Brian Burke, Head of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames held a press conference today to announce that Jay Feaster and John Weisbrod have been relieved of their duties in the Flames franchise.
John Weisbrod has been the Assistant General Manager of the Flames since 2011. Jay Feaster has been the General Manager in Calgary since December 2010.
As Brian Burke made clear during the press conference, no other changes are going to be made at this time and, even though he will be the interim general manager for the time being, he is actively looking for a new GM for the team. Because of the trade freeze that’s happening from Dec 19 – 27, no players will be moved. Burke also addressed the question of Craig Conroy, explaining that Conroy is doing well in his role in the AHL and will not be relieved.
When asked why this decision had been made now, in light of Christmas and the trade freeze, he replied, “I’ve been on the wrong end of this stick too.” Burke commended Feaster on some of the good work that Feaster has done for the organization, such as the Monahan draft, but he went on to explain that there are certain things that he expects from a GM, such as scouting, drafting, trades, etc…and changes weren’t being made to his liking.
Although he understands the value of the smaller players, Burke wants to focus on the “meaty” players right now because he believes that’s what Calgary needs. But he will not be moving anyone or making any dealings during the trade freeze.
I believe we all saw this coming, but the biggest shock to people was the timing of these events. It’s right before Christmas, not even halfway through the season, and barely three months into Burke’s tenure as Head of Hockey Operations. Personally, I assumed Burke would give it more time and Feaster would have until the end of this season to prove himself as GM. Burke addressed this by saying that within a 65-75 day period, he got a good look at some of the things that were happening among the organization and, as he explained in his press conference, he’s “not kissing babies up here.” Meaning that Burke is doing what it takes to get the best possible team formed as quickly as possible and he’s not going to worry about what others think because he wants results.
Update: Four and a half hours after Brian Burke held a press conference, announcing that Feaster and Weisbrod have been relieved of their duties, the Flames announced that Sven Baertschi has been sent down to Abbotsford.
More to come…