'Dub Weekly: Feaster offers advice to world junior cut and Flames prospect Brossoit
Flames GM believes Team Canada brass had its minds made up going into camp
The conversation — from National Hockey League organization to their 2011 draft pick — was regarding the stomach-churning blow dealt by Hockey Canada to the Edmonton Oil Kings netminder, the only puck-stopper cut from the 2013 national junior team selection camp.
And what the Calgary Flames general manager told him were the thoughts of many when the 19-year-old Surrey, B.C., native left Calgary last week back to Edmonton instead of boarding a plane to Europe as one of Canada’s three goalies slated to compete at the 2013 IIHF world juniors in Ufa, Russia.
“When I talked to him Saturday, as an organization, we were very very pleased with what he did, what he showed, and how he played at this camp,” Feaster said.
“And we were very, very pleased with what he did at (November’s) Subway Series (against the Russians). I don’t fault him in any way. I think he should leave there with his head held very high.
“As an organization, we couldn’t have been more proud of what he’s accomplished.”
Brossoit, near flawless, had only given up two goals in three camp scrimmages.
However, it was the larger body of work that was considered in the evaluation process done by Team Canada head coach Steve Spott, goalie coach Ron Tugnutt, and head scout Kevin Prendergast. Brossoit had been lights-out in last year’s Western Hockey League finale but, like the rest of the Oil Kings, he struggled at the Memorial Cup. Then, he, admittedly, struggled in his summertime showing at the Canada-Russia series but redeemed himself for Team WHL at the Subway Super Series and secured an invite to the national junior team selection camp.
Feaster and his brass had been following Brossoit all the way and felt Hockey Canada’s decision had been made prior to last week.
“From my perspective, (after) his disappointing performance in Russia this past summer, I have to believe that Team Canada had their minds made up going into this camp,” he said. “Because certainly, based on what he did against the Russians in the Subway Super Series and the way he played here (at the world junior selection camp), it was hard to believe he wasn’t one of the three best goaltenders.
“Certainly, statistically, he was.”
While Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls was believed to have the inside track on the starter’s job, he allowed three goals on seven shots in one exhibition game against the University of Alberta. That didn’t look great on his record, but Subban (who has a 15-7-3 record, a 2.17 goals-against average, and .932 save percentage with Belleville this season) had sparkled in the summer and was named to the squad.
Subban will compete with Jordan Binnington, a technically sound St. Louis Blues prospect who plays for the Owen Sound Attack. Jake Paterson, 18, who didn’t let in a goal the entire selection camp, is Canada’s third netminder.
However — empathizing as a fellow junior hockey evaluator to another — Feaster could understand where Spott and the Hockey Canada brass was coming from.
“I understand that,” Feaster said. “We all evaluate. Sometimes you’ll have a player come up and score a couple of goals in the pre-season and the next day, you send him down. It’s the old, ‘Do I need to score a hat-trick or something? Why are you sending me down?’
“I certainly understand that there are a lot of things that go into it.”
Rejection, of course, is an unavoidable life lesson.
But for someone whose work is defined by what happens in a crease between two goalposts, Feaster emphasized the importance of moving on.
For Brossoit, who returns to Calgary Tuesday night to face the Hitmen, that includes returning to the Oil Kings, trying to lead them to another Memorial Cup appearance, and, eventually, signing a professional contract with the Flames.
“You try to park it as quickly as you can,” Feaster said. “Goaltenders all have bad games and their in such an exposed position. They have such a spotlight on them. If you don’t have the ability to park the bad games, the bad news, to deal with the disappointment. I don’t think you can rise to the level Laurent has risen to.
“We’re not worried about him from that standpoint.”
While Brossoit expressed confusion when he uncomfortably faced the media following the news last week, he returned and searched for positives.
After all, many great Canadian goalies before him have felt the Hockey Canada sting as teenagers and flourished as men in the professional world.
“I’ve been getting tweets with a long list of goalies who haven’t made it ... Patrick Roy, (Martin) Brodeur. This absolutely helps with my motivation,” Brossoit had told the Edmonton Journal on Friday. “I’ve had so much support ... more than I could ever have hoped for. Made it a lot easier.”
Feaster advised him to turn that pain into motivation.
“I said to him, ‘I know it’s disappointing,’ ” he said. “But you need to adopt the mindset that every time you go out there for the rest of your career, you’re going to show them why they made the wrong decision.’
“Twenty years from now, you’re going to have people saying, ‘Are you kidding me? You didn’t make the world junior team?’ ”
ICE CHIPS . . . Saskatoon Blades forward Josh Nicholls is the WHL player of the week. The 20-year-old Tsawwassen, B.C., native had eight points (three goals and five assists) in four games over the past week while the Blades cruised to a 4-0-0-0 record.
THEY SAID IT:
“The beginning of day 1.”
- Brandon Davidson (@bdavy3) an Edmonton Oilers prospect and former Regina Pats captain who began chemotherapy in Oklahoma City Monday. The 21-year-old Lethbridge native who plays for the AHL’s Barons was diagnosed with testicular cancer on Oct. 31. “It’s a reassurance that it won’t come back, that we can put this thing to rest and get back to hockey,” he told the team’s website. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make. Basically this was the best opportunity for me to put this thing to bed and move on.”
“You should be watching lots of #WHL hockey this year. Plain and simple. Great product.”
- Dave Dawson via Twitter (@DaveDawson7) reporter/host of Shaw TV Sports.
“Unbelievable feeling getting in for my WHL debut tonight. Thanks so much for all of the support and congratulations.”
--- Calgarian Jake Morrissey via Twitter (@Jake_Morrissey) and fifth-round 2012 WHL bantam draft pick of the Kelowna Rockets who wound up in net against the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday. The Grade 10 student at Western Canada high school, and younger brother of Prince Albert Raiders defenceman Josh, stopped seven of 10 shots he faced in the 6-2 loss to the Hitmen
“We went out on the power play after my third and T.J. said, ‘You know, might as well have four.’”
- Edmonton Oil Kings sharpshooter Michael St. Croix on his four-goal game in an 8-1 romp of the Regina Pats, a feat teammate T.J. Foster achieved in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Hitmen in Calgary on Oct. 7
“team canada!!!!! dream come true!!!”
- Portland Winterhawks winger Ty Rattie via Twitter (@TyRattie8) on cracking the national world junior squad
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