The Tampa Bay Lightning and general manager Jay Feaster have parted ways, as the club has negotiated a settlement on the remaining three years of his contract.
Feaster was hired by the Lightning in 1998 as assistant general manager to Jacques Demers and later to Rick Dudley. He was promoted to general manager in February of 2002.
"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," said Feaster in a statement. "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."
Under Feaster's management, the Lightning built a powerhouse team in the Southeast Division with a core of star players that included Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis, defenceman Dan Boyle and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. The native of Williamstown, PA, helped guide the Lightning to a Stanley Cup title in 2004 and was named the Sporting News' NHL executive of the year.
"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."
The fourth general manager in the team's history, he guided the Lightning for five full seasons, making the 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.