So, our fearless leader went on Bob McCown's show on Fan 590 in Toronto yesterday (listen here) for an interview. Let's consider some of what he had to say...
- First he reiterated his belief that Murray and Clouston are the best two people to have in place for the rest of the season, being as it is that they know the personnel better than anyone else out there.
- In response to a question about Murray's statement that the team only needs a few changes befoer it can be competitive again, Melnyk said first off that he believes that quote was taken out of context. He went on to say that "we're stepping into what everyone in the hockey world would term a 'building process'. And, I can tell you what we're not going to do is try to patch things together to try to make the playoffs to hopefully make people happy for a round or two."
- Sounds ok so far, right? Well, then McCown asked him about the trendy philosophy at the moment of stripping teams down almost completely, in order to rebuild them to the point of contending for a Cup. Melnyk expressed skepticism about that. "That's where you're sitting. In our world, in our team we have a core group of -- first of all -- some really good, good guys. Number two, we have a great pipeline of players coming. I've got 10-12 guys next year that are brand-new, fresh faces that can come to the ice. You know, you look at guys like Lehner, Butler, those guys. I mean, these guys are going to be elite players. (...) There's a very big difference between where some other teams are, where they have to strip apart the team and say, you know, we've really gotta start fresh. That's not where we are. But we're certainly not in a patch mode either. We need some major overhauls, and it's going to happen, and I think you're gonna see actions speak a lot louder than words."
I have to say, his constant back-and-forthing worries me. Butler an elite player? I love the guy's passion, but I do think he gets way too invested in his guys. He said something later on in the interview about how careful veteran hockey observers are about getting too high on any team or player, or getting too low on any team or player, and I think he'd do well to follow their example.