Jay Feaster loves being able to spend more time with his kids. But the former Lightning general manager, who resigned in July when he determined the team, under new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, "didn't need my advice or counsel," wants to get back in the game. "I want to work again," he said, "and the sooner the better, as far as that goes." Meanwhile, Feaster, 46, who took over as Tampa Bay's GM in February 2002 and helped lead the team to the 2003-04 Stanley Cup title, is keeping busy with a biweekly blog for thehockeynews.com, assignments for ESPN.com and a spot every other Wednesday on XM radio's NHL Live. He also scouts games at the St. Pete Times Forum or by breaking down video he records from television. "The whole idea," Feaster said, "is I'm trying to stay busy and stay current, and trying to keep my name out there, too."
Have you made any inquiries about general manager positions?
I've talked to people who ultimately are going to be helpful when openings occur. I will never go after a general manager's job when there's an incumbent general manager there. If that means I don't ever work as a general manager again, so be it. But I believe there really is a right way to go about things in this business, and the way it's respected.
I have talked to some owners in the game who know me well, and I've asked, "If there are openings with other teams, would you be willing to talk to your fellow owner for me?" And I've talked to some people at the league-office level. I'm confident there are enough people in those kinds of positions of responsibility on the inside who know of my interest.
How would you apply what you learned as GM of Tampa Bay to your next position?
There are probably too many lessons to go through them all right now, but I certainly do feel very confident that because of the things I learned in the first go-round, I would be even more effective the second time through.
I don't want to get into talking about situations or that kind of thing. I think the experience of having three or four seasons to work under the new collective bargaining agreement, and to see where things have gone on in terms of the game and players, I feel that I'm even better prepared from what I already have gone through.
What do you recall about the Cup season?
It was an incredible, special time. What I liked about that group is, we were able to play whatever kind of hockey the opponent wanted us to play. We could run and gun. We absorbed all of Philadelphia's toughness. We went to the rodeo with Calgary. That's what it was like. It was like being a rodeo cowboy. I thought it was great the way we had the different styles and we were able to get it done. As a group, we always will have that memory and that experience.
Do you appreciate it more as time goes on?
I think what happens is that you very quickly compartmentalize it and put it aside and want to win again. That's what does drive you, the desire to get that accomplished again.
Have you cleared the air with then-coach John Tortorella?
Torts and I have talked quite a few times, maybe once every couple of weeks. He's doing his thing now with TSN (a Canadian TV network). It's not an everyday sort of thing, but we do talk, and we're on good terms.
Anything you want to say about how your time with Tampa Bay ended?
I respect the fact that the new owners are free to do whatever they want with the hockey club. As I said in the prepared statement I issued at the time, it became clear to me that they didn't need my advice or my counsel, so we parted and parted on good terms. From that perspective, they were first class about it, and no hard feelings on my part.
Does your wife like you underfoot?
The kids come home, and I can help with homework, and I can read stories at night. My soon-to-be 8-year-old, Ryan, that's one of his assignments, to read or have somebody read to you, so I can do that sort of thing. So, from that standpoint, it's nice.
But you want to work.
I want to work. I want to get back to work. That's my goal. It's the first time in my adult life I have not worked, and it's not something I can say I'm enjoying.