Thursday, July 28, 2005

Jay Feaster: The NHL's non-hockey GM

The National Post's Aaron Wherry has an interesting piece on Tampa Bay Lightning GM Jay Feaster on the front of the Post's sports section today:

This is the general manager of the defending Stanley Cup champions talking.

"When I came on board, I never tried to convince anyone that I was a hockey guy," he says. "I didn't play the game, I never coached a game, I never scouted the game."

Feaster's background is as a lawyer, and as Wherry explains, this non-hockey man trait may be to his benefit in the "new NHL." Prior to coming to Tampa Bay, Feaster was with the AHL Hershey Bears for nine seasons, so it's not as if he's completely green when it comes to the game. Still, Feaster was born and went on to practise law in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania — not a hockey graveyard, but hardly a hotbed either.

Other GMs who may benefit from the league's new, complicated CBA? In a sidebar, Wherry lists Lou Lamoriello (Devils), Doug Wilson (Sharks), Doug Armstrong (Dallas) and Ken Holland (Red Wings).

While Lamoriello is a no-brainer (and one subject of a lengthy and unfruitful chase I went on for a story once — although that's a different story), I'm not sold on either Wilson or Armstrong as two of the league's top five GMs. It seems strange there's no mention of Brian Burke, a Harvard lawyer who is also a hockey man. Wouldn't those credentials trump Feaster's?

But I digress. It's an interesting piece by a guy who doesn't consider himself much of a "hockey guy" either. Regardless, Aaron is one of the top Canadian sportswriters right now — expect to being reading his stuff for years to come.

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