When the reigns changed in Tampa Bay, and Jay Feaster took an immediate back seat to the current regime you knew it would only be a matter of time before Feaster would be on the open market. Sure enough, Feaster and the Lightning mutually agreed to part ways the other day. This was not really news.
Of course, any time a GM becomes available both Leaf fans and Leaf media try to picture the world with that GM leading the way for the blue and white. This was the case again when Feaster became a free agent.
The guy does after all have the credentials that Richard Peddie listed as essential for the next leafs GM, he has experience (been the GM since 2002) and he has won a cup. He was named the NHL executive of the year by The Sporting News in a vote of his peers following the 2003-04 Stanley Cup championship season.
However a little nugget appeared in yesterday’s Boston Globe that made me want to immediately cross his name off the list:
“Since 1999, the first draft with Feaster as a member of the front office, the Lightning’s picks have combined for only 1,544 NHL games, fewest of any Eastern Conference team. Defenseman Paul Ranger, the 183d pick from 2002, leads all Lightning selections with 220 NHL games. In 2003, when future NHLers were falling into executives’ laps, a ninth-round pick, forward Nick Tarnasky, turned out to be the club’s best selection (169 NHL games).”
That is hard to believe. When one thinks of the Tampa Bay Lightning, one thinks, young talent. They aren’t filled with over the hill guys ala our beloved buds used to be. This was a model franchise (prior to this past season) To have that poor a track record while at the helm is stunning. I wouldn’t have guessed that.
The one thing the Buds need more then the credentials listed by Peddie is someone with experience building a hockey department. When you look at Detroit or New Jersey, they have so much experience on their staff. The players, coaches etc rave about their entire hockey department. I want someone who has built an successful hockey department to lead the blue and white. So even if you can’t blame the drafting squarely on the GM, you can blame it on his staff, and he is ultimately responsible for their performance or lack there of.
Sorry Jay, to the extent you were ever on the list…you have been voted off the island.