23 September 2008

GM roundtable 'script

Whilst in Traverse City, you might recall I'd posted previously about DW meeting with JD and Ken Holland, sitting down ironically enough at a round table. Dan Rosen from NHL.com was there, and thusly:

 Photo courtesy Getty Images

Below is the partial transcript, with only DW's answers (in context). Should you be interested, you can read the transcript in its entirety on NHL.com.

John Davidson -- Off the ice, I don't know Don what you think, but I'm a little nervous with that cap number going up to where it's going. It's gotten there in a hurry and that's tough on some cities.

Don Waddell -- As you said, some of our markets, our increases during the year are going to be 4 to 5 percent, not the League going up 7 to 8 percent. Trying to keep up with that, as you said, we have to find some national money and the obvious thing is TV. I know the League has worked hard at it and continues to work hard. It's certainly an aspect of the business that we have room to grow in.

Dan Rosen -- One of the things we're doing here (in Traverse City) is obviously watching prospects. Everybody has some different views on prospect development. Don, what are some of your views on prospect development?

Don Waddell -- Well, this tournament I think is really set up well for young players because I always believe when young players come to your camp, they are intimidated and this gives them an opportunity to showcase their talent against their peers. Then, by the time they come to your camp, they have a weekend under their belt. The other thing is we have always brought our top players here. Ilya Kovalchuk played here. Dany Heatley played here. Kari Lehtonen and our first pick this year, Zach Bogosian. So, I think it's a tournament that is set up for your development players to get a showcase for how we view them against the other teams' best players also.

Dan Rosen -- There are a couple of days on the calendar now that fans look forward to: Trade deadline and July 1. What do you guys think of July 1?

Don Waddell -- Well it doesn't mean a lot to us because we don't shop until July 7. We let all the big teams shop on July 1 (laughter) (Ed note - oh that's real hilarious. Laugh it up, chuckles.). Certainly, as you said, I always feel in this league everything happens for a deadline. The trade deadline, it's a crazy world because you can make those trades a week earlier, but for some reason they don't happen until the trade deadline. Nobody wants to make a decision until they're forced to make a decision, and that's the part I can't hardly figure out. I had Marian Hossa last year and a week before I couldn't get a third-round pick probably for him at that point, and two hours before the trade deadline it really heats up. So, it's interesting how we operate with deadlines, but obviously it's two key dates for building your franchise. You have three ways to build your team: Through the draft, through free agency and through the trade deadline.

Dan Rosen -- (vis-a-vis players flocking overseas to the KHL) But doesn't the NHL need the marginal players?

Don Waddell -- Well, I think there are enough players to go around at that level. If you start losing a lot of stars after a while you'd be a little concerned, but the players we've lost this year with maybe one exception are all players we can replace on our roster. And, J.D. hit it on the nose, this is the best league in the world. If a player wants to go to Europe to make money, you know it's happened before. Guys have gone to different countries for whatever reason, and you're almost better off to move on. (Ed note - Subtle dig at Wonder Twin #5?) It's something that I don't worry about at all. We have enough things to worry about. I'm a big believer of worrying about the things you can control. If we can't control it, don't fret too much about it.

Dan Rosen -- Another topic this summer is Columbus had a case of burnout with Stefan Legein, their prospect. A lot of people will say, 'How can a 19-year-old kid be burned out?' But are we treating the kids the right way? Are the kids playing too much?

Don Waddell -- No[ne]. I think this is one case. If it's a complete burnout situation, it's one case of the million players that are playing out there. It's not a factor at all.

No comments: