NEW YORK, NY -- A year ago today, the Calgary Flames anointed Jay Feaster the team's general manager after Darryl Sutter resigned from the position but the Williamstown, PA native had to be reminded of his anniversary with the club.
"I honestly hadn't even thought about it being a year," he said with a shake of his head. "I think the job is such that once you're into it, it's every day and it's constant. You don't take the the time to sit back and think 'It's just a year ago,' and that sort of thing."
The Flames have now won four straight games and are back in the playoff mix thanks to their commendable, steady play as of late. However, Feaster didn't want to linger on the subject of the team's hot streak. Instead, he focused in on the bigger picture.
The organization went into the 2011-12 campaign with the belief that this roster could be a playoff team. They stumbled off the hop, hovering around the Western Conference's basement at one point, and looked eerily like the team squandered away the first half of last year's season before kicking it into high gear around Christmas.
"I think I read today that we're five points ahead of last year's pace. That's not good enough.
"It's a situation where we're not where we want to be. We expect to be a playoff team so there's a lot of work that needs to be done. That's the focus all the time."
When Feaster took over the role, many claimed it would take a fair amount of time to put his stamp on the club since the team he had inherited had several lengthy contracts and quite a few no-trade and no-movement clauses. Feaster adamantly disagreed with that theory.
"For me it never was my guys, their guys, his guys. This is our team. These are our guys.
"I don't stop and look and go down the roster and say 'Oh, that player was Darryl's guy,' or 'That player was Craig Button's guy,' or 'Who drafted him?' There is none of that for me."
Every move he and his crew has made has been placed under the microscope by the Calgary media and it's rabid fanbase. It's a much different situation than the one he faced when he was the Tampa Bay Lightning's general manager but intense scrutiny doesn't bother Feaster one bit.
"I would rather the sports talk radio filled with whatever they want to say about me and about us," he smiled. "I'd rather have people talking than trying to convince people to become passionate about the game."
The Flames are undoubtedly headed in the right direction but at the end of the day, that simply isn't enough for Feaster.
"There is only one measure of success for the Calgary Flames. That is the playoffs. Then, once in the playoffs, playoff success."