With the addition Wednesday of Michel Goulet as their Western Professional Scout, the Calgary Flames have slowly surrounded Darryl Sutter with some much needed help for the upcoming season.
Sutter has been on the hot seat with many fans, including myself, since the end of the season due to the Flames disappointing finish in last years regular season. With the addition of Jay Feaster as an Assistant GM and now Goulet as one of their top professional scouts, the Flames have surrounded Sutter with not only good hockey people, but winners, in every sense of the word.
“You win, you always do!”
Goulet has been with the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques franchise for the better part of 25 years, both as a player and in the front office. He was being touted to take over as the Avalanche GM for many years now, but that rumour never came to pass. So now, his new address is north of the border; figuratively speaking as he still reports out of Denver. He was the Director of Player Personnel for the Avs. He helped stock the cupboards full in Colorado for their two cup victories in 1996 and 2001. He is a winner and knows good talent when he sees it. And although he is reporting directly to Feaster, hopefully he can persuade Darryl to look at something other than western farm boys and players that used to play for the Flames. It’s time to think outside the box.
For his part, Feaster championed the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2004 and brought them out of a half decade long drought of insignificance in the NHL. It’s interesting to note that when Feaster joined the Lightning in 1998, he came in as their Assistant GM under then GM Jacques Demers. He was given the responsibility to handle all contractual and legal matters for the organization; sound familiar? Then, in February of 2002, he took over for Rick Dudley, who was let go mid season, and led the Lightning to back-to-back Southeast Division titles followed by the Stanley Cup victory in 2004. Feaster, who is a lawyer by trade, knows the ‘ins and outs and whathaveyous’ of the salary cap and has a great knowledge of the game of hockey. He adds credibility to the team’s front office and, hopefully, sooner rather than later he will experience some deja-vu and take over as the Flames GM mid-season; but one can only hope.
Don’t get me wrong I’m quite happy that the Flames actually did what they said they were going to do and added some ‘talent’ to the front office. But, what would make me even happier if there was a larger plan in place to see Feaster take over from Sutter the moment things go south. It makes perfect logical sense, doesn’t it?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a lawyer instead of a hockey player/farmer dealing with contracts, the media, and stringent cap issues?
Side Note: What do Stan Bowman, Ray Shero, Ken Holland, Brian Burke, Jim Rutherford, Jay Feaster, Lou Lamoriello and Pierre Lacroix all have in common? They have all one a Stanley Cup in the last decade. Furthermore, Bowman, Shero, Burke, Feaster and Lamoriello never played a game in the NHL; five of the last seven Cup winners and the other two are considered to be a couple of the smartest men in hockey (Holland and Rutherford). These men all either have law backgrounds or financial backgrounds (Lou was a Math teacher, so close enough) which, in the post cap era, is proving to be a more effective way of running a hockey team, but I digress.
Either way, the Flames have added a wealth of experience in the hockey operations department this off-season and seeing three more Stanley Cup rings roaming around the organization never hurts the bottom line; even if one of them is a Lightning ring from 04’ (small tear).