Wednesday, July 09, 2008

End nears for Feaster

WHERE'S FEASTER?: Absent from the team's official player announcements has been general manager Jay Feaster. With Brian Lawton, vice president of hockey operations, handling most contract negotiations and owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie completing a three-headed brain trust for personnel issues, Feaster's duties are diminished. An upcoming meeting with ownership could determine his duties with the team.
Anybody else wondering what happened to Tampa GM Jay Feaster? A lot has been going on and he has been nowhere to be seen. The whisper amongst NHL executives is he has three years left on his contract, is on the verge of being fired and will likely get a buyout from the Bolts.
His team finished dead last in the NHL last season and a new, freewheeling ownership group has come in. Any GM, in any sport, is very vulnerable in that situation.

The biggest issue for owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie is likely the buyout, as they'd have to throw a pretty nice chunk of change at Feaster for him to walk away.

The alternative, however, stinks to high heaven, as we have various other staffers — and Barrie himself — taking over the GM duties as Feaster slinks into the background. The best-case scenario here is that Feaster finds employment elsewhere — perhaps back with the Flyers organization — and extricates himself from this mess.

Blogger Mike Chen says he's likely "collecting a nice check while sitting in an air-conditioned office watching reruns of The Surreal Life on Tivo," which is a good gig if you can get it.



At 2:18 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger mike w said...

Owners as Gms always works well.

This team is becoming a joke.

At 2:26 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Well, Larry Pleau is still under contract as a GM, with the President doing all the actual work and hiring Doug Armstrong to replace Pleau in the next year. I wonder if Armstrong is replacing Davidson as GM, or just Pleau's kickback position with St. Louis.

My point... maybe Feaster isn't going anywhere, and will retain his title, if not his job description.

At 2:27 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

I'll also add... various Chicago GM's retained their GM title with Bill Wirtz and Bob Pulford actually making the decisions. Eventually, even they got fired for making trades... you know, stuff a GM has no business doing.

At 2:42 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

My understanding of the Pleau situation is that, because of a health problem in his family, he's unable to perform the full duties.

Having a true partnership in the front office isn't a problem — the Red Wings do something similar. I've yet to find anyone saying that's what's happening in Tampa Bay, however.

At 2:43 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Geez Tampa Bay is making Toronto look like a well run organization! Of course the Lightning did win a Cup in the modern era. ; )

At 2:52 p.m., July 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't realize Feaster was so well-respected? He is a nice man but is a very questionable GM, considering his rather horrible negotiating skills. I wish him well whenever he is finally relieved of his duties.

At 3:14 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger danae said...

Maybe they'll dump Feaster and hire Neil Smith.

At 3:18 p.m., July 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how Feaster has clung to his job this long.

He overpaid his top-end talent, failed to acquire a quality goalie, and neglected to fire Arthur Fonzarelli when it was obvious his players had tuned him out years ago.

Predictable result: last place.

At 3:37 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger poploser said...

You'd have to pay me A LOT of $$ to sit in a room and watch The Surreal Life all day.

At 3:52 p.m., July 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feaster did great job by not firing Fonzie because they got Steven Stamkos out of that.

If Leafs had stunk a little bit more they might now have Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby, Kane or Stamkos.

Btw, other media seems to be reading Mirtle quite religiously. Feaster/Lawton situation have been mentioned here many moons ago. Nice to see that print media is on board.

At 3:54 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger Big Picture Guy said...

If these guys are flinching at buying out Feaster then they are already over their heads before the first payment is due on the massive debt they took on in this transaction. Incidentally, Société Générale, which pulled Koules' financing a few months ago (enter Len Barrie) ,reportedly because it was no longer funding sports deals, is said to be knee deep in thePittsburgh Steelers deal (on the Dan Rooney side). I understand that the Steelers negotiations have been going on for some time but maybe Société Générale is just no longer funding NHL deals involving clueless buyers.

At 4:39 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger gritz said...

>> I'd like to know how Feaster has clung to his job this long.

Well, just IMHO as a Lightning fan in Florida: if you're the GM when your team wins a Cup, that collects you a sizable bit of good will to spend. That was only four seasons ago - and given that hockey isn't #1 here like it is elsewhere it may take awhile longer for the "fire the GM!" sentiment to build.

Without a doubt, since the Cup the team has been pushing the cellar button on the elevator in many ways that he could have influenced, but some of this is hindsight.

The trade for Denis, for example, turned out to be a complete disaster ... but at the time I'm sure it was easy to gamble that his numbers would improve when he stepped away from Columbus. And I'll add into the balance sheet an undersized nobody named St. Louis - that gamble turned out ok.

Long term it's a good idea for the ecology for the forest to burn once in a while, so I hope he heads somewhere else soon... but I think there are a few teams where he would be an upgrade.

We'll see - after a while there might be people around here who remember fondly a guy who did his job without a lot of tv cameras and press conferences.

At 4:39 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger Kel said...

If Leafs had stunk a little bit more they might now have Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby, Kane or Stamkos.

Crosby doesn't belong there. All 30 teams were given an equal chance of landing him, because teams played 0 games the season preceding the draft.

At 4:44 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

No, it wasn't equal Kel — there was a weighted draft — but I know what you mean.

At 6:42 p.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger Kel said...

Thanks for the correction. It wasn't equal but all 30 teams had a chance, ranging from 6.25% to 2.08%. Thinking back, Pittsburgh got really lucky to have Malkin drafted in 04 and still received the maximum chance in 05.

At 11:51 a.m., July 11, 2008, Blogger wade little said...

It's official.


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