Jay Feaster's rant between periods of the Calgary Flames-Phoenix Coyotes game Thursday night was powerful stuff. He promised, live on Sportsnet, to make Monday's Trade Deadline an active affair if his Flames didn't pull their heads out of their hockey pants.
The Calgary general manager's exact words were: "If we don't show a whole lot more urgency heading into Monday, you (media) guys will be busy as it relates to the goings on in Calgary."
Now that's not something Feaster has been prone to say. Last year at the deadline, and for most of this season, he's shot down trade rumours involving key players and insisted on adding to what's already in place. But after watching the Flames blown away by the Edmonton Oilers, only to blow a two-goal lead and lose to Phoenix in a shootout, Feaster may have finally reached the end of his patience.
That doesn't mean he'll be trading either captain Jarome Iginla or goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. The owners simply don't have the stomach to do that. But everyone else is now on notice. The question is: what does Feaster have that he can move for something good? And what will that be – help now or draft picks and prospects for later?
The Flames' goal hasn't changed: they want to ice a playoff-calibre team every year without going through a big rebuild. They also don't want to be a one-and-out playoff team that gets eliminated in the opening round of the postseason.
So how does Feaster reconcile all that? Having now let the hockey world know he's open for business, Feaster can begin fielding offers and options for the likes of Cory Sarich, Scott Hannan, Olli Jokinen, pick a name and you may not be wrong.
"It's our veterans that haven't come to play in the last games," Feaster fumed. "That's where we have to talk about intellectual honesty. If our play isn't trending to be a playoff team and we have to be honest and have to look to marshal some assets … Our vets need to carry us and we need more from our veteran players."