Hi there, I’m back for another installment of my blog, and I’ve got three things I just wanted to touch briefly on today…
The first one is just a recap. I went to Lake Placid this week to watch the US Junior Development team. They had a split squad and they played Sweden and Finland.
Although we didn’t have any prospects there, it’s a good place to look at the top prospects from those countries in that age group. The US won both games that I saw, and they have a lot to look forward to in the future based on some of the things I saw there – Particularly I thought that Zach Bogosian, James van Riemsdyk, Colin Wilson were very good.
I got to see Hedmann from Sweden who’s going to be a very high pick this year and all in all, it was an instructive day to watch these guys and there were actually a lot of other GMs there for the same reason I was there.
The future looks good for USA Hockey, and I anticipate that they’ll do well in the World Juniors this year in Ottawa.
The second thing I wanted to talk about was the Brett Favre situation. It’s a little in left field as it doesn’t apply to hockey, but looking at it from outside, it was a really difficult situation to be in for both sides.
As a general manager, you go through in your mind what you would do, and if you would do any differently. I don’t know if I would. I don’t know the full story, but when a player like Brett decides to change his mind (which every person has a right to), after commitments (I am assuming) had been made by the team to other players, it puts everyone in a difficult situation. It’s just a hard thing to resolve, and I think we saw that in the way it played out. I don’t know if I would do anything differently, but it certainly was interesting to watch as it unfolded.
Finally, the last thing I wanted to give you my thoughts on was our free agent signing this year – Michael Ryder.
I know in some circles we’ve been criticized for paying the money we paid to Michael.
We saw him on numerous occasions (he being in the same division as us), and I’ve seen him on a number of occasions prior to that with Ottawa. He’s a player that we made an organizational decision on to bring into our mix, and I don’t feel the need to justify or to address the criticisms that we’ve been given on signing him. At the end of the day, as a management team, we’re judged on these decisions and we’ll be judged on this one. We were and are excited to get Michael, as he’s a young player who can score goals and competes hard. We feel he’s really going to fit into our mix, and we’re going to have some success with him.
So there you have it, three subjects that I’ve touched upon, and I’ll be back to you shortly.