The Silvertips did indeed introduce Garry Davidson as their new general manager at today’s press conference. Davidson was the Portland Winterhawks’ director of player personnel the past four years. Before that he spent seven seasons as the owner, GM and sometimes head coach of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL.
With Portland, Davidson’s primary role was managing the team’s 50-player protected list. That involved scouting players, both bantam-age players for the draft and older players for listing. It also involved recruiting those players, and Portland has been very successful at landing players who may have been NCAA bound.
A few brief notes from the press conference before I start transcribing audio tape (meaning I may not remember everything right away, so this post may be updated later this evening):
– The 60-year-old Davidson’s contract is “multi-year.” That’s as specific as the team would get.
– Tips president Gary Gelinas said he had Davidson picked out for a while, meaning before Doug Soetaert was fired two weeks ago. Gelinas and Davidson were familiar with one another when they were both owners in the BCHL at the same time.
– Gelinas made a point of saying that the organization is being restructured so that Davidson will be able to focus fully on the hockey operations side, and that assistant GM Zoran Rajcic will handle the business side. That’s largely how things were handled previously, but I guess this now makes it official.
– Both Gelinas and Davidson said they were happy with Mark Ferner as the head coach. Indeed, Gelinas said one of the requirements for the new GM was someone who could work with Ferner.
– Get ready to see a different style of play in the coming years. Davidson said the No. 1 thing he looks for in a player is speed, and the No. 2 thing he looks for is skill. That makes sense, given it pretty much sums up Portland’s team to a T. Those weren’t necessarily the top priorities under Soetaert, who liked to emphasize work ethic. From my discussions with Ferner, I suspect he’ll be on board with the speed/skill thing.
– Davidson is fully aware of the name Seth Jones, bringing him up without prompting.
– Davidson’s first game in charge of Everett is Friday, when the Tips play host to Portland. Appropriate, or ironic? Anyway, since the trade deadline is past, Davidson will be spending the remaining month of the the season evaluating what the Tips have.