May 09, 2005

Interview With Jeff Hunt, “We never thought in a million years that Logan Couture would be passed over.”

Summary of an interview with Jeff Hunt on the TEAM 1200/Dave Gross and Dean Brown this morning. They talked mainly about Logan Couture, but also touched on the series so far. [paraphrasing]

(On the Couture’s coming to Ottawa) They’re coming to visit Thursday, but I know that they had committed to coming even before the draft though. It’s a time to put our best foot forward. I’m hoping that the kid will come away impressed and the family will come away impressed. The dad is already sold on the community (having been a ref in the lacrosse league).

(Surprised that you were able to draft him) We never thought in a million years that Logan Couture would be passed over. [Hunt explained how they thought that Kingston would ultimately get the selection as the first three teams had made definite selections, so the next up was Kingston. He also said that he didn’t know about the agent’s letter until the next day.]

[Hunt didn’t know that the team had drafted Couture until an OHL radio called Hunt to tell him they couldn’t get a hold of Couture.] I said to them why are you asking me about Logan Couture? And they said well you drafted him. That’s how I found out.

Killer had the number one pick in the European draft so maybe he was feeling bullish; he was going to take a chance here.

(Why would he not report to OHL?) I think that they were really upset. Since the beginning of the season they were the #1 pick. They were very disappointed with the OHL. The letter was written by the agent, not the family, not that that makes any difference. And it was written in the heat of emotion, and we hope that cooler heads prevail. We’ll get them to come down here and see a game and see what our fans are all about.

(What are you going to show them?) We’ll give them the tour. Let them meet everyone. Right now Ottawa is just another team to Logan Couture. So maybe meet some of the teammates he will be playing with. His dad is good friends with McGinn’s dad. Meet Mancari who’s from London, and the educational consultants. Show him the high school he’ll attend, maybe even meet a potential billet family. Give him faces. Take him out to the Corel Centre and give him a taste of what it’s all about here.

(What do you expect from the selections?) Well Couture staying in the OHL, he’s going to be what will make or break the draft. We can’t tell until 2 or 3 years from now. Obviously Killer and our scouts feel great about our picks.

(On the series so far) I flew back with Killer after Game 1 and he was upbeat and happy – he’s never happy when we lose – but I think we felt good about the way we played. Dennis played unbelievable in Game 1. We learned that we can play with these guys. We can beat these guys. We can play with any team there. That’s the feeling we have right now. Keep playing the way we are. Keep feeling the way we’re feeling. [/paraphrasing]

No comments: