Ken King

Flames GM Feaster still working the baseball analogy pretty hard

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In early May, Calgary GM Jay Feaster said the Flames coaching search was in the “first inning.”

Today, the Flames sound like they’re looking at long relievers.

Or something like that.

“I would say by the end of this month, it would be more in the middle innings of the game,” Feaster told the Calgary Herald. “We don’t think it’s in our best interests to set an artificial deadline.

“We have a process. We’ve put that process together, and we’ve shared that process with ownership. Ownership has signed off on it, and we’re going to work that process.”

Feaster’s staying mum on specifics. The only nuggets of info he’s revealed are that 1) He had a master list of coaching candidates, 2) Assistants John Weisbrod and Craig Conroy added names to that list, 3) several coaches approached the Flames about the opening, and 4) the master list has been whittled down to a short list.

Hence the whole “middle innings” analogy.

Of course, Calgary still has plenty to conduct — the interview process (which I’m guessing is the seventh-inning stretch), player assessments and draft analysis, all of which ties into the head coaching position.

As for the type of coach the Flames are targeting, Feaster gave a brief glimpse into his preferred personality when discussing Rangers bench boss John Tortorella, who Feaster teamed with in Tampa Bay to win the 2004 Stanley Cup.

Torts has clashed with reporters all postseason long. Does playing nice with the media matter?

“In my mind, that’s not one of the requirements,” Feaster said. “What matters more is winning. There are an awfully lot of great guys and very congenial and outgoing guys who will interview with you a whole day.

“But if they’re not winning, they’re not going to be coaching long.”

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?