Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jay Feaster Out As Tampa GM

Ever since Oren Koules and Len Barrie took over as Tampa Bay ownership it has been clear that they want to do things their way. Almost all ties to their past are being broken. Head coach John Tortorella was fired and replaced by Koules friend Barry Melrose. Numerous player personnel moves have been made. All of this has happened without Jay Feaster, the Tampa Bay GM at the time being involved.

Former scout Brian Lawton was brought in as the director of hockey operations and is the presumptive new GM. It has been Lawton, Koules and Barrie announcing all the changes in Tampa Bay, with Feaster no longer to be seen.

Jay Feaster has been forced into resignation of his position as Tampa Bay GM. The remaining three years on his contract will be honored financially. Feaster was the general manager for the 2004 Stanley Cup championship and although the Lightning fell on hard times last year, had shown himself to be a good hockey man. It is unclear that Lawton (or Koules ... or Barrie) has the general management ability that Feaster did.

History shows us that when ownership is heavily involved in the day-to-day running of a franchise it usually ends badly. History has shown us that organizations who throw away useful contributors like Jay Feaster (or on the ice Dan Boyle) usually wind up in disaster.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be interesting to watch this season. They have a new ownership that is willing to do brash untraditional things. I am skeptical as to whether that will lead to success on the ice. I think Jay Feaster is likely a better option as general manager than the people currently in charge, but this Tampa Bay ownership group doesn't care what I (or anyone else) thinks.

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