I am dying Calgary, Dying.
I am sure the sentiment is mutual among all Flames fans after last night's embarrassing effort. It's dumbfounding how a team contending for a playoff spot could put in such a lacklustre effort. Flames versus the Oilers, what more motivation could you ask for? A team that supposedly thrives on grit and determination was outclassed by a bottom dweller.
So why is an Oiler blogger writing about the Calgary Flames? No self respecting Oiler die hard could pass up a chance to bash our friendly rival. But it's not the Flames that I want to talk about, but the man who steers the ship. The man who firmly believes that his team is a playoff team. A team that can go far into the playoffs. Who is Jay Feaster?
May 16, 2011, Jay Feaster officially became the 6th saviour of the Flames. Feaster brings with him a Stanley Cup ring which he so happened to have won against the Flames in '04. If you can't beat them, buy them. It didn't take long for Feaster to show his disdain for his northerly neighbour. Feaster was quick to dump on the Oilers, stating that acquiring top picks is not the way to build a winner. No, the best way to build a winner is to inherit a young team from a guy who already did the work.
Feaster inherited a team that already went through the growing pains of finishing at the bottom of the league. A team with the likes of Lecavalier and St. Louis to terrorize goalies. I think it's safe to say that Feaster did very little in building a Stanley Cup winner. But what he was able to do was mismanage the salary structure of his team. Shortly after the win, the Lightning were forced to trade future stars because of Feaster's struggle with the salary cap. Needless to say Feaster resigned four years after winning the Cup.
This time around Feaster isn't inheriting a young team full of talent. That would be too easy. This time he's part of a team with over aged, over paid underachievers. So why not go over the top by going ahead and acquired more of the same. Trading a cheaper younger Bourque for an older more expensive Cammalleri.
This trade along with a few others has made the Flames a Win and Lose team. After last year, Calgary was a team that was positioned for a rebuild. Unload the aging and reload the youth. A chance to finish in the bottom 5. The team now has no where to go. Not up and not down. Yes the Flames will finish with a winning record, and yes they will beat the Oilers. If mediocrity with a ray of hope is acceptable in Calgary, than Feaster is the man for the job.
I look forward to watching the Flames finish in that elusive 9th position. One better than last year. Feaster will be able to look at the season as a success. Something to build on, especially with all those talented prospects not far behind!
Oh how I count my lucky stars that I'm not a Flamer!