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Mats Johnsson Press Conference


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Week of: Feb 12-18


Questions Asked: John Locke (x2) , Roman Sokolov , Markus King , Aleksei Federov

 

Answers:

 

23 hours ago, Beketov said:

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

 

Like any player, the biggest goal is to improve. I was happy with my personal improvement this season, but think I can do better. As an offensive d-man, hitting the point-per-game mark would be huge for me this season, and I think it's doable as I enter my 3rd season.

 

14 hours ago, Will said:

What do you think of the new update scale now that we can see how everyone looks after the conversion?

 

I think it's good. Obviously, we won't really know how it's working until people re-distribute their payouts and we get a few sims in, but overall I expect it to be a good thing. It'll separate the good from the great, and the great from the elite, in that it'll take a lot more effort to become a true superstar. I think guys will max out certain skills, but I think they'll have to have holes in their game if they focus on any one area too early. Should be fun.

 

13 hours ago, Banackock said:

Happy with Calgary and how things are going? 

 

There's definitely some great dudes in that locker room, but it's never fun losing. We did better this year, but were still never really in it. For now, the plan is to take things one season at a time, see how things work out, and go from there.

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  • Commissioner

1. How do you feel about the recent trades Seattle has made? Do you think they made the right choices?

 

2. What are your goals for the upcoming season?

 

3. Based on nothing, and way too early to accurately say, who do you think is bringing home the cup in S59?

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Mats Johnsson, hours after being traded to the Seattle Bears, and only hours before his semi-final match against Team Western Europe, in the World Cup, where his Team Scandinavia finished first in Round Robin play. 

 

“I’m excited to start my journey with the Bears. I’d like to first take a minute to thank @Bushito for working with me to put me in a position to compete for a Continental Cup this season, it means a lot and I wish nothing but the best for him, and Calgary moving forward.

 

I’m really looking forward to playing with this group in Seattle, and Fors ( @Banackock) has told me nothing but great things about the guys. Tonight should also be really fun, and I hope we can take the W and go into the Gold Medal game, which would be huge after finishing in last 2 seasons ago!”

 

Johnsson will now take your questions for the week of Feb 19-25!

 

Questions: Roman Sokolov (2) , diamond_ace (3)

 

Answers: Here

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  • Commissioner

 - You had a busy off-season, first being a restricted free agent and then being traded. Were you unhappy in Calgary? If so, why?

 

- The Bears lost some pieces this off-season but made gains in other regards. Do you believe they can push for another finals appearance or perhaps a cup this season?

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6 hours ago, Banackock said:

1. Thoughts on playing with Aleksei Federov?

 

2. What player are you most excited to play with in Seattle?

 

3. New expectations for your player offensively/defensively in Seattle? 

 

1. He's a great player and I think it'll be fun to skate alongside him. I think we'll compliment each other nicely on the blueline.

 

2. Definitely McAllister. I think there's a lot of star players on the team, but the amount of work he puts in is insane, and he is a candidate for best player in the league already, with more than half his career to go. He's a real leader, and I think a real motivator to put in the most effort I can to be the best player I can be.

 

3. I think my personal expectations are pretty much the same. There's a lot of weapons to work with on the roster, and, being a puck moving D-man, that's awesome for me. Defensively, I just want to play a sound positional game, strip pucks and keep the other team out of my zone. As long as the puck is on our sticks, the other team can't score.

 

2 hours ago, Beketov said:

 - You had a busy off-season, first being a restricted free agent and then being traded. Were you unhappy in Calgary? If so, why?

 

- The Bears lost some pieces this off-season but made gains in other regards. Do you believe they can push for another finals appearance or perhaps a cup this season?

 

1. No, I was actually extremely happy in Calgary. The guys on that team are great, it's just a matter of perhaps growing too fast for the team's rebuild. Bash promised me a contender by the time my RFA rights expired, and when things didn't work out in Calgary, he did what he could to give me my best shot, while also stocking the cupboards for his rebuild. Like I said, I wish them nothing but the best over there, and think that he can bring the Wranglers back into the league's spotlight.

 

2. I completely believe in the Bears this season. Yes, there were a couple pieces that were moved out, and Jokinen is one of the best D in the league. But I do think that, with the development of the roster in Seattle, along with the additions made on D in Lane and I, we should be considered contenders, and that we can definitely push Riga off their throne this year.

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11 hours ago, Velevra said:

1) How have you contributed to the BOG and what do you hope the future of the league involves

2) I see you have made a number of HOF players and a few "subpar" players. Do you feel that your current player will once again be a HOFer?

 

1) It’s difficult to quantity exactly what each member of the board contributes. There’s a lot of communication between our members as we work to make the league a better place for all its members. I’ve made some suggestions, and helped with others’ suggestions. There’s a few concepts that have come into fruition in the league, and a couple others that I’m gauging interest on that may come forth in coming seasons, but we will see how it goes. 

 

2) My subpar players have definitely come at times where my activity in the league has waned. With Johnsson, I am definitely the most active I’ve been since Bailey. Whether that turns into a HOF career, I’m not sure. My first two seasons were pretty pedestrian, but I think if I can play at the levels I know I’m capable of for the rest of my career, I’ve definitely got a shot at a 4th HOFer!

 

21 minutes ago, Banackock said:

1. Thoughts on the Bears mediocre at best start?

 

2. Thoughts on your start to the season?

 

3. What's the Bears LR like? 

 

4. What would you do differently to light a fire under your team? 

 

1. For some reason, Calgary has had our number thus far. Otherwise we’ve done fairly well. I think there’s still a lot to see from guys like Gretz and Mac, but I think we’re in a solid position to start the year. 

 

2. I’m pretty happy with it. I think I could maybe shoot more, but with all the weapons on our team, it’s hard not to defer to them when they’re in a good spot on the ice. 

 

3. It’s great. Guys are loose, cracking jokes and generally just having a good time. Everyone knows what our goal is this season, and I think we’re all pushing towards that singular focus. It’s nice to know there’s no primadonnas on the team. 

 

4. I don’t know that there’s much I would do different. I think it’s mostly about finding our rhythm and rolling on. 

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If anyone has questions for Johnsson, go ahead and ask away!

 

Week of: Feb 26 - Mar 04

 

Questions Asked: B. Pilgrim , M. Hogberg, D. Kiaskov, B. von Goon, C. Rayne, N. Roux, K. Louth, O. Arroyo, V. DragomirM. Kinkaid

 

Answers:

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11 hours ago, Velevra said:

1.You have been asking a lot of questions in press conferences. How do you feel the implementation of them in the League has gone so far?

 

I think it's been good. It's interesting to see people's personalities come out a bit when you ask them questions. It's an easy 2 points for people to grab, which is nice, as well. Personally, I've tried to ask guys enough to earn them at least the first point, at least during the first couple weeks. This week I went more with a scatter approach, trying to get some spotlight on the newer members and hopefully have others ask them questions as well. I think in an ideal world, everyone is asking at least 5 questions and answering 3, but as long as people are having fun with it, that's what matters most.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Week of: March 19-25

 

Questions: CodCast (x5)

 

Answers:

 

On 3/18/2018 at 4:04 PM, hedgehog337 said:

Seattle is doing only decent so far. Are you worried about that?

Are you happy with Mats' performance so far? 

Your favorite VHL teams?

 

1. I wouldn't say I'm worried, we have the best forward group in the league, bar-none. We haven't been able to get any kind of consistency down, which is a bit troublesome, but we can skate with anyone out there. The Playoffs are a whole new ball-game, and we're comfortably in them, so I'm not too worried about positioning, though getting some consistency beforehand would be nice.

 

2. Honestly, not particularly. I expected to be above a point-per-game this season. I know I'm fairly close, but I haven't been able to string together any kind of point streak. It feels like I get 3 points one night, then go 3 games without a point, followed by a 2-point night and another 3 games pointless, then maybe a couple stretches where I get a point in 3 games. It's fairly frustrating, but I've put a lot more work in the weight room and hope it starts to translate to some more points on the board.

 

3. Considering I play for Seattle, obviously we're number 1. Outside of that, I can't really say. I don't really think about the teams like a fan, to me it's my team vs. everyone else.

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1.) As the 4th seed, do you believe Seattle has a legitimate shot at winning the Cup this season?

2.) Which team will be the toughest match-up in the playoffs?

3.) If the season was on the line and you had to choose one player to make a shot, who would you choose?

4.) What's the one thing you feel you can most improve about your game?

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  • Commissioner

Fun fact, I never noticed how similar to your name I made mine: so that’s fun haha. Anyway, onto the questions.

 

1. How has your season with Seattle been compared to your seasons with Calgary?

 

2. Seattle’s scorers appear to have heated up in the playoffs. Why do you think that is? What was the issue during the regular season?

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On 3/28/2018 at 1:47 AM, omgitshim said:

1.) As the 4th seed, do you believe Seattle has a legitimate shot at winning the Cup this season?

2.) Which team will be the toughest match-up in the playoffs?

3.) If the season was on the line and you had to choose one player to make a shot, who would you choose?

4.) What's the one thing you feel you can most improve about your game?

 

1. It's a bit late, but obviously I think we have a legit shot at winning the Cup this season, even before the playoffs started. The whole season was about finding our footing, with the playoffs never in doubt. I think playing Riga in the Wild Card was a good prep for Toronto and now the Finals.

 

2. Again, tough to answer now that we're in the Finals, but I think each team we've faced has presented a different challenge. Riga has Krig and Locke, Toronto has Boeser and all that depth, and 'Sinki has FC, who was probably the league MVP again this year. With the amount of talent in the league, there's no easy opponents once you hit the playoffs, so we'll see what happens.

 

3. Are we talking in a playoff game? I'd probably go with Gabe (McAllister). He's such a beast, and in the playoffs he's the type of guy to put the team on his back and do everything. Chance to win it all, I'm putting the puck on his stick every time.

 

4. Probably my shot. As an offensive D-man, I need to put more pucks on, and in, the net. I've talked to the coaches about it, but I've got some plans for the off-season. Right now, I'm not going to change what's working, but I do want to be more of a scoring threat, which will open up even more opportunities for the other guys on the ice.

 

On 4/1/2018 at 8:33 AM, Beketov said:

Fun fact, I never noticed how similar to your name I made mine: so that’s fun haha. Anyway, onto the questions.

 

1. How has your season with Seattle been compared to your seasons with Calgary?

 

2. Seattle’s scorers appear to have heated up in the playoffs. Why do you think that is? What was the issue during the regular season?

 

1. It's been real fun. There's a great group in the locker room, so there was no real transition period that way. On the ice, it was interesting, since we never really had any consistency. It was frustrating at times, because I really wanted to make the jump to being above PPG, and I almost made it. Overall though, I have nothing but good things to say. I mean, we're up 2-0 in the Finals for crying out loud!

 

2. It's been amazing. We've finally found our rhythm, after searching all season for some consistency. And it's coming from all corners, with Gabe, Gretz, Petey, Fed and Fors...we've just found the right mix at the perfect time. I think knowing, from about the halfway point of the season, that we were definitely in the playoffs meant we could play around with some different combos, which meant nobody ever really settled in. Now, we've found the right mix, and while we're certainly hot, I think this is definitely a better representation of our team than the regular season was.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/10/2018 at 10:57 PM, Banackock said:

1. Happy you came to Seattle?

 

2. Best part of the year?

 

3. Plans on your future?

 

4. Expectations individually and as a team this up coming season?

 

5. Overall thoughts on the previous year:

 

1. Can't be unhappy if we won the Cup, amirite?

 

2. Obviously winning the Championship. Being able to contribute to that is definitely an awesome feeling, and glad to accomplish it with the group we had last season!

 

3. Play this season in Seattle, then figure things out from there.

 

4. The season's a quarter way through now, but basically I expect to finish above PPG this year. I came close last season, and it really sucked not to reach it. This year, I think I'm one of the top offensive defensemen in the league, so finishing under a PPG would be very disappointing to me. As a team, definitely to repeat.

 

5. Winning is fun. Contributing to winning is funner.

 

On 4/12/2018 at 2:07 PM, hedgehog337 said:

Declining a player option? Why?

Is Seattle still a #1 destination?

But if not? NY?

What do you think about the FA class?

Can Seattle repeat?

 

 

Sorry, pretty late on replying to these, but I'll do my best :P

 

1. Vanity. I want to sign 8 contracts in my career, so even if I plan on sticking with a team, it's only ever going to be on a new contract. Picking up a Player Option isn't a new contract!

 

2. Obviously it turned out that yes, Seattle remained the #1 destination lol. There's a lot of great pieces here and I think the ability to repeat is really high, and would be amazing.

 

3. There were a couple scenarios I thought about, but returning to Seattle was always tops. No point in discussing where else I might have gone now.

 

4. I think it was a good class, but there's rarely good players going to good teams, given the landscape of the league, the teams with room are usually not the teams who are good - Quebec made some solid attemps, and signed Fookie, but they're sitting in 7th place right now, so... I also don't understand how Jacob ended up back on Helsinki when Quebec made the only FA offer for him (and it's my understanding that you can't sign with a team your other player is on, as a Free Agent), but it's not my job to decide on that. ?

 

5. You bet your ass we can!

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  • 2 weeks later...

1. Where do you rank Johnsson among all of your players, and where do you think he'll be by the end of his career?

 

 

2. Who would you say are the three best defensemen in the VHL right now? (Not necessarily the best statistically this season)

 

 

3. Coming into the season, I pegged Seattle as the best regular season team,  but New York and Helsinki both have a decent advantage on you guys. Obviously it's still early, but what chances do you think Seattle has at winning the Victory Cup?

 

 

4. How do you feel about Seattle's future? No one on the current roster is set to retire after this season, and the team holds Toronto's S61 1st which looks to be a guaranteed top three pick. Could the team transition smoothly after players like Gretzky, Federov, and King are gone?

 

 

5. Hypothetically speaking, let's say the Bears win the Cup this season; does that make you more likely to re-sign (to go for the three-peat), or do you think there may be an urge to prove yourself elsewhere as well?

 

 

6. What's going on with the Wranglers?

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On 5/6/2018 at 7:16 AM, street said:

1. Where do you rank Johnsson among all of your players, and where do you think he'll be by the end of his career? 

 

Right now, I'd rank him in a tie with Pogge for 3rd best player. MJ will be my highest TPE player when all's said and done, but his first 2 seasons were pretty crappy stats-wise, and he hasn't had any consistency the past couple seasons. He's not going to come close to the same career as Bailey, who was easily my best player and I feel one of the top 15-20 VHL players of all time (look at me being so humble). I think he'll end up 3rd best actual career, maybe pushing Snelheid for 2nd if he can play with any consistency after I re-rack my TPA.

 

On 5/6/2018 at 7:16 AM, street said:

2. Who would you say are the three best defensemen in the VHL right now? (Not necessarily the best statistically this season) 

 

As annoying as it is, A.A. Ron is pretty clearly dad-dicking the league from a d-man point of view. I'd say Jones is probably my #2, and then any of Rayne, Pablo, Kane and myself could probably lay claim to #3.

 

On 5/6/2018 at 7:16 AM, street said:

3. Coming into the season, I pegged Seattle as the best regular season team,  but New York and Helsinki both have a decent advantage on you guys. Obviously it's still early, but what chances do you think Seattle has at winning the Victory Cup? 

 

Obviously, with 30 games to go, anything can happen. Those 2 teams have created a separation from us, but they've found their chemistry. This year has been a lot like last for us, in that we've had a lot of lineup changes over the course of the season, just trying to find the perfect blend for everyone. If we can find that soon, we definitely have the skill to make up the difference, but the Victory Cup isn't our goal. We're looking to repeat as champs, and the Continental Cup is all we're focused on right now.

 

On 5/6/2018 at 7:16 AM, street said:

4. How do you feel about Seattle's future? No one on the current roster is set to retire after this season, and the team holds Toronto's S61 1st which looks to be a guaranteed top three pick. Could the team transition smoothly after players like Gretzky, Federov, and King are gone? 

 

I think any team's future can change at any minute in this league, for better or worse. It's all about how you prepare yourself for it. Having a top-3 pick is great, but it's about getting the right pieces and making them work. Look at Helsinki, everyone thought they were finished last year, and they made the Finals and are fighting for 1st this season. If the 'cock can get a good piece with that pick, and make the right signings and trades, Seattle's future can be very bright.

 

On 5/6/2018 at 7:16 AM, street said:

5. Hypothetically speaking, let's say the Bears win the Cup this season; does that make you more likely to re-sign (to go for the three-peat), or do you think there may be an urge to prove yourself elsewhere as well? 

 

To this point, I've really only focused on the season and winning another Cup. Going forward, I don't see it playing a large factor in what I decide to do, so much as getting the right fit. I do think MJ can be the top D-man in the league, and (humbleness be damned) improve the chances of contending for any team I sign with. Whether that's here, or elsewhere, I guess we'll find out together!

 

On 5/6/2018 at 7:16 AM, street said:

6. What's going on with the Wranglers? 

 

They've got a ton of depth on D, and Stopko is probably a top 3 tendy right now, but up front Jas is pretty much doing all the heavy lifting over there. I think they're still really young/inexperienced up front. If that youth can keep improving, I don't think they have much to worry about going forward.

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