Good evening everyone, before I answer any questions I would just like to take a few minutes to say what's on my mind. Firstly, I just want to say this has been one hell of an incredible ride. I was brought on to be the general manager of the lightning before the first puck dropped in the inaugural season back in 2005 and the 14 and a half years at the helm have been an experience that every hockey fan should get to enjoy.
I would not have the hockey knowledge I have today if I wasn't a part of this amazing league. Learning from all the amazing GM's that have come and gone and doing my best to try and compete against them on daily basis is a challenge that can't be matched as a fan. This is not only a competition of hockey wits, it truely has become a brotherhood that I highly doubt any one of us could have predicted it becoming. J.D. I don't really think you knew what you were really creating 15 years ago but it's definitely something you should be very proud of. I'm going to stop it at that before I lose any credibility with peers. I can't have them thinking I've gotten soft and emotional if I ever want to be viewed as a deserving competitor in the future. Alright, lets move on to the questions.
"Paul, why do you think you got let go yesterday night?"
Honestly, there could be many reasons. We had an incredible season in 2015-2016 and won everything including the Cup. We were all on a high, expecting to do it all over again the year after. Unfortunately we've missed the playoffs the last two seasons and sit 8 points out on January 3rd which isn't something that is acceptable. I still think ownership had confidence in my vision but maybe they just wanted to try going in a different direction.
"There are rumours going around that you have lost that winning edge the last couple years which has lead to you missing a couple deadlines aka pulling a Dale Tallon of 2009. Do you have any comment in regards to that?"
We really can't keep anything from the media can we?? It's true, last year I had a little bit of a hiccup but we got through it. Unfortunately I did pull a "Dale Tallon" this season as you called it and I was a bit late with a deadline. You know what, who knows? Maybe that was the last straw. pauses for a second
I will say it's BS though to anyone that says I've lost my winning edge. I will always be passionate about any team any player and any coach I represent. I did not lose my passion for the guys in that locker room as I've loved watching them play night in and night out just like I have since the first day I got here.
"What's next for GM Lamarche?"
Well right now I'm going to clean out my desk, say goodbye to the guys and just go home and reflect on how great this journey has been.
"No but what's next for you in the hockey world?"
That I'm sure will work itself out. I've gotten a few calls already wishing me luck. It's my 15th season being the main guy, I don't think I want to jump into anything like that right away. Maybe take on a limited role with an organization in the near future so that I can take a step back while still being somewhat involved is what's best for me right now.
No more questions? Alright, well thank you very much everyone for being here. I'll miss you Tampa, you'll always have a soft spot in my heart!