Meric "Schmeric" Wolfman gives us some 'unique' insight into Nashville's Dispersal Draft, GM Scott Davidson, and the future of the Predators.
Hello all you BEARD League fans!
I am Meric “Schmeric" Wolfman reporting live from the depths of my parents basement, in a bunker in Nashville. I am happy to be back reporting on sim hockey once again, this time as the beat writer for the Predators!
Now as BEARD is still in its early days, we are going to breakdown how the initial Dispersal Draft went and hope to get some insight into the plans moving forward as we sit down with the legend, Scott Davidson.
Now as you are aware he can be a bit tough on media members...but I’m sure as I am a respected journalist, Scott will be more than happy to share.
Now many GM's have questioned the confidence in this Predators roster and whether they truly are contenders. Here comes Mr. Davidson now, so let’s get into it!
(The following is transcribed from audio recorded by Mr. Wolfman, who apparently used a cassette tape and recorder - so any loss in translation is solely on him)
Good day to you Scott and welcome to our first interview of many th----
“I would greatly appreciate that you call me MR. Davidson, I believe I’ve earned that title and I don’t know you from a bologna sandwich.”
My apologies MR. Davidson. Congratulations on your Dispersal Draft. I enjoyed the selections and love the confidence you have in your roster. Can you tell me a bit about your strategies?
“Get the best players available. Pretty simple really.”
Okay Mr. Davidson, but you must have used some categories in what made you feel were the best players?
“Let me give you something so you aren’t living in your parents basement the rest of your life. I have spent many years in sim hockey. I’ve won championships in various leagues and I’ve only this year in another league entered my first ever rebuild. I’m a winner, that’s what I do. However, I’ve struggled lately to win the Finals. Presidents Trophies are one thing, but I’ve had trouble winning it all in the playoffs lately. I’ve taken those loses and used the information to assemble this team.”
“Well, I used to win having an amazing defence and got by with veteran forwards in the past. The last number of years I’ve used the same strategy, and while I have had fantastic regular seasons, my playoffs have not been as successful. Over and over again I saw my Hall of Fame defenses fall short while offensively-charged teams have pulled it out in the playoffs."
"My strategy here was to go different than my typically defensive minded teams and make that push to a championship.”
So what stats were you looking in your selections?
“I wanted to build down the middle as a priority and with higher-scoring rated wingers. Scoring, defense, potential, and skating were my main target stats. I had an awful time going back and forth when I took Couturier. I wanted Bergeron so very bad but Couturier is virtually the same player but younger and locked in longer."
"I was floored to be able to also get Bergeron 54 picks later. To me there is no other team that has what I do down the middle which is face-off domination as well as two of the best 200-foot centers in the league who also can carry the offense."
"I had a budget in my mind. Not specific amounts and didn’t assign amounts to anything in advance. I kept track though and didn’t want to under spend on the top six, so if I was going too high in my mind I would select a bargain. A player like Victor Arvidsson did that for me. He has a lower overall skill level, but very high scoring rating as well as high potential, but only makes $2 million for the next four years.”
Now there was an article written by an anonymous person regarding the draft a few weeks ago that specifically mentions Arvidsson as a bad pick…
“Why would anyone read that trash? Why write it if you won’t put your name on it? Clearly, it was an uneducated person who didn’t look closely enough past the overall rating. At $2 million with his scoring ability matched with high potential, that is gonna be a superb pick. He was almost selected a round earlier even as I was worried that he would get picked. Clearly the road to the cup with these GM's around should be even easier than anticipated."
Well Mr. Davidson, there are GM's also questioning the lack of attention on defense and in net.
“Who’s questioning it? HAHAH…Aaron Sanderson? Pfft….what has he ever done…..please…I heard a few of them chattering. The sim is all about goalies getting hot at the right time. There is no need to spend huge dollars in net. I’ve been there and it isn’t worth it. All you need is good enough. My defense is plenty good as well. OEL is a number 1 guy and Fowler and Edmundson can do the job. Gryz and Clifton can also be top 4 guys."
"Honestly I could use one more. However, defensemen are easier to trade for than scoring so that will get done. Defense for me is a five-man unit. Couturier, Bergeron, Paquette, and Hyman bring defense to all four of my lines.”
What are you lacking then with this team?
“Nothing. Maybe a defenseman, but that is an easy fix. The wings are stocked with scoring with Laine, Domi (another massive bargain of a contract), Tarasenko, Atkinson, Arvidsson, and Hyman. Depth at center and face-off domination with Bergeron, Couturier, Krejci, and Thornton. I have veteran leadership and physicality with Lucic, Paquette, and Hyman."
"The fourth line is one I love. Thornton, Lucic, and Paquette and are guys we can trust. The coaching staff is solid with Rick Tocchet leading the franchise and the farm development led by Sheldon Keefe. Sheldon has a great first line in there to develop in Anders Bjork, Colin White and Ondrej Kase. These three are destined to be pro Predators as early as next year.”
You have been very quiet on the trade front finally making a minor deal today, Why?
“My draft went as planned and I executed perfectly my plan. I have no pressing needs and still have my prospects and picks to trade when I feel time is right to add a defenseman. I retained enough cap space to do that without removing any roster players. I’m a guy who loves to trade, but with no need too, I choose my spot. Honestly, aside from the few who questioned my defense and goalie, I have had three GM's contact me directly commending me on the roster I have assembled. That’s not only honorable and respectful but also very impressive for them to reach out to me so...I really appreciate it.”
Well Mr. Davidson I feel this interview, the first of many we will share was productive, so thank you.
“Shut up. Let’s just get the puck on the ice and see if we can get you out of your parents' basement in the near future.”
Well folks, this is Meric “Schmeric" Wolfman reporting live from Nashville. I’ll be following the draft that Nashville puts together and we will break it down for you here in the coming weeks.