The long-awaited interview with the GM of the Ottawa Senators following the inaugural BEARD Hockey Dispersal Draft.
Don McKenzie of the Sports Network sat down with Ottawa Senators GM Mike Bell to ask him about his thoughts on how the Dispersal Draft went and the plan ahead for the first ever season of BEARD Hockey.
Don McKenzie: Mr. Bell, describe the feeling of building a new team in a very competitive market, especially being in the capital of Canada.
Mike Bell: Well Don, it's first and foremost an honor to GM a BEARD Hockey team, let alone the team from my home town! We had a specific plan in building this team: a mixture of youth and veterans with a solid defensive core, disciplined, with a number one goalie to carry this team.
We are extremely happy with the team we built. We achieved every aspect of the plan, and we think we have a competitive team who could go all the way this year and will be competitive for the years to come.
Don McKenzie: Break down for us the picks you made and why you made them.
Mike Bell: We wanted a disciplined team and this we achieved all across the board. With our first pick, fifth overall, we were extremely happy to get Jack Eichel. He's a 23 year old scoring machine who can control the play at both ends of the ice and will be relied upon heavily for the success of this team.
We then decided to solidify our defensive core by bringing a good mix of young in Aaron Ekblad at only 24 years of age, and veterans like past Norris trophy winner Drew Doughty, Scott Mayfield and Justin Faulk. They can mentor the likes of Victor Mete and Mirco Mueller.
Nicklas Backstrom is one of the top passers in the league, and should give ample chances to the likes of Anthony Duclair, Brendan Gallagher, and Brayden Schenn to score this year. Great teams need a number one goalie and Jakub Markstrom will complete this role perfectly.
Note: Gallagher and Mete have since been dealt, with Brandon Carlo and Jordan Eberle coming to the Sens.
Don McKenzie: Are you satisfied or are you looking to move players to better the team?
Mike Bell: We are very satisfied with our team! Now, that doesn't mean no moves will be made - we are always looking at improving the team. If we see an opportunity, we will move on it. I have been known to go big in my dealings. What can I say...I like blockbuster deals! We will have to see how the preseason shapes up.
Here it is - an in depth look into the beginning of what might and should be a very good season for the Ottawa Senators and GM Mike Bell.