Nine general managers in 10 weeks isn’t that big a deal but to have them all agree to actually come on this show and talk openly and candidly about their roles as team puppeteer is a remarkable feat. OK so maybe it’s not remarkable but it’s been a great journey around the National Lacrosse League as we wrap things up this week with the final episode of the GM Talks. With a combined five NLL/MILL titles on his resume, Johnny Mouradian is the winningest GM in pro indoor lacrosse and he’s anxious to build on that list with the Philadelphia Wings. The Wings had a pretty decent season if you ask the man more commonly known as “The Gypsy,” but in any sport not winning it all has to be looked at as a bit of a shortcoming.
With a full compliment of young Americans, a solid core of Canadians and a slowly building team chemistry within the locker room, the Wings could very well be a team to be reckoned with in the coming years and Mouradian knows he has some holes to fill and specifically what those holes are. We cover a wide range of topics as always and this week we wrap up with a man that has GM’d coast to coast in this league and has hope to building a new army of American indoor laxers. It’s all this week on the OTCB Podcast.
When we gave our pre-season rankings here on IL Indoor the Philadelphia Wings were picked last and not many of us game them a chance. As I state in our breakdown of the Wings, you’d like to think ‘Project America’ will start to show some results and you have to admit it did at times this year. Drew Westervelt has really come into his own and is starting to show signs that he can be an upper level player in this league. But he’s not the only American player to have an impact this season as the Wings dressed 12 players with U.S. passports in the East Semi and were in contention for most of that game against Rochester, except for that opening-quarter goose egg. So is the future bright?
Mouradian believes it is. “We really like where we are heading and if we can bring in a few key pieces I know we can be one of the top teams in this league.” That’s a very reassuring statement if you’re a Wings fan. Mouradian feels that his team is in a tough position, as they are often forced to take players based on geographical locale, but knows that building a winning formula will also help draw in some big-name players.
But Mouradian isn’t just focused on creating winners in Philly, he’s also heavily involved in building the next big American indoor superstar in conjunction with the American Indoor Lacrosse Association. A national tournament will take place this year and many people have often said that for the Americans to be better prepared for the NLL, a better developmental system needs to be put in place. Well, this is it.
It was a great pleasure chatting with a man who’s been involved with the game as long only a few others.
This week on the Off the Crossebar podcast it’s an in depth chat with The Gypsy; the Philadelphia Wings GM, Johny Mouradian.