This week’s interview is with Seattle Sailors GM Taylor Teichman.
SHL Digest: We’re here this week with Taylor Teichman, who just completed his first trading deadline as the GM of the Seattle Sailors. Taylor, thanks for speaking with us.
Taylor Teichman: Thanks for asking me.
SHLD: Last season, the Sailors made some bold moves at the deadline, acquiring Lars Karlsson and Hans Mortensen. This season, you were reportedly in on the two big deadline prizes, Matt Cherner and Rusty Anderson, but missed out on both. How have the fans reacted?
TT: I’ve gotten some angry calls and emails, as you might imagine. But as general manager, it’s my job to balance the present and the future. And while we were definitely in conversations on both Cherner and Anderson, in the end the price for both was more than we were comfortable with. I’m not going to mortgage the future for the sake of this one playoff race.
SHLD: That’s obviously quite a shift from the thinking of your predecessor, Jay McKay.
TT: It is, yes. And with all due respect to Jay, he wound up paying with his job when that gamble didn’t pay off. When I was with Hamilton, I saw the advantages of building for the future with careful drafting and a strong farm club. That’s what I hope to do here.
SHLD: Was it especially painful to see Anderson wind up with Saskatchewan, one of the teams battling you for the playoffs?
TT: Obviously, I’d rather he’d wound up somewhere else. But I knew that was a possibility all along, and I wasn’t going to make a deal I’d regret later just to keep that from happening. I’m confident that we have a team that can match up with any of our competitors.
SHLD: Instead of landing Cherner or Anderson, you instead acquired Stan Gallagher [from the Washington Galaxy in exchange for D Serkan Mratic]. Some Sailors fans on social media called Gallagher a “consolation prize.” How would you respond to that?
TT: Stan was a good value, a guy that can help us now and later. Unlike Cherner or Anderson, he’s not on an expiring contract. We’ll have him for two more seasons after this. And he was available at a price that made sense and didn’t require us to part with draft picks or our top prospects. It’s a deal that makes sense all the way around.
SHLD: This is the Sailors’ last season in Seattle; they’ll be moving to Portland next year. Did that factor into your deadline thinking at all.
TT: No, it didn’t. And I don’t think it should. The team may be playing in a new city next year, but we’re still building for the future.
SHLD: Will you be the GM next season in Portland?
TT: I don’t know. I’ve talked to the new ownership, and I’ve expressed my desire to stay on. They haven’t decided on their plans yet. But even if I wasn’t coming back, I wouldn’t approach this job any differently. It would be like running up a huge credit-card debt that you know someone else has to pay off. It’s not the way to operate.
SHLD: So now that you know what your roster looks like going forward, what does the organization need to do to make the postseason?
TT: Keep doing what got us here. We’ve had a really great run this season, and I absolutely think we have what it takes to win the Vandy. It won’t be easy; we’ve got three other really strong teams, and we’re all fighting for two spots. But I like our chances.
SHLD: Sounds good. Thanks again for your time, Taylor, and good luck the rest of the season!
TT: I appreciate it. We’re going to win this one for Seattle!