Team Building Exercises 6/11: The San Diego Treat
This is the sixth in a series of weekly interviews with the VHLM's GM's. Thanks to all of my regular readers, we're halfway through the S66 series of interviews. If you have any suggestions for my next series, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'd love to hear all of your suggestions. Back to it:
We're on the West Coast this week speaking with @InstantRockstar about his San Diego Marlins, the expansion team experience, how he gets along with other GM's in the Junior leagues, and what the plan is for a relatively new team moving forward. Let's hop on the USS Midway, visit the Sand Diego Zoo, and jump into the ocean. It's time to interview!
As a reminder to those new to this series, these interviews were conducted prior to the S66 season, and as a result some of the information may seem a little outdated. There have been several staffing changes throughout the VHLM's GM's during this time, so if I've missed you please don't hesitate to let me know.
For those of us new to the league, could you give us a little history of the team? Is it an expansion team or was it one of the originals?
San Diego was introduced this off-season, we were introduced as one of three expansion teams (Mississauga and Mexico City were the other two). A lot of people were kind of taken back a little bit I think anyways by having three more teams being added to the league, since they just added two more the season prior (Philly and Houston). But yeah, we're going into our first official year.
Yeah that's a huge expansion all at once, the league must be growing fast! So as you grow the new team, what do you take into consideration when you sign new players?
The first thing I had to figure out was positional need. With all new members it's hard to grade them on anything but their position. Sure, they could become the next superstar of the league but who is to know without a reputation, so that is the main thing I am after. I usually try to speak to a lot of them too, just to see their plans, their goals, etc and kind of get a feel for them, so I can make sure I can provide whatever they need from me, while getting the most out of them.
Trying to sign that breakthrough star who isn't on everybody's radar or necessarily a front-runner yet. Recongnizing that hidden potential with real life examples like Benn or Datsyuk. Out of those new players, do you have any favorite rookies in the upcoming season?
Honestly I can’t single out one person. Not to say there isn’t a “person” to single out but they’ve all been absolutely lights out. I couldn’t be happier and just impressed with the production of them all.
How about across other teams? If you could add one player from the VHLM to your roster, who would it be and why?
There are a lot of amazing players, right now our biggest need is still defense and so that being said someone like Shackleford @K1NG LINUS would be a huge asset to us.
I've heard that name come up a couple of times. Especially when discussing defensive Juniors.
Moving along, What team do you consider your natural rival?
I’d like to say that Philly would be my rival because they are the best team on paper and I plan to be the best team so it’s only fitting I beat what most would consider to be the best
It sounds across the board like they're the team to beat, and a quik glance shows they have several maxed out players. What do you think has made their recruitment so successful given the relative young age of most of their players (S66+67)?
Their GM sold their team off 6 games in and got a ton of picks for both of those drafts. I mean it’s a successful tactic but I feel like it was a little early to just move on from your whole team like that. Regardless their GM had their reasoning for it and I respect it.
That's a bit of a Brian Burke move. Risky, but can pan out really well in some situations.
Agreed. I think if the drafts are very good, and deep, it’s a good move, but even then draft picks are good to have so regardless you find value in those picks somehow
So what's next for the San Diego Marlins? Are you ready to shoot your shot on the season?
I think right now we’re just mostly excited for the season to begin. Our roster is in order, lots of activity and hype behind us, so we just want to get this show on the road.
With the season starting in the next couple of days there's lots to be excited about. Do you have any advice for aspiring GM's?
Honestly just keep active, keep on top of things, make sure to know the topics of discussion and just don’t fall behind and most importantly show your interest, I feel like so many people get left out because they don’t feel comfortable speaking up but you just need to shoot your shot and wait, it’ll happen.
That should do it, thanks so much for your perspective and taking the time to talk to me!
Absolutely glad we got to chat
That brings this week's article to an end. Let me know if there's a league member you'd like interviewed if you're a regular reader. Next week I'll be meeting with @GustavMattias to discuss the rise of the Mississauga Hounds and their dogged approach to Junior hockey. Join us next time on Team Building Exercises, every other Monday from now until I run out of leadership figures to interview!
TPE for weeks ending July 21 & 28