Jay Feaster discusses Flames’ “meritocracy”

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Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster hammered home the theme of the team’s system being a “meritocracy” during a radio interview with Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg.

“The philosophy really is about merit and ‘what have you done for me last shift,'” Feaster said. “That’s ultimately where we want to be as an organization … I believe it’s the fair way to do it and right way to do it.”

Feaster brought up that subject in regard to goaltending prospect Leland Irving – a netminder struggling to make a leap in the system despite being a former first-round pick.

While that’s the tougher side of the policy, Feaster wasn’t shy about praising the merits of Sven Baertschi, who is off to a strong AHL start with the Abbotsford Heat. Most specifically, Feaster praised Baertschi because it seems like he isn’t treating a future NHL gig as a sure-thing.

“That’s why he is successful, has been and will be successful,” Feaster said. “Instead of taking something for granted and thinking ‘I’m just coming in here to bind my time and as soon as there’s a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place I’ll be in the National Hockey League,’ he’s saying there are aspects of my game to work on and this is the perfect place to do it … he’s a special young man.”

Finally, Feaster had a strong recommendation for Heat coach Troy Ward, who some believed was the best choice to take over the Flames’ top job instead of Bob Hartley.

“It’s just a matter of time before he’s a head coach in the National Hockey League,” Feaster said.

If his work once again merits a few job interviews, that is.