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Matt Thompson Press Conference


Beketov
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Sokolov walks up to the podium and stares out into the crowd. He taps on the microphone and proclaims, “alright, lets do this thing.”

 

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Week of: Feb 12-18

 

Questions Asked: Mats Johnsson (x3) / Aleksei Federov (x2) 

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22 hours ago, Quik said:

What do you think of @DollarAndADream's move to acquire a pair of veteran players? Do you think it sacrifices too much of Toronto's future?

 

That really depends how you look at things. Realistically it does give up a lot in the way of the Legion’s future which is unfortunate for our development. We got a few later round picks but those aren’t likely to account for much. However we want to push for a cup this season while our core can still manage it. We believe that it’s now or never so if acquiring those players is the way to go then I agree with the decision.

 

18 hours ago, Will said:

Will the Riga Reign continue to terrorize the league this season?

 

Yes and no. Obviously the Reign are still a top-tier team and I expect that they will be heavily favoured to pull off the near-impossible 3-peat. Especially when you consider that they managed to add some depth with Reinholt and still keep their core of players intact. The Riga roster is honestly scary right now. We’re hoping our roster in Toronto can take them down though.

 

13 hours ago, Banackock said:

Are you happy to have Sokolov extended with Toronto? Furthering, if not Toronto, who were you wanting to go to?

 

I am. Going into the off-season I had told management that I would be headed off to Free Agency; however with the moves made to bring in Yu and Jokinen I saw an opening to potentially bring home the cup this season with the team I have played on my entire career. That seemed like an opportunity that I simply couldn’t pass up. As for where I was wanting to go; I honestly don’t have an answer for that. I had no specific destination in mind headed toward Free Agency; I was just going to play it by ear and see which teams had an interest in me. On paper, without looking if I even could have fit cap wise, NY and Riga were both looking like great destinations. Again though, I’m happy to be in Toronto.

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Was the position switch something you always contemplated, or was it something solely to help your team in its quest for the Cup?

 

You are close with former VHL goaltender, Jakab Holik. Do you think he belongs in the Hall of Fame?

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On 2018-02-19 at 2:41 PM, Quik said:

Was the position switch something you always contemplated, or was it something solely to help your team in its quest for the Cup?

 

A bit of both. The Beketov agency has never had a defenseman so I was already a bit of an outlier. I knew from a get-go that switching over to forward was always going to be an option for me. Considering I’ve been nominated for top defenseman nearly every season, if not every season, but have never won it I figured it might be time to try my luck at a different position. Considering how well Pablo played last season and with the team bringing in Jokinen to boot I knew that we would be okay on defense so helping out on offense just made sense.

 

On 2018-02-19 at 2:41 PM, Quik said:

You are close with former VHL goaltender, Jakab Holik. Do you think he belongs in the Hall of Fame?

 

It’s very hard to say. Normally his stats would be enough to get the job done for sure; especially with him being second all time in Shutouts (both career and in 1 season) and pretty high up in S% and GAA. However one’s award cabinet also needs to be taken into consideration. Sadly I think this is what might keep Jakab out of the hall. With only 1 Shaw and no cups his hardware is definitely lacking. I would love to see him go into the hall because I know he had a great career but as of right now I’m not sure if he will be able to make it or not.

 

On 2018-02-20 at 11:26 AM, DollarAndADream said:

Roman Sokolov has switched to the forward position. What are your expectations for him next season, and where would you ballpark him point-wise?

 

Well I’m on pace right now for 180 right? So clearly that’s what I’m aiming for! I kid, obviously I know I’m going to slow down but 5 points in my first two games as a forward (games against Seattle and Riga I might add) definitely has me feeling good going into the season. As far as expectations go I’m not sure sure but I’m hoping to be at least top ten in scoring if not top 5. We’re a strong team this season and I hope to be a big part of our offense. Ballpark wise on points I’m thinking somewhere around 110 or above would be good.

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On February 27, 2018 at 11:30 AM, DollarAndADream said:

The Legion have seemed to have somewhat of a rough start. Although, over the past couple of sims, they have climbed into 3rd in the VHL. What are your thoughts on what has happened so far for our team? What has been the issue?

 

I believe we're now in second because this is a little out of date. In any case, I believe that we had a bit of a rough patch to start the season but we're definitely finding our own. It likely boils down to jut not having the line and strategy chemistry that was needed with a lot of old faces gone and a lot of new faces joining the team. However, I think the league parity in general this season is very strong and we simply assumed that we would get some easy wins against teams that are definitely holding their own. It's okay to think you're going to win but it's dangerous to think you can't lose. We've won our last 6 games and we're within a point of 1st place so things are definitely turning around.

 

On February 27, 2018 at 11:30 AM, DollarAndADream said:

The New York Americans hold down the top spot in the VHL, and have only lost once in regulation at the time I ask this question. Do you expect them to hold down #1, or do you see Toronto/Seattle/Riga climbing over them?

 

They are definitely surprising a lot of people. I've been predicting for the past 2 seasons that NY was pushing to compete hard but I was expecting it to come next season not this season so that was a bit of a surprise. I do think they are going to slow down and be over-taken by Toronto but I've definitely been surprised before so it's an interesting story to look at either way.

 

On February 27, 2018 at 11:30 AM, DollarAndADream said:

Sokolov is currently the team's leading point producer with 18 points. Are you surprised?

 

Oh boy is that never not the case anymore as I have now plummeted down to 6th in team scoring and almost dropped lower than 1 PPG. I think the fact that I was leading the team was more surprising simply because of lack of ability to keep anything going. As you well know, as well as anyone else that has paid attention, I somehow suffer from the "Sokolov Slump" every season. Wherein I start off very hot and then immediately turn ice cold for no reason as far as I can tell. For some reason I just can't score right now. I am glad to see my teammates picking up the slack and I'll certainly take wins over points but it's frustrating. Especially after moving to forward and changing my training regiment so much; I was really hoping it would break this curse I seemingly have and that doesn't seem to be the case.

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5 hours ago, DollarAndADream said:

Your very own Toronto Legion are currently holding down the top spot in the VHL. What has surprised you so far in the VHL race?

 

The main surprises for me aren't so much the Legion doing well as much as it is New York and Riga doing very well and very terrible respectively. I've been saying for a couple of seasons now that NY is set up to become very scary very soon but I wasn't expecting it to be so soon. They are right up our asses in the standings and are looking VERY good this season. Riga, on the other hand, I think most people expected to continue to be good this season and maybe even 3-peat but so far that doesn't seem to be the case since they are currently sitting outside a playoff spot. Thats the major surprise for me, I was really expecting them to be a challenge this season.

 

5 hours ago, DollarAndADream said:

Has any single player surprised you so far this season? There have been a lot of great producers flourishing, with some big improvements so far.

 

As odd as it sounds, Cornerstone. Obviously he's been a great player his entire career and I never really expected him to be a shitty player. However I wasn't expecting near the kind of performance he's having; especially with so little help with Helsinki. I guess the lack of other great forwards on the team might be what's actually pumping his numbers up but I was really expecting his numbers to go down a bit this season with the depth of the team taking a hit. So far though he is surprising me to say the least. He's really putting forth insane numbers. I'm also really surprised by Boeser this season. I know he's been a bit hit or miss most seasons but he is really coming into his own this year which is great to see for us in Toronto.

 

5 hours ago, DollarAndADream said:

Rhett DeGrath and Franchise Cornerstone seem to be somewhat running away with the MVP trophy. If it came down to it, which of these names would you expect to win MVP?

 

Even though Cornerstone is surprising me a lot, he's not an MVP over DeGrath in my opinion. Not that he wouldn't be my second choice, he probably would be, but at the end of the day DeGrath is the reason New York is pushing for the Victory Cup; it's as simple as that. Cornerstone might be stealing a few games for his team but DeGrath is stealing most games for his team, simple as that. New York I don't believe has any scorers in the top 15 but they are only a few points back from first place. That comes down big time to their goalie so if I voted on it today, I would be voting DeGrath.

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What advice would you give a young player trying to find his way in the league?

What separates Toronto from other teams in the league?

Who is your favourite line mate you have ever had?

Who is your least favourite line mate ever?

Name a player you wish you could play with.

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On 2018-03-09 at 6:20 PM, Dangles13 said:

What advice would you give a young player trying to find his way in the league?

Try to emulate the greats that have come before you. It sounds odd but seeing what has worked in the past is a great way to evaluate what will work in the future. In addition, put yourself out there and get as much done as you possibly can. Not only will it help you gain more training but it will help get your name out to the general managers of the league. Agencies hold a lot of weight here to the point that a good agency can trump a good season when it comes to drafting. You want GM’s to know your a sure thing.

 

On 2018-03-09 at 6:20 PM, Dangles13 said:

What separates Toronto from other teams in the league?

At the moment, our depth of scoring. Toronto has 4 out of the top 10 spots in points, scoring, and assists. While we may not be first in any of the categories, we are present in all of them more-so than any other team. If any one of us has a bad game and drops the ball there are several other players ready to pick up the slack. I believe that’s the reason we have both the highest GF and the highest goal differential.

 

On 2018-03-09 at 6:20 PM, Dangles13 said:

Name a player you wish you could play with.

John Locke. I know the Draper agency very well and his abilities with the puck are near impossible to deny. As much as I have enjoyed spending my career in Toronto there’s no doubt in my mind that it has resulted in me missing out on playing with some of the players in the league that I would most like to have as linemates. Locke often ends up very high on that list.

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1. What's the most important attribute in the sim, in your opinion?

2. 7 game series. Toronto vs. New York. Be honest, who takes it?

3. If you could place the 8 franchises in 8 North American cities, which would you pick?

4. Same question, but with the six VHLM franchises. Pick 6 NA cities.

5. What makes the VHL special? There are plenty of leagues out there.

Edited by MWHazard
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On 2018-03-18 at 7:54 PM, MWHazard said:

What's the most important attribute in the sim, in your opinion?

Depends on the position but generally scoring and skating are the first two you should heavily focus on. Defense is actually a surprising one most people don’t think about though. Not sure exactly what it does but I know you want it decent high. Max scoring and skating with puck handling and defense at 90 and you’re in great shape.

 

On 2018-03-18 at 7:54 PM, MWHazard said:

7 game series. Toronto vs. New York. Be honest, who takes it?

Honestly, Toronto in my opinion. We’ve proven we can beat NY several times in the regular season and I’m confident our depth could do the same in the playoffs. New York is a good team, don’t get me wrong, they have put up one hell of a fight, but unless Ironside shits the bed or we completely forget how to score I’m confident in Toronto’s ability to defeat anyone.

 

On 2018-03-18 at 7:54 PM, MWHazard said:

If you could place the 8 franchises in 8 North American cities, which would you pick?

I’m not sure where I would move each team individually but I know that the cities I would want to see would likely be Halifax for sure because I think having an Atlantic Canadian team would be amazing. After that probably Vancouver and Boston because they are such big hockey markets that the VHL has thus far ignored.

 

On 2018-03-18 at 7:54 PM, MWHazard said:

Same question, but with the six VHLM franchises. Pick 6 NA cities.

Well the only city I would have to move for 6 in the VHLM would be Oslo. I think for them it would be interesting to have a team in LA. Might not necessarily make sense for a VHLM team in such a big city but that’s alright, I think it could be fun.

 

On 2018-03-18 at 7:54 PM, MWHazard said:

What makes the VHL special? There are plenty of leagues out there.

Longevity. We’ve been around so long that you know what you’re getting yourself into when you step into the VHL. For some this is a downside, they believe we never change (untrue) but I deem it a positive purely because you know that the consistency and the quality has been here for so long that it’s obviously not going away anytime soon.

 

On 2018-03-20 at 10:55 AM, DollarAndADream said:

The playoffs have been clinched! Which VHL team do you not want to play against in the post-season?

Honestly any of the teams that made the post-season are a threat in my opinion. The league was very split this season between the obvious playoff teams and the obvious no playoff teams. I think any of the teams that made it could be a legitimate threat. With that said, I would ideally not like to face Riga. Not that we had a ton of trouble with them in the regular season or anything but the fact that they are going for the three-peat means they are playing with a fire that few teams will be able to match up against.

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Mr. Thompson,

1.) What made you choose the Yukon Rush as your VHLM team this season?

2.) Are the Rush a shoe-in for the Cup Championship or does another team have a shot for the upset?

3.) What sort of player to you envision yourself becoming?

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On 2018-03-28 at 2:33 AM, omgitshim said:

What made you choose the Yukon Rush as your VHLM team this season?

Honest answer: I wanted the cup. It sounds selfish but I’m being honest, Yukon looked to have the best chance so I was going to take it. I only expect to have maybe to shots at the Founder’s Cup with only one being my choice of destination so I’m going to make sure I jump on it.

 

On 2018-03-28 at 2:33 AM, omgitshim said:

Are the Rush a shoe-in for the Cup Championship or does another team have a shot for the upset?

I would never say any team is a shoe-in. Anything can happen in the playoffs. While our regular season was pretty dominant there’s no denying that the playoffs are a different beast so we’re just taking things one day at a time. It’s good to think you’re going to win; it’s dangerous to think you can’t lose. So I’m going in thinking that everyone has a chance.

 

On 2018-03-28 at 2:33 AM, omgitshim said:

What sort of player to you envision yourself becoming?

I intend on being a sniper, that’s what I have always been growing up. However sometimes plans don’t work out that way in the VHL. My agent Mr. Beketov was always a sniper and now has the assist award named after him so you never know what can happen in the VHL.

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How do you see this player working out compared to your past ones?

 

If you could give one piece of advice to a new VHL member what would it be?

 

After being around here for such a long time, is there anything that you still really want to achieve with one of players that you haven't yet?

 

If you could make one change to the league what would it be?

 

Finally, any doubts about the Rush's chances at the cup?

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How come you didn't tell me we were prospects together?! That's fun

 

You're a VHL pros pro, what's the best advice you'd give a newb like myself?


You catch my boy's OT goal sending our series to Game 6? 

What's one of your favorite memories here in the VHL?

 

Who is the VHL's Shinsuke Nakamura?
 

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