Thread: Proposal: Flames 2013 offseason plan.
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05-01-2013, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by wflames View Post
Whether or not the goals layed out to Feaster were realistic is debatable. He was given the job of making the playoffs, and he made moves which gave the club a better chance at that. It strikes me that at the beginning of the season, the roster on paper seemed as good as, say, Ottawa minus Karlsson and Spezza, who are a playoff team. We can't say at the beginning of the season who will be a playoff team and who won't, but I at least thought that the roster had the chance if they played well. The ends don't always invalidate the means, in my opinion.
I don't agree with that at all. He added skill and more offensive talent, but only at the expense of size, grit and centre depth. Feaster essentially fixed one aspect of the team, but gutted another in the process, which overall made the team worse, as illustrated by their position in the bottom of the league all season long. He thought adding a LW from the KHL would solve the teams centre problems. He's been so woefully inept in so many areas that it's astounding.

One can't say with certainty which teams will make the playoffs at the beginning of the season, but any educated fan will have a pretty good idea. No one, other than select Flames fans, thought the Flames actually had a good chance to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season.

But digressing from that point, Feaster did not put enough impact players in the roster to make it into the playoffs. Likely, he could have done. He could have sold our assets and future draft picks to bring in high-talent players and made our roster extremely good in the short term. And we would have cried for his head even if we did manage to make the playoffs.
He did try to give up future draft picks for high-talent players - recall the offersheet to O'Reilly? And it's debatable whether adding O'Reilly would have even made this team better, as the Avalanche were actually doing better than the Flames prior to his addition, but ended up finished second last in the league. And that's assuming O'Reilly wouldn't have to clear waivers, which is still uncertain.

That is why I would say he made the right moves. Every step of the way he has made moves to try to improve our club in the short term without ever really hurting it in the long term. I would only say he'd failed if he'd invested some stake in our present success, going all-in the way Pittsburgh have. Otherwise, one could ignore his stated goals to the media and look at the fact that he's been trying to make the playoffs while improving our outlook for the future, rather than sacrificing one for the other.
Sure, if you discount the O'Reilly offersheet, wasting picks on guys like Modin, Leblond, and Byron and wasting a good two years with his usual bluster about how the Flames were actually really good and how no one around the league understood them.

Again, I guess our disagreement is on whether the Flames not making the playoffs means that Feaster's roster was never capable of making the playoffs. I mean, by this logic, Darryl Sutter's '04 roster was the best put together of the entire Western Conference. I don't know if that's true. Things have to come together for a team to have success at a coaching and individual player level. If things came together for the Flames this year, maybe things would have been different.
There were simply too many things that needed to work for the Flames to have some success this year. Kipper needed to be solid and continue to perform at a high level, Cervenka needed to make an impact immediately and while playing at centre, the offense needed to start going but at the same time, the defense needed to maintain their level of play, Baertschi needed to be an impact player, Backlund had to emerge as a legitimate 2nd or 1st line centre, Iginla and Cammalleri had to be a PPG or close to it, all the players had to buy into Hartley's system immediately as a shortened season meant they could not afford to waste time getting accustomed to a new style, etc.

Some of those things did happen, but expecting all of them to, and even then, only making the playoffs if so, was delusional. A good GM doesn't bank on miracles to win, but that's what Feaster and management essentially did this season.

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