Name fifteen players who will be on the 2015-2016 roster.
There are two types of players that will be on this roster, the young players who we have drafted and developed and the older players who I signed to contracts and would prefer to move but cannot find any takers for them.
1. Jacob Trouba 2. Mark Scheifele 3. Nicolas Petan 4. Adam Lowry 5. Tobias Enstrom 6. Andrew Ladd 7. Bryan Little 8. Evander Kane 9. Michael Frolik 10. Brendan Kitchon 11. Zach Redmond 12. Eric O`Dell 13. Blake Wheeler 14. Zach Bogosian 15. Alexander Burmistrov
You mention Burmistrov. How much do you think it will take to get him to return to Winnipeg next year? Fans are willing to pay money from their own pockets to bring him back.
I don't think we will need anyone to give us money to bring Burmi back. You do enough of that in the beer line. I think that if we let Olli Jokinen go he will come back, knowing that there is a centre position open for him. I would like to get some skilled players to play with him but that's not exactly my forte. It may make sense for Frolik and him to play together due their defensive prowess but that's ultimately Claude's job.
How many players have you tried to trade for that have a NTC or a NMC and have refused to come to Winnipeg? Has the same happened with free agents?
So far it has been a big hindrance for us. Many free agents don't want to even listen to out offer because it would involve them having to move their families to Winnipeg. Just ask Jeff O'Neill. He's as dialled in as they come as far as media members go. As for trades, pure hockey trades involving to NHL players are rare and we have not found any that have interested us enough to have a team ask a player to waive their no trade to come to Winnipeg.
Does the minimum five day "wine and dine" period help Winnipeg in signing free agents or will there need to be a stronger team on the ice before big name free agents sign in Winnipeg?
I think that the "wine and dine" period will let is show players the good parts of Winnipeg including the schools and nice neighbourhoods. And parks. Don't forget parks. We have not chased any big name free agents yet but I hope that when I go to sign someone in free agency it helps me sign them. I don't think that the strength of the team matters unless the player is over 30 and has not won a Stanley Cup.
There are many critics of Winnipeg that say the Jets will never be able to sign free agents of note. How will you combat this criticism and do you agree with it?
I do think that the criticism is valid as Winnipeg will never have the glamourous side of playing in New York, the weather if you play in Florida or California, or the history and mystique of playing in Montreal. I think that we need all of our current players to buy into the system that our coaches are preaching. They do it some nights and other nights they become unhinged and struggle. We can become a landing spot for big name free agents if we stick to the plan and develop players properly.
You speak often of developing players properly but you have signed numerous players to long term, high dollar contracts with NTC/NMC's. What is the long term plan for the club?
The long term plan is to slowly turn the team over to players like Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele as well as players like Evander Kane and hopefully Alexander Burmistrov. We need veteran players like Little, Ladd, Wheeler, and Enstrom to stabilize young players and guide them as they grow in the NHL.
You have not mentioned Ondrej Pavelec yet. Are you frustrated with his inconsistent play and are you considering buying him out with one of your compliance buyout?
Yes and yes. We signed him to that contract thinking that he would continue to evolve as a goalie and he hasn't. We didn't have a goalie that we could bring up at the time and we were bullied into that contract by Allan Walsh who had a contract for Pavs negotiated in the KHL as well.
Sticking with the theme of players who are frustrating to watch, why are Christ Thorburn and Mark Stuart everyday players?
They are everyday players because they have character and heart. They also play with grit which helps us in the Western Conference.
How are they helping when the team is struggling so much with both them in the lineup?
They bring a more veteran presence to our lineup. I know that we have struggled recently but having them in the lineup helps young guys like Jacob Trouba feel more comfortable jumping up on offense, knowing that Stu's back there ready to cover for him.
In the same vain do you prefer a team that "looks good" or is aesthetically pleasing but loses or are you someone who is results oriented?
Results oriented because if you aren't winning you aren't doing your job. But it is hard to make changes to a team in this league.
You have mentioned having an interest in hockey analytics. How do you use them and where do you get your numbers from?
We use shot quality, you know the data that Pittsburgh used when acquiring James Neal. I find that it ensure we get good quality shooters onto our club.
Would you use statistics like Corsi or Fenwick, which are proxy measurements of possession?
I have heard of those names but I find the data is not telling the whole story and that until there is a catch all statistic for hockey.
You want a catch all statistic even though there are immeasurable parts of hockey like luck?
Yes because I don't want to have to use a whole bunch of different measurements to have to decide if a player is they type of player I want on my team. Numbers are only one part of the game and they do not tell the entire story.
You are correct there. There is a one member of this site, Garret, who would be willing to work with those numbers and interpret them for you. Why don't you hire him, or someone like him, to do that for you so you can work search for players whose character you like?
I find that many internet stats men are not reputed enough for an NHL team to hire. I have people that I trust and will continue to rely on when it comes to signing players. That is why we have scouts.
So you would never hire someone to tell you if your eyes are deceiving you and a different player would help your team more?
When explained that way hiring someone to handle analytics is something I will explore, only because I do not have to listen to anyone like they speak the gospel.
A few fun questions that have nothing to do with hockey.
What do you think of the new Beyonce album?
I love it. The release was a beautiful surprise that became a great stocking stuffer for my daughter Alexis. The variation in song type is a lot of fun.
Are you Captain America's archenemy, Red Skull, dressed up as an NHL GM?
No, but that would be an excellent idea for a Hallowe'en costume.
Thanks for your time.
Thank you for talking with me.