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Nashville's new GM Written by Jay - January 9th, 2010

The wait was long, but former Commish Jay finally got back in the league as the new GM for the Nashville Predators. He kindly agreed to sit down despite his busy schedule and talk to us about the challenges he’s facing since he took office.

CMHL Times: First of all, I think we can now officially welcome you back in the CMHL!!

Jay: Thanks a lot! The wait was long even though I had the chance to assists Gerv, Spicy and Ludo in their duties. I gotta say that it feels pretty good sitting in the driver’s seat

CMHL Times:  Tell me about the assistant-GM role you’ve been playing over the last few months.

Jay: Of course even if you’re “in charge” of the team, you’re not totally running the show. I didn’t feel like I could do whatever I felt like. However, that is something I knew before I decided to accept the role of an A/GM. However, I gotta thank the GMs that gave me the opportunity to get back on the horse, especially Spicy and Ludo. I was able to put the lines together and deal with other GMs for a short period of time and that really helped me getting more familiar with the “new” CMHL. Now I can apply what I’ve learned to my team.

CMHL Times: What was your first impression when you took over the Preds?

Jay: By looking at the roster, I realized that there were a lot of players that were at the end of the current contract. I also realized that the team’s overall age was 31 years old. That means we may have a busy summer trying to secure players for a few years and get some fresh legs. Finally, I realized that there wasn’t a whole lot of depth in our farm team which is struggling at the moment in the ICHF.

CMHL Times: How do you plan to achieve these goals?

Jay: Step#1: We need to evaluate what we have in place. The team isn’t doing too bad right now playing for .500 so a new GM doesn’t necessarily mean to rebuild from top to bottom. The fact that we are under the cap by 5M and that some players with big contracts might not come back next year will give us an advantage this summer. Second of all, we need to identify what the team is missing. We are one of the top team defensively (i.e. Goal against, PK %, etc…) which is mainly due to our veterans on defense and the always reliable Marty Turco. However, our low scoring will hurt us on the long run. We need to get explosive guys that will contribute to score goals in crucial games and help our PP.

CMHL Times: How will you improve your offense on the short run?

Jay: We need to keep our eyes opened to teams looking to be better on defense since this is our strength. The goal is to acquire an offensive player in exchange of a more defensive one. I’m aware that teams will always be looking for offense but you know what they say: offense wins game, defense wins Championship. Another option would be to trade our high draft picks for the upcoming draft to acquire a young, offensive player that we could sign for a few years then build around that. However, since depth is also a problem, those high draft picks will not go for nothing and we need to think mid and long-term as well. This isn’t a 6-month plan that I have in mind. It’s hard seeing his team struggling but sometimes you have to make sacrifices to achieve your goals.

CMHL Times: Are the playoffs a realistic goal for you?

Jay: Absolutely. The conference is tough but I’m not yet ready to hit the panic button because we can be a tough team to play too. As we get closer to the trade deadline, decisions will have to be made but like I said, this isn’t a 6-month plan. Any decision we make has to make the team better whether it’s a trade, a UFA signing or to sign a current player to a long-term contract. Like I said, we won’t become a Stanley Cup contender tomorrow, it will take time but I promise that I will bring the Preds back in the playoffs as soon as next year.

CMHL Times: It’s always a pleasure to sit down with you. Thank you and good luck for the rest of the season

Jay:  Thank you and I want to take the opportunity to wish good luck to all the GMs. I look forward to deal with them in a near future!


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Welcome back Jay! I look forward to many seasons of winning your division while you and those other three teams try in vain to knock me off :D

Written By: habsfan93 (2010-01-11 15:08:12)

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