Sharks President/CEO Greg Jamison interviewed on CSNBA’s Chronicle Live

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Friday, June 11, 2010 - Save & Share - One Comment

San Jose Sharks president CEO Greg Jamison interviewed on CSNBA Chronicle Live

San Jose Sharks President/CEO Greg Jamison was a guest on CSNBA’s Chronicle Live program hosted by Greg Papa on Thursday. The opening segment featured Jamison covering topics from conference and divisional realignment in the West, a reaction to the Stanley Cup Championship won by the Chicago Blackhawks, an update and a timetable on where the Sharks stand with their unrestricted and restricted free agents, and several other topics.

A partial transcript of the interview:

[Q] Chicago is not in the Western United States, is there a way to move to the Eastern Conference of the NHL?

[A] Every year there is someone new and a different team. You have to remember Detroit. At least Chicago is in the Central time zone. Detroit is in the Eastern time zone. That really makes it unusual. We are in the Pacific Division, and Dallas is in the Pacific Division. Believe me, we don’t want Dallas in the Pacific Division, and they don’t want to be there. I would assume if we ever added a team or two, you would probably see a change there. It is not going to happen this summer. I can guarantee you that.

[Q] What was your reaction watching Jonathan Toews lift the cup last night, then hand it over to Marian Hossa? Do you guys have to build your roster now to beat a Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, and Dustin Byfuglien… are the Blackhawks a team you need to find a way to beat?

[A] We didn’t beat the Blackhawks in the playoffs, so yes we need to beat the Blackhawks. I don’t know that we have to reengineer or redesign our team. I think we built our team to the best of its capability. A couple of years ago you would have said we need to build our team like the Detroit Red Wings. We beat the Red Wings in 5 games. The games were very close. If you look at the games with the Blackhawks and the games with the Red Wings, the similarities were unbelievable. In the Red Wings case, the games went our way, especially that third game where Marleau buried that shot in overtime. You look at the third game in Chicago, in that game Byfuglien came in the middle and buried that shot. The similarities were there. They were close games. We didn’t get any, that is disappointing. Hats off to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Stanley Cup, it is very hard to do. We are not going to give up, we are already right back at it. We are already talking about next year. We are going to build the best team we can… and do the right thing at the right time.

[Q] Three weeks from now is the first of July, and the free agents will hit the market. In the interim, could you sign your own free agents? Could you sign Patrick Marleau or Evgeni Nabokov to contracts right now, or do you have to wait until the first of July?

[A] We can sign them. It comes down to the decisions and the conversations that go on. That is what is going on right now. We are having an analysis with the coaches, analysis and individual meetings with the players, the hockey staff, there are a lot of people that will enter into these conversations. Then we will begin to formulate a strategy going forward. We have both unrestricted and restricted free agents, and we have the capability of putting a deal together with them now.

[Q] The salary cap figure, right now about $56 million. You are on the NHL Board of Govenors, as I mentioned earlier. It is going to go up to $58 million dollars, is that accurate?

[A] That is what (NHL Commissioner) Gary Bettman announced the other day. I don’t know if it is for sure yet, but I think it is probably awfully close. It is based on revenues, it based on a percentage with the player salaries, etc. That is where we are headed. It looks like that is the number that would be established. From that point we need to make the decision about what kind of team we are going to put together. Again as I said earlier, and I emphasize this, Doug (Wilson) does as well, we always feel can try to do the right thing at the right time in regards to our player payroll. We always put together a team we think is competitive and can compete for the Stanley Cup. That is the same thing we will do this year. Whatever those dollars come to, that is what it will be. It has yet to be determined, but I can tell you we work very hard at it. The analysis that is put together, and the plan of attack, I think will be very good. We will go after it, and our goal is to win a Stanley Cup in 2010-11.

[Q] Are you going to have the wherewithall to save a few million dollars for the trade deadline in February, or are you going to be a cap team and take it all the way to $58 million and bring your players back?

[A] I think that is speculation right now, we are still talking about that. When I say we are a player payroll team, what I mean by that is you do have to look at the entire season. Sometimes how you went into a season is not how you end a season. Last year we didn’t get Dany Heatley done until literally the first day of training camp. I think that took a lot of the summer to come together, but it was worth waiting on. Those decisions will be made this summer before July 1st, sometimes on July 1st, and many times after July 1st. How we build it, and how much money we spend at a certain time is yet to be determined, sometimes it is what the market dictates. What players we decide to go with and go forward with, or what players we get done in regards to salaries, then we will step forward and say are we going to spend to this salary here, are we going to save some, what is the trading deadline look like, how are some of these players going to evolve. When I say complicated, I am not trying to say it is so complicated it can’t be done, but I think there is a system you have to put into play. I think Doug (Wilson) and his group have done a very good job of doing that over the years.

The conference and division realignment question was a bizarre one from Papa, but it yielded a rather interesting answer in Dallas and Detroit. Not mentioned was the league ownership of Pacific Division member Phoenix, and what the impact would be if a sale to keep the Coyotes in Arizona fell through. Papa wasted time with questions on the increase in the salary cap and on a West Coast version of the very successful Winter Classic, but Jamison proffered interesting answers nonetheless.

His answer on a question about roster and salary speculation was a little more difficult to decipher, but in the past the Sharks organization has put in place players caps. Owen Nolan was a cap on salaries at one point, maybe Joe Thornton is another. Production, seniority and performance all have played a role in what the Sharks have offered players in the past.

There was a lot of wiggle room and ambiguity in Jamison’s answer, and fans and media covering the team still have no idea what the summer holds. One thing is certain, with 2 of the top 3 unrestricted free agents on the market under a Sharks contract until July 1st, San Jose could again be the eye of the NHL media storm.

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One Response to “Sharks President/CEO Greg Jamison interviewed on CSNBA’s Chronicle Live”

Pingback from Shark Notes – June 14th » SHARKSPAGE
Time June 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM

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