Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Interview with Stuttgart GM, Josh Deitell

1. what is your most exciting hockey memory? Your earliest hockey memory?

They're one and the same for me. I went to Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals where the Kings, after their upset of the Red Wings in the first round, were down 3 games to 2 against the heavily favored Colorado Avalanche. I was in the last row at Staples' Center and the game ended up going to double overtime as a 0-0 tie, it was an incredible goaltending duel between Felix Potvin and Patrick Roy. Finally, Glen Murray took a slapshot from the point on a rush and while Roy made the initial save, it trickled behind him and before it even crossed the line, the place erupted. I'll never forget it.

2. You're Gary Bettman for a day. Which current NHL teams, if any, do you relocate? Where to?

I've always thought Minnesota could support two hockey teams, and I think Canada could manage a few more. I'd move the Islanders (New York would still have two teams, and there'd be another in the same city), Coyotes (they've got some good fans but not enough to financially support a team), and the Blue Jackets (ditto Phoenix). Some of the teams in the South could be candidates to move as well.

3. Why Stuttgart? Do you have any connections to Germany or are you just a fan of the name (it's awesome by the way).

Three of my friends and I took a trip to Europe two summers ago and while we were in Munich, we ended up drinking with a soccer team from Stuttgart. They were really friendly and ended up inviting us back to their hometown, Herrenberg (which is just outside of Stuttgart). They housed us and fed us food and beer and just showed us an all around good time, so I remember Germany, and especially Stuttgart, very fondly. The Stuttgart Scorpions are actually an American Football team over there.

4. Tell us a bit about your fantasy hockey experience. Any championships or particularly fond seasons?

This is really my first year keeping track of my team throughout the season. Unfortunately, I've been in leagues where all the managers bail halfway through, and that makes it hard to maintain my own team when there's really no competition. I did play a lot of Eastside Hockey Manager 2005.

5. Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, Pavel Bure (all in their prime) and Alex Ovechkin in a fastest skater competition. Who takes the cake?

Kariya in his prime was one of the quickest players I've ever seen, and Ovechkin and Selanne both have an intimidating shot/speed combination, but nobody can match Panthers era Pavel Bure at full stride.

6. It's early, but take your best stab at a Cup prediction. Who will come out of the East and West?

My East pick is New Jersey, my West pick is Chicago.

7. Do you have a message for your new fan base in Stuttgart? What brand of hockey should they expect this year and in the future?

I'm not going to sugarcoat anything, I'm blowing it up and rebuilding, but this will be a competitive team next year, you can count on that. I like run-and-gun hockey that involves the point men and depends on turnovers to create outnumbered attacks. This is going to be a smart, gritty team with guys who aren't afraid to get creative in the offensive zone.

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