Craig Custance at the newishly merged Fanhouse/Sporting News wrote a nice piece last week [SportingNews] about how Jay Feaster and the positive (some might say "jolly") attitude he brings to the Flames have helped turn the club around.
Still, the culture shift in Calgary with Feaster at the helm is undeniable. His support and positive attitude with Brent Sutter has allowed the coach to continue the evolution and implementation of his system while earning the complete buy-in of his players.
While I don't buy into this 100% (I'd say it's fifty percent positive regression to the mean and fifty percent Sutter being able to coach properly/not having Darryl around), Custance has one absolute gem of a quote from newly acquired Flame, Fredrik Modin.
Modin played for Feaster when he was Tampa Bay Lightning general manager and two things stood out to him: One, it was impossible to walk by Feaster in the hallway without him offering a quick smile and a kind word or two. And two, Lightning players loved how Feaster celebrated the clinching of each playoff round during the Lightning's Stanley Cup-winning season in 2004.
"Every series we won, he came into the dressing room and he expressed his feelings to the team and everybody," Modin said. "It builds on that positive atmosphere you really need to have."
When asked to elaborate on how Feaster expressed his feelings, Modin smiled. He wasn't telling.
"You're going to have to ask Jay," he said.
"That's our secret," Feaster told Sporting News. "We had some fun."
Now it's left unsaid what he actually does, but through some deductive reasoning, it shouldn't be hard to narrow it down. Here's what we can assume:
- It's not straight up "telling" them how he feels. Otherwise there would be no secrecy.
- I think poetry can be ruled out. Can you imagine how awkward that would be? I imagine something like the poem scene out of Grosse Pointe Blank.
- If it's not poetry, and an art form can be assumed, it's likely musical. Painting would be a lot of effort on a very short schedule.
- It's got to be a little tongue-in-cheek: if "expressing his feelings to the team" is entertaining players, it can't be straight out serious. No awkward playing guitar and rewriting verses to "Hallelujah".
- Jay Feaster would likely have paid the most attention to music in the 80's and early 90's when he was in his 20's and early 30's.
Given the music of the time and the other criteria I listed, my money is on Jay Feaster being MC FEAST. And that is completely awesome. I don't know if we'll ever know for sure, but it's certainly fun to think about. Any other possibilities?