Recapping Day 1 Post Skate Interviews, Brian Gionta Possibilities

The first day of training camp is history and nothing happened on the ice that would’ve made one player stand out or cringe about. The on ice session was standard skating and passing drills that every hockey team works on from the youngest ages on up just to get everyone moving. The interviews were posted to the Rochester Americans YouTube channel, I went through and summarized them. Scroll to the bottom to watch them all.

One thing I found interesting was that it seems like players don’t really know the history of the teams in the AHL. I mean, they’re only 20 and unless you grow up in an AHL city the history of the league is not that well known if you aren’t a die hard hockey nut so we can’t hold it against them. Hopefully it’s something guys like Paetsch and Taylor can educate them on as they mature and develop to build that sense of pride for where they’re playing.

Brian Gionta was in the building and Randy Sexton confirmed that they did have a meeting. He’ll be a serious candidate for the US Olympic team. Was an exploratory meeting about about what he’s up to, his thoughts, his focus, anything the Amerks can do. If anything happens it’ll be mutually beneficial and they all seemed to agree on that. Here’s the video from Dan Fetes News 8 WROC

Here’s a recap of the post skate interviews…

Hudson Fasching

  • Needs to keep working hard and make this team better
  • Talked about the need to have a winning culture all around
  • Not familiar with the history of the Amerks but is excited to turn the ship around
  • Is going to be honest about who he is as a player and a person
  • Needs to focus on key aspects of his game. Be a power forward, in front of the creating opportunities, battle hard, be tough to play against, score some goals and get some wins

Nathan Paetsch

  • Knows how much hockey means to the town and wants to be a part rebuilding it
  • The reason they were successful is because Tails was the captain and there’s a reason he’s back as head coach. One of the true greats in hockey character and playing wise.
  • In Grand Rapids they built the expectation of winning and making the playoffs and needs to bring that back to Rochester
  • It means a lot to bring everything he’s learned over 14 years back to Rochester
  • In working with guys like Guhle it’s working with them off the ice. He learned how to be a dad from Chris Taylor and Scotty Nichol. It’s about helping them mature as men.
  • Build an organization from the ground up. Was always known in Grand Rapids that guys he played with would get called up and he plans to take on that same role here
  • Talking about Guhle’s talent level he mentioned how well he moves the puck like an NHL defensemen. A lot nuances in a game that he hopes to teach him when you can’t just skate around everyone playing against other stronger players

CJ Smith

  • Ice was rough but was good to get out there and meet everybody. Just have to learn to play with the ice, every team deals with it
  • Approaching the season day by day, get better every day
  • Worked with Tails in the prospect camp, got to know him and how he runs things
  • Today was just getting the legs moving
  • Not familiar with the background of the Amerks, wasn’t familiar with the organization or Buffalo growing up and starting to learn

Brendan Guhle

  • Not frustrated getting sent down but an opportunity to work on his game and become a better hockey player
  • Talked about the main goal being to win with a deep lineup
  • Not too familiar with the Amerks history. Hopefully with some wins can fill the building and make it loud. Talked to Paetsch and he had talked about how much fun the building is when you win.
  • Needs to work on his consistency of his game and practices, jumping up and playing offense when he can
  • Housley had talked about him playing a lot of minutes and developing as a player

Chris Taylor

  • Talked about the ice not being the best but it’s the first time out there
  • Feels good to be back in the building, everyone excited about being here
  • Everybody worked hard, can’t single anyone out. That’s over the next few days
    Today was just being comfortable on the ice and in new gear
  • Paetsch was a remarkable young kid when they played together. As a person he was always there for him when he was injured, says a lot about him as a person. As a player he grew and worked hard, that’s why they brought him back. When you can play as well as he can it’s a perfect fit.
  • Kevin Porters another example of being an extension of the coaching staff. The staff can say whatever they want but it has to come from within as well. Peer pressure is tough and they’ll provide that in the right manner.
  • Has taken bits and pieces from everyone towards his coaching style. The game has changed, have to keep up with it, can’t just rely on the past.
  • He talked about being patient as well, Everyone wants to win right away. There’ll be some trying times but believes they brought in the right people to turn things around. Not just the players. The coaching staff, GM, staff in Buffalo, it all translates into what they do as a team.

Randy Sexton

  • Had a great meeting, everyone is focused and enthusiastic. Had a positive and constructive first day.
  • Sometimes teams miss out on opportunities to develop older players, older being a relative term.
  • Players considered veterans still want to play in the NHL. They expect to an organization to support them to get better. They’ll do everything they can to get them back to the NHL. You show up ready to play and we’ll do our part.
  • They told players that they’re here because they were hand picked.
  • Winning is part of development. Players need to play the three in three’s.
  • They won’t sacrifice development for the sake of winning, there’ll be a delicate balance and they believe they have the right players.
  • Chris and the coaching staff will be measured not only on the success of the team but the progress of each player in totality. It’s a delicate balance


Here’s the full interviews…