough, the Calgary Flames.)
As for other memories Feaster had of his time in Tampa?
— On John Tortorella’s infamous “shut your yap” soundbite to Ken Hitchcock in the Flyers series:
“All of it was designed to take that pressure off the team. When we got to Philadelphia, that bus backs down the drive there [at the arena] and the people were 10 deep up above on that balcony area. Normally, it’s just a gong show when you’re getting off that bus, and the honest to God’s truth, it was silent.
“[Nik] Khabibulin gets off, walks in, nothing, Vinny Lecavalier, they walk in, not a word. They’re silent. I get off the bus next to last and then [Tortorella] and then all hell broke loose. He loved that stuff. He loved trying to take that pressure off.”
— On Vincent Lecavalier:
“I always thought the best meeting on that was after we had won and we were up on Long Island and it was a time again where Vinny’s game wasn’t making John happy and Torts decided he wasn’t going to talk to him for a while, and I said to him, ‘We have to meet.’ It was a case of the two of them sitting there and Torts explaining to him how a coach thinks and he said, ‘I have 20 guys and if they’re going that’s who I’m going to play. It’s what have you done for me during that game?’
And Vinny sat and soaked it all in and then he said, ‘I understand that Torts, but I also have the ability and all I need is one shot and I can tie that game for you. I can win that game for you.’ Torts to this day will talk about the fact that for him it was tremendous insight into how an elite athlete thinks about the game.
Should also be noted that, before taking over Lightning GM duties from Rick Dudley, Feaster said Dudley had all but traded Lecavalier (didn’t say which team.)
Upon taking over, Feaster said, “I’m not going to be the trivia answer: who traded Vinny Lecavalier?”
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