You’ve been to games and seen the talented Generals players scoring highlight goals, make spectacular saves, or laying down bone crunching hits.
But what about the work that goes into finding these players?
Who are they, where are they from?
General Manager Jeff McInnis says the process of bringing the players you’ve been watching likely started 2, 3, even 4 years ago.
“I watch a lot of university hockey, and I’ve got a good relationship with a lot of minor league professional coaches. It’s a networking thing. It didn’t start overnight; I’m 18 years into this.”
That might seem like a lot of commitment, but to McInnis….. He describes it as something else.
“It starts with obsession. Passion I guess, but you can’t hit a home run without swinging. So it’s a passion like collecting stamps, or pucks, I collect hockey players.”
And though you can’t hit a home run without swinging, McInnis says sometimes he’s struck out hard.
“There’s a goalie playing for the San Jose Sharks a couple years ago. I remember calling him, and the first thing he told me was he had no interest in talking to me. Yah. I’ll phone guys and I’ll strike out, but you can’t be afraid of striking out.”
The Generals have also been an outlet for many ex-pros.
“We’ve helped a lot of men find their way in life, transitioning from Pro to Joe. Some guys don’t need any help. A lot of guys do.”
The easiest way of recruiting players for McInnis, is all about who they know.
“When I’m talking to players who don’t know who I am, or who we are. What’s important is they know some of our players, or someone who has won with us. You don’t know me, but you know Bob. You trust Bob, so talk to him, and then come talk to me. You’re hoping to gain some street credit.”