TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster submitted his resignation this afternoon, effective immediately, Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced. Feaster had been the team’s general manager since being promoted to the position by team President Ron Campbell during the 2001-02 season. His Lightning teams made four post-season appearances, won two Southeast Division championships and a Stanley Cup (2004) in his six years as general manager.
“For the past two weeks I have watched from the sidelines as Brian Lawton, Len Barrie and Oren Koules executed to perfection the game-plan they shared with us prior to the NHL Draft in Ottawa. During that time it became apparent to me that this new ownership group did not need my advice or expertise, and I came to the conclusion that it was time to move on. When I expressed that sentiment to Oren and Len they immediately agreed to honor my contract and accept my resignation. I thank them for working with me through a difficult time and I wish them every continued success.”
“I want to thank Mr. Davidson for giving me the chance to manage his hockey team for the past six seasons, and I want to especially thank Ron Campbell. Like Bruce McKinney did 12 years earlier in Hershey in the American Hockey League, Ron believed in me when no one else did. Even as those around him questioned his judgment and wanted to look elsewhere for a GM, Ron stuck with me. He was, in my opinion, the unsung hero of our 2004 Stanley Cup Championship and our success through the years. I thank him deeply for his unwavering support. Finally, I want to thank our great fans who make it possible for all of us to enjoy working in this great game!”
Feaster joined the Lightning as assistant general manager on October 20, 1998, and held that position for nearly three-and-a-half years before being elevated to the GM role on February 10, 2002. The fourth general manager in the team’s history, he guided the Lightning for five full seasons (in addition to the 2004-05 lockout season), making the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs four times. His teams posted 207 wins and compiled a .547 winning percentage – both franchise bests for a GM – while winning division titles in 2002-03 and 2003-04. Feaster was named the NHL Executive of the Year by The Sporting News in a vote of his peers following the 2003-04 Stanley Cup Championship season.
“We thank Jay very much for his service to the Lightning organization and the Tampa Bay community,” said Koules and Barrie. “He built a great foundation for this franchise, highlighted of course by the great Stanley Cup victory in 2004. He has been nothing but the ultimate professional through the process of our ownership transition and we wish he and his family the very best moving forward.”
Before joining the Lightning as assistant general manager under Jacques Demers in 1998, Feaster was one of the leading administrators in the AHL, having worked for the Hershey Bears for nine years. While in Hershey, he won a Calder Cup and was named the AHL Executive of the Year in 1997.