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Feaster’s ‘marching order’ from ownership is to make the playoffs

Apr 3, 2013, 6:10 PM EDT

Jay Feaster AP

Jay Feaster has been heavily criticized for failing to recognize a bad situation as general manager of the Calgary Flames.

Ask most observers what they’d do in Feaster’s position and they’d say, “Tear it down. Start again.”

And they were saying the same thing last year. And the year before that. And before that, too.


But the Flames steadfastly refused to enter a rebuilding phase.

Even now, after trading Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, Feaster doesn’t want to say the Flames are rebuilding.

Is it possible, however, that it’s ownership, not Feaster, that’s been the most reluctant to accept a few losing seasons in order to build a contender for the long term?

We only ask because this is what Feaster had to say today when the trade deadline passed: “Murray Edwards told me last evening that he expects to be in the playoffs next year, so there’s my marching order.”

Edwards, in case it wasn’t obvious, is one of the Flames’ owners. In fact, he’s the chairman.

Feaster, of course, knows Edwards as “the guy who can fire me.” So what choice does the GM have but to follow orders?

Now, that said, let’s not pretend that Feaster has just been carrying out the orders of his delusional bosses all this time.

Feaster admitted recently that he’d erred in his approach.

“I should have had the intellectual honesty even earlier and said this isn’t working,” he said. “So shame on me, but I’m making sure we’re going to correct that going forward.”

The Flames have 14 games left to avoid missing the playoffs for the fourth straight time.

They head into tonight’s contest versus Edmonton eight points back of eighth place in the Western Conference.

  1. freneticgarfieldfan - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Why in the world did he say that in public? I think he just shoveled his own grave.

  2. atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    F Murray Edwards! The other owners need to reign him in, this is where we really miss someone like Harley Hotchkiss. Or he needs to remove himself from the process get rid of the yes men like Ken King and Mike Holditch and then clear the hockey department. Bring in a hockey guy to oversee rebuilding of the hockey department and allow the new GM the time and space needed to do a complete rebuild.

    Ideally someone like Cliff Fletcher would be brought in (or back) for a couple of years to rebuild the hockey side of the organization with hockey guys, and get the franchise headed back to where it was when Fletcher was first in charge.

  3. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    There’s no way he can pull these moves this year and make the playoffs next year. He can tender offers to the RFA’s, he can make offers to the UFA’s, he can draft high (and given his marching orders, rush those prospects to the NHL), but geeze…that’s too fast after these moves.

  4. kicksave1980 - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    From an outsider’s point of view, it seems like Feaster is in a no-win situation from the jump. The Flames ownership has denied a rebuild for years, even when it was apparent to everyone outside the organization that it was needed. I’m not here to argue whether Feaster is a good GM or a bad one, but I do believe that his hands are tied with the Flames ownership. Nothing seems to happen with them because they are afraid to say “rebuild” anywhere near their fanbase.

    Rebuilds aren’t fun. Paying good money for tickets during a rebuild is even worse. But, it doesn’t matter how much you try to sugarcoat it, most real fans would understand if you just come out and tell them “We tried this road and it didn’t work, so now we’re going to rebuild in order to be a force in the future.” Flames ownership has, for some reason, been reluctant to do that. And when they HAVE acknowledged the problems, they’ve done a half-a** job at it. There are no guarantees that a rebuild will work at all, let alone quickly. But it’s better than the road they’re on, treading water with no end in sight.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:13 AM

      I don’t disagree with you, Murray Edwards is way too involved these days, he needs to step back. As far as tickets being tough to sell during a rebuild, I would somewhat agree BUT the Flames have had 19,289 tickets sold every night since 2003, they currently have a several thousand name long wait list for season tickets and a fan base that realizes a rebuild is needed, it’s as good of a time as any to do what needs to be done.

      • kicksave1980 - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

        Absolutely, the Flames seem to have great fans. That’s what makes the reluctance on ownership’s part to start a true rebuild even more puzzling. I would understand that mindset if they were in a “nontraditional” market and had to worry about every ticket sale, but not in Calgary. Then again, maybe I’m completely off base. Maybe it isn’t a question of reluctance, but of ownership/front office overvaluing their players/chances every year.

        Either way I hope they figure it out. It looks like they’re finally seeing the writing on the wall. The fans up there are great and deserve a winner.

  5. govtminion - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    And by that, he means if he doesn’t make the playoffs, he’ll get his marching orders. G’bye, Feaster.

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