First, we are inclined to give Feaster a pass. Because, as readers of this space will know, we don't think he is the actual, really-in-charge GM of the team. The real GM of the team is Ken King.
Properly then, we see it as Ken King using Feaster as cover. And Ken King needs all the cover he can get, because he makes mistakes. A lot.
Trading Robyn Regehr for nothing, so that Murray Edwards wouldn't have to pay Ales Kotalik's salary, was a mistake. Barring the acquisition of a Brad Richards, of course. With that acquisition not being likely, the salary dump was a mistake.
One of the given reasons for this trade was that, according to Ken Kings puppet, the team would not have been able to sign Tanguay without making this deal. We aren't lawyers. Maybe the team could indeed not have signed Tanguay during the summer because Ales Kotalik's salary (or Nik Hagman's, or Matt Stajan's, or Cory Sarich's, or Daymond Langkow's, or Jay Blow's, or Kipper's, or Elvis's, or anybody with a contract on the roster...) would have sat on the books until training camp. Having watched five offseasons now since the lockout, and watching teams go over the salary cap limit (like the Devils last year after they signed Ilya) when they sign a free agents...that particular excuse doesn't seem kosher to us.
It seems to us the move was made primarily to save the ownership group some money. Murray Edwards did not want to pay three million dollars for an AHL superstar. What is interesting to us is that Terry Pegula did. Calgary talks about wanting to win, but when it comes time to put the teams money where it's mouth is, the Flames falter. Buffalo talks about winning, and when it came time for Pegula to put his money where his mouth was, he did.
This should be noted by Flames fan. Your ownership group is not committed to winning. Your GM operates under a mandate to win, but only if it isn't too expensive. And if it is, trade away franchise cornerstones. What, are the fans going to stop showing up?
This isn't an issue of a Flames fan over-valuing a player, as it has been suggested by some covering this team. A top four Dman, a legitimate one, in the NHL is a commodity that has value greater than two marginal prospects. Theo Fleury was traded for Reggie. Reggie was a drafted in the first round of the NHL draft, 19th overall. Reggie, an NHL defenceman with 826 games played in this league and a career plus 30 (and he started with the Young Guns, folks) was just traded for a fourth round draft pick in Butler, and a sixth in Byron. Plus the Flames had to give up a second round pick in the deal as well.
Simply put, there is no hockey related reason that this trade was done, because hockey wise, Reggie now is better than those two prospects will be, probably, at any points in their careers. This was a salary dump. Flames fans, we don't pull out the 'we were fans of the team before 2004' card too often, but we are doing it here. We have seen the team give up good players before, but there was always an excuse: the team couldn't afford them. With the Flame fan reawakening in 04, the new CBA, and new, wealthy owners like Murray Edwards, the team is flush with cash. Not being able to afford a player should not be an issue anymore. And yet we find ourselves looking at the team trading Robyn Regehr because it doesn't want to spend the money it takes to win. Because of money, but more properly, because of cheapness.
That is the worst part of this deal. It was completely avoidable. It was avoidable had they fired Sutter when they should have instead of giving him that extra year. It was avoidable, as the team did not need to give Stajan that contract, or pay Olli Jokinen three million dollars a year when the next comparable offer was nowhere close to that. It was avoidable as they could have sent Kotalik down to the minors and gotten the salary cap hit off the books that way, like the team did with Markus Nilson. It was avoidable, save for the fact Murray Edwards is cheap, and unwilling to pay the cost to win. And because Murray Edwards could afford to do so, and likes to walk around this city and talk about how he wants to win a Stanley Cup, it looks, honestly, like ownership betraying the fans here, a little.
What makes this trade even more terrible is the fact that the Flames were not a good defensive team last year, and that was with Reggie on the blueline. This team gave up a lot of goals. The Flames didn't get any new goalies; the forwards are pretty much the same, so defensive improvements from those sectors of the roster should not be expected. And the team just gutted it's defence. How is that going to improve the teams ability to compete? Is Jarome now going to be asked to score 80 goals to make up for the defensive drop off?
Honestly, the team has invested its money in a goalie who can supposedly win 1-0, 2-1 hockey games. But it then puts in front of said goalie a defence corp that is barely NHL capable. J Blow is soft, and because he is soft, he is ineffective. Gio is all heart and guts, but he is undersized. Cory Sarich stays in the league because of his contract. And Ken Kings puppet has been making noise about bringing back Badsuck and Pardy, which will not replace Reggie's contributions, and in Badsucks case, probably make the team worst defensively.
It speaks to the lack of a coherent plan when it comes to the Calgary Flames. Why have a big money goaltender if the team isn't going to put a solid D-corps in front of him? Why bring in defense oriented coaches if the team is getting rid of the best defensive player on the roster?
It makes no sense. The only explanation for making this move is the cheapness out of Murray Edwards. If the team needed cap space, they could have sent Kotalik and/or Hagman to the minors. The only reason that this was not done was so that Murray could save some money. To clear a bad contract, they traded a solid NHL player for nothing. It's almost worst than the early 90's.
What's next? Matt Stajan has a terrible contract, lets trade Jarome Iginla for nothing to get rid of it!
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.