Jay Feaster has taken over and has answered a million questions. Some the same, some different but so far it all sounds good. He has not finished his evaluation of the club, but he has clearly stated that Iginla and Kiprusoff are not being dealt this season, and Brent Sutter and the coaching staff will remain on!
What do we know about Feaster…? He has stated he likes the draft and likes to have at least 7 picks (which we don’t right now) and although he likes the draft, his history with drafting has not been spectacular to say the least. But at least he wants to bring in youth which I believe is ultra-important for this team moving forward! What else do we know…? His golden player is Brad Richards, so if the team is in playoff contention come February, does Feaster call Dallas? I doubt it but I guess you never know. He also made it loud and clear on CBC last night that he has no interest in trading away the core. He was asked who the core was and his answer was quick; Iginla, Bouwmeester, Regehr, Giordano and Kipper. So if he will not trade any of those guys, does that mean Bourque, Hagman, Stajan, Sarich and Glencross are on the short list to be shipped out? Let’s see;
Bourque- scores in bunches and when he is on, he is a legitimate NHL scoring winger. But when he is off like he is right now, he is a pain to watch and seems lost in all aspects. Now his 6 year contract that began this season with a cap hit of 3.33 mill per, could turn away some teams but maybe come February a team looking for a winger like Pittsburgh might just bite. I doubt we see him moved but with a new man at the helm it could happen, and maybe Feaster looks at the cap issues being fixed by moving Bourque and Stajan’s contracts.
Stajan- Wow I knew he was overrated in Toronto but I thought he was better than this. Some games I forget he even plays for the Flames. I know that hit from Staal affected him because since that hit he has been dreadful and has been lost, even playing against 3rd defensive pairings. I think you have to look at his creativeness as his strength and can be a factor in helping a power play. But the way he is playing now, I think Feaster would have a hard time finding a buyer especially at 3 more years of a 3.5 mill cap hit.
Hagman- Probably a guy you can move just based on his work ethic and his ability to score. Contract wise a team would have to take on 3mill for next year only and at the age of 31, that should be do able. I think he brings a lot to the Flames but is being held back due to the system this club is trying to play.
Sarich- He is that perfect d-man a team acquires for a long play-off run and brings a physical side that some Eastern teams are missing. He would have to waive his no trade clause but Sarich is a proud man and will want to play for a team that appreciates what he brings as in leadership and his no nonsense style of play. I do not expect a big return but a draft pick might be what Feaster is looking for.
Glencross- Contract is up at the end of the season, and with Kostopoulos here now with a year left. I imagine Glencross will be shopped. He offers some speed, physical edge and can be a short-handed threat. I imagine some teams will look to add that type of player and Feaster could get some calls very soon.
From the sounds of it Feaster is committed to still focusing on play-offs for this season but he acknowledges changes must be made. But due to contracts and Feaster believing in the core, I see him trying to make changes in a sense of “a few small moves” to equal a “big move”. If Feaster can pull off moving Stajan’s contract and maybe even Bourque’s (although I have mixed feelings about that), this team could be looking at a re-tool instead of a re-build. Not sure that’s what most fans want to hear but that is my take and due to what Sutter left behind, it may be the only option right now.