Hes on 620 now, i'll try to keep you posted.
-How hard was it to leave?
Been thinking about it for a couple of years now to run a team, very emotional, but very excited.
-Detroit was great to you, interesting being with a different club now
Love detroit, amazing fanbase, owe so much to them, I hope i'm still loved and welcomed there in the future even if i'm with the Lightning. Had to make a difficult decision to move on, to grow, to have new challenges, very thankful to Jeff Vinik for thinking so highly of him and giving him the opportunity.
-Have to build the bolts to yours/Jeffs liking, what will be the diff with this compared to say, the olympic team
Completely different process, much more restrictive, no luxury of picking a guy with the right passport - emphasis on scouting, drafting, and proper development. Speaks of Boyle/Richards/Marty/Vinny, took time for them to come together, going to give the kids the right environment to grow and be successful, and also will work with the veterans to keep them excited, hungry, committed.
-Feel good with Vinik giving you all the tools (personnel, financials) to built how you see fit?
That was my deciding factor, he is prepared to do everything that is necessary to build a championship winning organization on ice, and off ice, an organization that families and cities can be proud of.
-When looking for a coach, said you wanted to get experience, do you talk with the players or do you have someone in mind and will skip player input.
Not going to take player input on the coach, its up to myself and the staff around me to get the right guy to put in place, players are professionals and (my interpretation) will adapt to whoever is behind the bench. Wants a guy that has... said NHL but retracted... wants a guy that has head coaching experience, talking about HC's that aren't in the NHL (very interesting). Only the first day so obviously I don't have any answers yet.
-Head coach by draft?
July 1 in FA season, ideally you have a guy in place by that point, if not, not the end of the world. Hire a coach to coach the team, UFA/drafting will take his input but more front office than anything else.
-Seen bolts, seen org, seen core players, do you have confidence to build around
Small core of proven veterans, extremely talented; small core of youngsters that are incredible talents like Stamkos, Hedman, Downie, Ashton (who he seems to be high on). Key is surrounding all of them with the right people, vets and youngsters, to help push all of them properly. Wants to do things today to make the team better now, but not losing focus for the long term of being a competitive team for years to come.
-If org is committed to winning, fans will come back.
Thats understandable and already known, we need to draft, develop, and grow together as fans/organization/players, and with that foundation, we'll be a winner and those fans will return like they were in the early 2000s. Must draft well, must scout well (I love this, btw). Astute fan knows there is hope in the future right now and with the proper scouting/development, this will continue and will be a bright spot.
Quick recap from me, was trying to keep up during the interviews.