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Nashville's Season 6 Recap Written by Jay - June 16th, 2010

After several months since his team got knocked out of the playoffs, we were finally able to sit down with Nashville Predators’ GM Jay and to go over season 6. We also had the opportunity to talk about the upcoming offseason and what’s coming for Season 7

CMHL Times: It’s always a pleasure to sit down with you Jay


Jay: You’re welcome


CMHL Times: Have you had a chance to follow what’s happening in the CMHL playoffs?


Jay: Sure did! These are four outstanding teams. Each GM deserves to win the cup. They have made several gutsy moves that allowed them to be where they are right now. The credit goes to them.


CMHL Times:  A few months after being knocked out of the playoffs race finishing 12th in the Western Conference, what are your first thoughts?


Jay: To be honest, my feelings are mixed. Of course the entire team is disappointed because we really started to believe in it right after the all-star break. We were able to hold our ground against some of the top teams in this league. We climbed up the 9th spot thinking that we had a shot at it. Then we started to loose crucial games against teams that we should have beaten. At the trade deadline, we had some tough calls to make and decided to trade a few players to get younger players or draft picks. After the deadline, we just started to have a few loosing streaks which totally knocked us out of the race. Of course we’re disappointed with the way we ended our season but we have to look at the bright side of things. When I took over, the team didn’t have as much depth as it has now. We were very close to the cap which didn’t help. Now we have a little bit of room going in the off-season. We tried over the last few months to lay down a strong base and tried to add the missing pieces to the puzzle. It is still a work in progress but I feel we’re getting  there for sure.


CMHL Times: What is your biggest disappointment and what are you proud of the most?


Jay: Of course not making the playoffs is always a big disappointment but also the fact that it looked like everybody gave up at the end. Also the fact that we couldn’t get rid of some of our free agents on time was also a disappointment. We definitely need to increase our number of goals for season 7. If there’s a reason why we are not in the spring dance is because of that. When you finish 27th in the goals for department with an average of 2.45 goals per game, you can’t expect to make the playoffs and that is something that will be addressed during the offseason. On the other end, we’re very proud of how our defence squad and our goaltenders were able to achieve during the season. We finished 6th overall in goals against with 2.60 goals allowed per game. We were in front of LA and Pittsburgh just to name those teams and they are in the conference final today. Hopefully we can carry on with this in Season 7.


CMHL Times: A lot of people are criticizing the fact that you traded the 11th overall draft pick and at least the 27th overall draft pick away for Marek Svatos, Brian McCabe, Andy Greene, Richard Panik, Nico Sacchetti and Joe Colborne. What do you have to say to these people?


Jay: It’s real easy to criticize that move after you didn’t make the playoffs. If we had made the playoffs, people would have thought that I’m a genius. At the time, we thought we had a real good chance to make the playoffs. We were just starting to turn things around and we believed in our chances so we thought that it would be a good move to trade away some of our picks for immediate assistance. That being said, the players we acquired have contributed or will contribute in the team’s success. Brian had a really good year (especially since he joined the team) and is now an important piece of our PP and PK. Andy has proven that he’s ready to play in the CMHL this year. Joe, Richard and Nico will be part of our team’s success in the future but we have to be patient with them. A lot of people thought that Marek didn’t produce as much as expected. Marek will be the first person to tell you that he was not satisfied with the way he played. However, when we started to put him with Michal (Handzus) and Radek (Dvorak), he started to put some points on the board. Bottom line we’re not gonna give up on him just like that. He’s a young veteran in this league and we think he will be a key element to our success in season 7.


CMHL Times: You have to agree that the Preds don’t have the most promising future especially after those picks now being owned by Toronto. Plus, you only have the 44th overall selection for this year’s upcoming draft.


Jay:  Well the team didn’t have a 1st round pick for the last 2 years and only one 2nd round pick since 2007. Of course we could have used those first rounders this year but we decided to add more players to our system that could help us right now. We may try to get a better drafting position before the upcoming draft but we won’t sacrifice our key elements for that.


CMHL Times: Which player that you acquired this year you think will have a major impact on the team for Season 7.


Jay: Fabian Brunnstrom. It was sad to see Holmstrom go but Fabian started to put up some points right from the beginning, especially on the power play. If we can find him a center that will feed him properly, we think he can be a real asset for our team. Don’t underestimate Jay Pandolfo, Pascal Dupuis and Darcy Hordichuk. We don’t expect them to score 20 goals each but if we want to be a great team on defence like last year, we need these guys.


CMHL Times: The free agency period is coming up soon. How will you approach this critical part of the offseason.


Jay: Well we have a little bit of money to spend on free agents so we’ll definitely be active. I don’t think we’re gonna try to sign big names. I think we’re gonna focus to add some depth to our squad.


CMHL Times: Which positions are looking at upgrading?


Jay: Well at the moment, there are a lot of unknowns. We’re not quite sure who will resign, who won’t and who will be available when the free agency period opens up. However, we feel Jassen (Cullimore) will most likely call it a career and we think Andreas (Lilja) and Mark (Eaton) will test the market. Based on that, we may have to focus on our defence squad. We have already talked to Michal (Handzus) and Marty (Turco) and these discussions have been very positive. We haven’t talked to all our RFAs but we expect most of them to be back next year if not all of them. We’ll see how the negociations go.


CMHL Times: There were a lot of discussions this season about GMs that wanted to raise the cap based on the fact that the salaries have gone up. What’s your position on that?


Jay: Well it seems like a lot of GMs would like the cap to be raised to approx. 58M. I’m not against it but if they think this is a measure to prevent the salaries to go up and have more cap room to sign more players, I think they are wrong. Let’s say you’re getting a raise at work. Your first move will be to try to get a bigger car, a bigger house, etc… In other words, you will most likely find something to do with that extra money. Let’s face it, if all the GMs go after the same 2 or 3 key players, I can tell you that one of them won’t be afraid go all-in and offer a 7 or 8 millions contract to a single player even if he’s not worth it. But that’s just part of the game when it comes down to free agency. Everybody wants to win and they’ll do whatever it takes to get to the Cup.


CMHL Times: Tell us about the Admirals


Jay: When I took over this team, our farm team was gutted. We didn’t have any depth and we were crawling at the bottom of our conference. We were able to add some players and we think they had a decent 2nd half.


CMHL Times: Thanks again for your time. We hope to have the opportunity to talk to you after the offseason right before training camp.


Jay: Looking forward to it!!!


Submit A Comment -
Nice read, looking forward to facing your team next year. Written By: foofighter95 (2010-06-17 05:56:49)

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