GM one-on-one: OTT [PS3]

Posted: September 27, 2012 by Phuong Pham in Uncategorized

“Introduce yourself, who are you and what qualifies you to be a general manager in the NHL?”

My name is James and I’m the new GM of the Ottawa Senators. Though I may not be the only GM living outside Vancouver, I’m pretty sure I’m definitely the only one on the other side of the world. Holla from the 852, H to the K by way of the 604! You can find me on twitter at @jamjamtao. What qualifies me to be the GM? Well, I’m here aren’t I? So obviously the commissioner thinks I am, so therefore I am.

“What was your reaction to being award the Ottawa franchise?”

At first I was like … Then I saw my roster and was like …

But seriously, I’m happy to be here, the Ottawa Senators organization has always been tremendously active in the community, and we hold each and every one of our players to a very high standard when it comes to giving back to the community and the fans that supports us. Every month, we organize a seniors home visit with all the players. I’m positive that this team will be able to connect well with the seniors as they reminisce about the good ol’ days where they had to walk 5km in 3 feet of snow just to buy a loaf of bread for a dime.

“What do you expect out of this season? Are you trying to win the Cup this year?”

As a first year GM, there is a lot of housekeeping to be done. Not saying we will not contend for the cup, because we do have a group of veterans who are all thirsty for a chance to get back to the big dance. However, we will evaluate at the quarter pole of the season and decide which direction we are planning to go in. I definitely see us contending as a top team in the east in 3 seasons. A bright spot for the franchise is our young prospects waiting in the wings, we believe that after 2-3 years in the AHL, names such as Matt Puempel, Josef Silferberg, Mark Stone and Cody Ceci, will become household names not only in Ottawa, but around the NHL.

“Are there any areas you’d like to improve your team?”

As a GM, you are always looking to improve your team and build a winner. I’ve always been a firm believer in building from the net out, and I think our situation with Price and Hiller between the pipes for the next 5 seasons is one many teams would love to have so I think we are set there. On defense we have a core trio of Dan Girardi, John Carlson and Bieksa, all entering or in the primes of their careers. We expect them to improve by playing alongside vets Philips, Robidas and Streit and be ready once the torch is passed to them. Up front we are looking to get younger, as each position’s average age is over 30.

“Alright, enough formalities, let’s get into the real important stuff. You’re Asian AND you’re in Hong Kong, how do you know anything about ice hockey? Does Hong Kong even have ice?”

Are you telling me you’ve never had a iced milk tea? Of course Hong Kong has ice! We just prefer to keep it in our drinks than under some blades strapped onto our feet. Everything I know about hockey I learned during my 20+ years of living in Canuckastan. I’m now playing unprofessional rec hockey here where the winters are 12 degrees at its coldest and the rink is perpetually kept at 18 degrees. Sounds awesome eh? I know…

“How much fried rice can you eat in one sitting? Do you eat cat?”

I can eat about as much rice as you can eat hamburgers. And also, I don’t eat cat. I eat dog… JAPADOG.

“Okay, let’s get a little more serious here. Which will happen first, half you’re team retires or you blow up your team?”

The Ottawa Senators find themselves in quite a unique position. On one hand, we have a bunch of players who are in the twilight of their careers and while we are trying to build a winner, the organization understands that Aaron Rome was not built in one day. Entering the season, we have 10 players with expiring contracts and we plan on reviewing contracts only at the end of the season to avoid distraction. We don’t believe in blowing up the team for the sake of rebuilding because we are one of the league’s wealthiest teams, we don’t have fire sales. We’re perfectly fine with our veterans playing out their careers here in the nation’s capital and moving forward when their contracts do expire. Having said that, however, we will definitely look at any and all trade offers coming our way involving players not named Price, Carlson and OMG KoPiTaRZ. So if you’re looking for an expiring contract, you know who to call.

“Do you have any plans to lure Daniel Alfredsson back to the franchise? What about Zdeno Chara? I hear Wade Redden may be available.”

At this moment we are in the midst of intensive talks with Alexandree Daiglee and would prefer to focus on the original franchise player. He’s contemplating whether to give up his day job as a twitterr insiderr or rejoin the team that took him 1st overall in 1993. Alexx, if you’re out there, we just want to let you know publically that the 2 year 21 million dollar offer is still on the table because we think you’re better than Mats Sundin.

“How involved are you in the actual game? Do you like to back seat coach and just take control of the game?”

As a rec leaguer who’s tearing it up (by that I mean hockey tape, my hamstrings, and Achilles tendon) every week on the so called ice rinks in Hong Kong, I consider myself to be a player’s GM. I strongly believe in leading by example and will demonstrate that by being on the bench every single game meticulously micromanaging my team behind my coach. If he doesn’t like it, well then he’s fired. Nobody gets in between me and winning. Who knows, you might even see me take the ice once in a while, after all, I am younger than half the guys on my team.

“How often will the team being wearing their third jerseys this year?”

With a jersey that says SNES across the front, how can you not wear that more often? In fact, for the 2012-13 NHL season, the Ottawa Senators will be making the alternates the primary jerseys and worn at most home games. The original home jersey will only be worn at home games on Sundays. Also, in a totally unprecedented partnership with Nintendo, whenever a Senator scores a hat trick or records a shutout in a game while wearing the SNES jerseys, every fan in the Scotiabank Centre will be taking home their own copy of Chrono Trigger for the SNES, courtesy of Video & Arcade Top 10.
Wait what? What do you mean those aren’t the alternates? Fine, same offer stands, but instead of the SNES jersey we will wear the barbershop pole jersey with the big O at home. Man, Nicholas Picholas will not be happy to hear about this.

“Lastly, I heard you have a friend or two in the league, do other GMs have to worry about collusion?”

I have no idea what you are talking about. All the GMs in the league are my friends.

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