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Tag:Jay Feaster
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:01 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 10:57 am
 

Morning Skate: Stars and Wild in West's big one

By Brian Stubits

The Morning Skate is back. Every morning for the rest of the season we're going to take a look at the games that have the greatest significance in the push for the postseason for you to digest while you drink your java. We'll throw in some miscellany for the fun of it.

Playoff Race

8:30 ET, Minnesota at Dallas: With how quiet they have been since their early-season run, it's a little surprising to wake up on Friday and see that the Dallas Stars are in the eighth position in the Western Conference.

With how bad they've been since their early-season run, it's a little surprising the Minnesota Wild are still within earshot of the playoffs in the Western Conference.

Today's movin' and shakin' game in the massive battle for the West's last playoff spot is the matchup of the two teams that have called Minnesota home. It's like their step-brothers or something and the "first" brother doesn't take kindly to the "new" brother moving in. It's been 15 straight trips to Dallas without a victory for Minnesota. Yikes.

This would be as good a time as any to snap that. The Wild head into Friday three points behind the logjam for eighth place. Fall five back and they really have a tough task at hand.

But the Wild have picked it up here. Over the weekend it looked like they were about to be buried for good until they turned in one of their best performances in months and beat the Bruins. Then on Thursday night they got a rare shootout win over the Panthers in Florida. They're getting back to that Mike Yeo hockey that was so successful.

The Stars, meanwhile, aren't setting the world on fire but nobody at the bottom of the West is, so they're tied for that No. 8 spot after a strong win in Chicago on Thursday. Yet they are still reportedly considering being a seller at Monday's deadline.

For teams teetering, every game before the deadline is that much more important, especially when the playoff race is in full swing.

7 ET, Montreal at Washington: No two teams have been a bigger drama show this season than the Capitals and Canadiens. So maybe it's fitting they play each other just before the trade deadline, the season's biggest big top.

These are two teams either on the brink (Washington) or already over it (Montreal). The Habs are now in the bottom three. Starting Friday eight points out of a playoff spot, they are close to done for. At this point it's more like playing out the string ... and playing spoiler.

Really, most everybody's eyes will be on the Capitals. They have been significantly better on home ice this season so perhaps that can be the cure for the three-game losing streak that ails them. They are still miraculously in the Southeast Division race, entering Friday four points behind the Jets and three behind the Panthers. But remember they have four games in hand on Winnipeg. Florida, meanwhile, will have two in hand on Washington after Friday.

Washington might have to do it without Alex Ovechkin again, too. He missed the team's game in Ottawa earlier this week with a "lower-body injury" and has been listed as day to day. For a team that's struggling to score like the Caps are, being down an Ovechkin really isn't helping matters. They'll have to rely on some quality goaltending, whoever might get that nod.

7 ET, Vancouver at New Jersey: After taking out the Red Wings in a shootout and ending their home winning streak at 23 games, the Canucks set their sights on taking over the West's top spot for the time being with a trip to New Jersey.

Only problem for them is the Devils are no slouch. They have been one if the absolute best teams in the league since the All-Star break and have climbed into the East's No. 4 position, that critical spot for home-ice advantage in the first round.

Hard for me to believe that with both of these teams' pedigrees that people seem to be sleeping on them. The Canucks are quietly going about their business -- perhaps a refreshing change in Vancouver -- and are again in the Presidents' Trophy race. The same goes for the Devils who could potentially move to within five points of the Rangers for the top position in the East if they get some help from the Islanders.

Others worth watching

7 ET, Rangers at Islanders: What better way for the Rangers to get out of a scoring funk than to visit their neighbors on Long Island?

7 ET, Colorado at Columbus: The Avs are another one in that West logjam while the Jackets move on to the post-Jeff Carter era (era?).

7:30 ET, Boston at Buffalo: This was supposed to be a big game. Now it's about Brad Marchand calling Buffalo the worst city in the league.

Your promised miscellany

  • Kyle Quincey, just moved to Detroit after a three-way deal, wasn't very complimentary of the Avalanche franchise and said other guys were jealous that he got to leave. (Denver Post)
  • Want to know why the Canadiens have been called a circus act this season? Here's a reason. P.K. Subban got into a skirmish with a teammate at practice. Again. (TSN)
  • Peter Laviolette was just a bit unhappy with his Flyers' performance in Edmonton on Thursday night and he let the Philly media know. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Jeff Carter might not have welcomed his move to Columbus with open arms, but at least Jack Johnson is giving it a try. (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Flames GM Jay Feaster wasn't pleased with his team's effort in the last couple of games and threatened his team by telling Sportsnet it would be busy on Monday if they didn't pick it up. (Sportsnet)

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 2, 2012 2:23 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 2:35 pm
 

Kings' Lombardi's clock response you have to read

By Brian Stubits

If you thought the story involving the Kings and Blue Jackets clock error was crazy enough, we present to you what Kings GM Dean Lombardi told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com.

(Note: We are not liable if your mind is blown by the following. Reader discretion is advised.)

"Those clocks are sophisticated instruments that calculate time by measuring electrical charges called coulombs -- given the rapidity and volume of electrons that move through the measuring device the calibrator must adjust at certain points which was the delay you see -- the delay is just recalibrating for the clock moving too quickly during the 10 -- 10ths of a second before the delay -- this insures that the actual playing time during a period is exactly 20 minutes That is not an opinion -- that is science -- amazing devise quite frankly."

All I can say to that is Wow. I'm speechless. So instead I'll leave it to Dr. Emmett Brown.

Yes, there are all sorts of politically correct or even less P.C. answers a GM could give to being asked about this error. Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson took the less P.C. route on his blog earlier Thursday.

"It is an amazing coincidence that with the Kings on a power play at STAPLES Center and with a mad scramble around our net in the dying seconds of the third period of a 2-2 hockey game that the clock stopped for at least one full second. I can only think of two ways in which this would have happened. Either there was a deliberate stopping of the clock or the clock malfunctioned."

Going the much safer route, Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster, whose team is hoping for one of the last spots in the Western Conference playoff picture, said his team can't worry about it.

“It is our understanding the NHL is already investigating this matter.” Feaster said. “Moreover, as Colin Campbell was quoted as saying, once the game is over it is over. There is nothing the NHL is going to do, or can do, to correct the situation if, indeed, there was a mistake made in that game.

“Rather than crying over what happened in a game in which we did not take part, our time and energies are devoted to our own team and doing everything we can to win the games we play and in so doing qualify for the post-season. We sincerely believe that is a much better and more efficient use of our time and effort.”

Of course, none are even in the same realm as that Lombardi gem. I think. Maybe he could answer that one for me.

But seriously, here is the genius of it (besides the quantim physics involved): It's beyond almost everybody's comprehension that it sounds completely legitimate. Not that I'm implying it isn't true, but even if it weren't, who'd really know? Probably not many. Pure genius.

More from Eye on Hockey

Clock error helps Kings; Jackets GM responds

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:07 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 9:35 pm
 

Brendan Morrison traded to Blackhawks

BlackhawksBy: Adam Gretz

The Chicago Blackhawks added some center depth to their lineup on Friday evening by acquiring Brendan Morrison from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Brian Connelly.

Morrison, 36, has four goals and seven assists this season in 28 games with the Flames, and is playing on a one-year contract worth $1.25 million. The Blackhawks will be on the hook for a salary cap hit of about $354,000 for the remainder of the season, so it's a relatively cheap pick up, not only financially, but also in the sense that they didn't have to give up much in return.

Connelly, a 25-year-old defenseman that signed with the Blackhawks organization back in 2009 after playing his college hockey Colorado College, has spent his entire professional career playing for the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League scoring 21 goals to go with 105 assists. In 44 games this season he has five goals and 31 assists.

Morrison isn't going to provide much offense for the Blackhawks, but with players like Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland logging the big minutes down the middle they only need some depth at the position. If nothing else, he gives Chicago another solid option in the faceoff dot as he's currently winning over 50 percent of his draws this season.

It is kind of interesting to see the Flames deal a veteran for a prospect that's already in his mid-20's when they're still in the playoff race, and just recently added Mike Cammalleri from Montreal. General manager Jay Feaster said it was mainly due to their projected lineup going forward, as well as Morrison's status as a free agent after this season.

“As we projected our line-up going forward we felt it was going to be difficult for us to find a spot for Brendan or get him significant ice-time,” said Feaster. "Given his pending UFA status and the fact that we were not going to re-sign him, we felt it important to try to move him for another asset. In Brian Connelly we obtain a 25 year old highly skilled AHL All-Star defenceman who is still a legitimate prospect. We are excited to have Brian in the organization.”

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 11:03 pm
 

Mike Cammalleri traded to Calgary

CammalleriBy: Adam Gretz

Just when you start to think the Montreal Canadiens have hit rock bottom on the season, it just finds a way to keep getting crazier. And crazier. And crazier.

The latest development: Forward Mike Cammalleri being traded to the Calgary Flames on Thursday night after he was pulled during the third period of the team's 2-1 loss in Boston.

The deal involves Cammalleri, goaltender Karri Ramo and a fifth-round draft pick going to Calgary in exchange for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a 2013 second-round draft pick. This, of course, will be Cammalleri's second stop with the Flames after having spent 2008-09 season in Calgary, producing what was the best season of his career with 39 goals and 82 points in 79 games. He signed with Montreal after that season, inking a five-year, $30 million contract.

Said Flames general manager Jay Feaster in a team released statement on Thursday, “Mike Cammalleri is a dynamic player who enjoyed great success playing in Calgary. We believe Cammalleri will help our offensive production, solidify a second scoring line, bolster our power play, and bring another strong veteran voice to our room. We are confident that a return to Calgary will be good for Mike and good for our continued pursuit of a playoff berth.”

The "strong veteran voice" comment is certainly interesting, seeing as how his "voice" has to be one of the reasons he was even on the market in the first place. Cammalleri's name was in the news earlier on Thursday for some controversial remarks about his team and the way they prepare for games. Less than 24 hours later? He's gone.

Following Thursday's loss in Boston, the Canadiens are now 16-20-7 on the season and seven points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. The team has already fired two coaches this season, dumping assistant coach Perry Pearn in the first month of the season, and then replacing head coach Jacques Martin last month. The latter was a move that has resulted in the entire organization facing criticism from a vocal minority of fans that are unhappy Martin's replacement, Randy Cunneyworth, doesn't speak french.
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Add in the Cammalleri storyline, both his comments and the ensuing trade, and it's been total chaos.

At the halfway point of the season Cammalleri had been struggling this season and had scored just nine goals in 37 games.

Bourque is obviously the key part of the trade for Montreal, and his name had been coming up in trade rumors for what seems like two years now. And while he's a solid player having scored 27 goals in each of the past two seasons, and on pace for nearly the same number this season, it's hard to argue that the Canadiens are a better team after this move (even though Montreal general manager Pierre Gauthier tried to do just that when announcing the move).

Really, the only benefit Montreal gets is that it dealt a player that made some comments the team didn't like, and saves a few million in salary cap space over the next couple of seasons. Cammalleri's contract still has two years remaining on it with an average salary cap hit of $6 million per season. Bourque is signed through the 2015-16 season and has an average salary of $3.3 million, giving Montreal a savings of about $2.7 million per year.

The Flames entered their game on Thursday night against Anaheim four points out of the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Bourque is currently suspended for his elbow to the head of Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom. It should be noted that the Canadiens, Bourque's new team, play the Capitals on Wednesday, and he will be eligible to play that night.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 2, 2011 2:26 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 4:49 pm
 

Flames GM adamant Iginla trade rumors are false

By Brian Stubits

On Thursday, one bit of trade speculation was squashed when Ducks GM Bob Murray said he thinks the talk of Bobby Ryan being traded is going to die down now that the team hired a new coach in Bruce Boudreau. It worked pretty well, the dreams have, for the most part, stopped.

Now Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster is taking his shot at stopping the rumors surrounding one of his Stars. That would be captain Jarome Iginla. The speculation has been circling around him wildly for some time. What team would love to have a veteran leader and scorer like Iginla?

While the Flames are struggling, Feaster told Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun. Rather emphatically, too.

“It is not true,” Feaster emphatically stated Friday morning at the Saddledome. ” Jarome Iginla has not been asked to waive his no-trade and Jarome Iginla has not demanded a trade or asked for a trade. There is no list. There is no smoking gun. There is nobody on the grassy knoll.

“What else do you need?”

Deals have reportedly been so close to done, all they needed were for Iginla to waive his no-trade clause and accept to be moved. The Montreal Canadiens were one team rumored to be close. Others have suggested the Dallas Stars, Iginla's original team, would be interested.

All the talk seems to have Feaster at his wit's end.

“Here’s the trouble. When it’s a non-story, and we have to stand here and rebutt it, the rebuttal becomes the story. It puts us in a position that I don’t know is fair to the organization and I know is not fair to Jarome,” Feaster said.

“One of the questions I have is where do these things start? Are they legitimate sources or is it a blogger in the basement in his underwear that says, ‘This is the rumour du jour’ and you guys feel the need to track it down.”

Ah yes, the old blogger stereotype. Well for the record I would like to state that I work in my pajamas, thank you very much.

But seriously, I see where Feaster is coming from, assuming he's telling the truth. It's a Catch-22, he can't let the rumors just fester and become a distraction for his team, so he has to address them. By doing that, he in a way legitimizes the rumors.

The best thing he could do is exactly what he's doing right here: Don't mix any words and flat-out deny. There will be plenty of people who still won't believe him, but it's his best option if he wants to quiet the crowds.

Now maybe he'll be singing a different tune when the trade deadline draws closer.

One player who could be on his way out of Calgary is Cory Sarich. According to Roger Millions (what a last name) of Sportsnet, Sarich has asked for a trade. Yes, that's correct, Sarich with a trade request.

With the news that Mark Giordano is going to be out indefinitely after partially tearing tendons in his leg, the Flames might not be interested in getting rid of a defenseman at the moment. But we'll see. The trades could pick up for the Flames.

Just know that right now they don't include Iginla.

Here is Feaster addressing the media on the matters at hand.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 19, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2011 7:12 pm
 

Kiprusoff's workload and the Flames goaltending

Kiprusoff1

By: Adam Gretz

When Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster took part in a question and answer session with fans a couple of weeks ago one of the topics that was discussed was whether or not starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff would be asked to start over 70 games again.

Kiprusoff, who was acquired by the Flames during the 2003-04 season and helped lead the team to the Stanley Cup Final that year, has been one of the most durable goaltenders in the NHL in the years since, starting no fewer than 70 games in each of the past six seasons.

Since the NHL came out of the lockout in 2005, no goalie has started more games than Kiprusoff's 442, while the only other player to start more than 400 over that stretch has been Vancouver's Roberto Luongo with 401. Only 13 have started more than 300, and Kiprusoff is the only goalie to start at least 70 games in each of the past six seasons. That's asking a lot of any goaltender given how physically and mentally demanding the position is, and it's possible that it's starting to wear on the soon-to-be 35-year-old goalie.

Feaster admitted that it's unlikely that Kiprusoff will be asked to carry such a heavy workload this season, which means a few more starts for backup Henrik Karlsson. And that may not be a bad thing for the Flames, as Kiprusoff's play has declined a bit in recent years with a save percentage below .907 in four of the past five years, including this past season.

Take a look at a quick breakdown of his save percentage by situation (even strength and on the penalty kill) compared to the league average in each of the past fives seasons. Notice how in many cases it's been either right around or below the league average:

Miikka Kiprusoff vs. The League
Year Kiprusoff ES SV% League Avg. ES SV% Kiprusoff PK SV% League Avg. PK SV%
2010-11 .916 .920 .859 .875
2009-10 .928 .919 .879 .873
2008-09 .907 .918 .898 .867
2007-08 .919 .919 .857 .867
2006-07 .932 .916 .865 .865

His even strength and penalty kill numbers have been average to below average in three of the past five years. Is this just the typical decline that goes with being a goaltender in his mid-30's? Or is it the result of an almost unheard of workload? It's possible that it's simply a combination of the two.

Kiprusoff's durability has been admirable for a goaltender, but his level of play no longer warrants him getting that many starts over the course of the season. The concern, of course, is whether or not Karlsson can give the Flames a quality backup, and there isn't much of an NHL track record to go on. The 27-year-old has started just 11 games in his brief career, all of which came last season.

Overall, his save percentage of .908 was a marginal improvement over the .906 mark Kiprusoff posted, but was significantly worse in even strength situations (.916 to .905).

That also doesn't take into account the fact that Karlsson, as the backup, was getting his starts against lesser competition and also picking up some playing time off the bench in relief of Kiprusoff whenever he was lifted early from a game.

Here is the list of teams that Karlsson started against last season:

Columbus, Colorado, New Jersey, Minnesota, Anaheim, Columbus, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Dallas, Phoenix, Vancouver

His save percentage in those starts: .904

Not exactly a list of the NHL's power house offensive teams last season. Only two of those teams qualified for playoffs (Anaheim and Vancouver), while only three finished in the top-half of the league in goals, with only one finishing in the top-10: Vancouver (1), Anaheim (11) and Phoenix (14).  

So while the numbers look comparable, it's important to keep in mind that Karlsson was doing it against some of the worst offensive teams in the NHL.

The position should be a point of concern for Flames fans given Kiprusoff's decline, the fact he is signed for another three seasons at a cap hit of just under $6 million, one of the largest in the league among goaltenders, and the backup behind him is, at this point, still a bit of a question mark.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: September 2, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 4:46 pm
 

Jay Feaster answers questions from fans

FlamesFans

By: Adam Gretz

As a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates I know what it's like to follow a team that never wins (zero winning seasons since 1992. And counting!). By the end of the season the focus, as a fan, goes from winning games (that usually stops by early June) to securing a top draft pick. Because, hey, if you're going to lose and not contend for a playoff spot, you might as well lose a ton and get a potential franchise-changing player at the top of the draft. Not all fans want to see their teams tank it late in the season for draft pick positioning, but they do exist.

This line of thinking, of course, is fine for a fan.

For players, who are fighting for roster spots the following season, whether it be with the current team or a new team, they aren't going to (and shouldn't) care about a draft pick that might play for the team in two or three years when they may be playing for somebody else. A person in the front office with plenty of job security may not be opposed to trying to secure a top pick, but is unlikely to do anything to sabotage the team's season ... and if they are, they certainly aren't going to admit it.

On Thursday, Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster took part in a fan forum and answered some questions from Flames Fans. He was asked why the Flames haven't tried to model the Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals by trying to build around high draft picks.

Here is Feaster's response, via Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald:
“I’m sorry — Edmonton finished where last year, caller? Want to wager on where we finish relative to Edmonton this year? I’m tired of this question, I’ll tell you very honestly. I’m getting a little sour. How many teams . . . every year, for the last 10 years, five years, eight years, have finished in the bottom five, bottom seven, bottom 10? They’ve had a pick anywhere from No. 1 to No. 10 year after year after year after year, and they still wander in the desert. And they’re no closer to getting out than they were 10 years ago.

“You know what? I look forward to the Battle of Alberta for the next X number of years. If the idea is, ‘Burn it to the ground,’ then Ken can find another manager to do it.”

Well, Feaster is right about one thing: It's a solid bet that Calgary is going to finish ahead of Edmonton in the standings this season, but if the Flames finish outside of the top-eight in the Western Conference, as they've done in each of the past two seasons, they will be in the same position as Edmonton when it comes to playing in the playoffs. I do, however, love the candid response, and have wondered how a general manager would react when presented with that scenario (losing to get a high draft pick) by a fan.

Still, as exciting as it is  for that one day of the NHL calender (draft day) to get the top pick in the draft, nobody wants to be picking in that spot every year because it means your team stinks and isn't winning many games.

Teams like Chicago (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews), Washington (Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom) and Pittsburgh (Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Marc-Andre Fleury) had some high draft picks over the years and used them as key building blocks in turning their franchise from being a bottom feeder to a contender. Two of those teams (Chicago and Pittsburgh) have won the Stanley Cup over the past three years, while the other (Washington) has consistently been one of the top teams in the NHL in the regular season over the past four years.

But there's also been examples of teams like Florida and Atlanta (now the Winnipeg Jets) that have been picking in the top-10 on a rather consistent basis and haven't had anywhere near that level of success. They are, as Feaster put it, still wandering the desert.

In other news, Feaster was also asked whether or not goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff will be counted on to play 70 games again as he's done in each of the past six seasons. Feaster said, again via the Herald, that Kiprusoff will not be asked to carry such a heavy workload this season, and that 28-year-old back Henrik Karlsson will see more ice-time.

In 17 appearances last season Karlsson posted a 4-5-6 record along with a .908 save percentage.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com