Flames general manager Jay Feaster says he’s not going with the full rebuild in Calgary. Instead, he’s going to make these Calgary Flames back into a Stanley Cup contender without subjecting fans to a prolonged stint at the bottom of the standings.
In short, Feaster would take the Flames north without first going south.
Complicating matters with the fan base, just 300 kilometres north the Edmonton Oilers have already gone the “scorched earth” route. They executed the classic double-last-place rebuilding project and emerged with two No. 1 overall draft picks and a future that, even the thickest Flames fan must admit, looks mighty enticing.
But Feaster is a fine personnel man, for whom we have great respect. There is not a unanimous feeling among NHL observers that Feaster’s plan will work. But most of the hockey press has stepped back for now, deferring to Feaster while he executes his plan.
So far, he’s nicely dumped salary without dipping into his stock of veteran stars like Jarome Iginla or Miikka Kiprusoff. He has retained Mark Giordano, his best defenceman, and — thus far, anyhow — hasn’t parted with his next most valuable forward asset in Rene Bourque.