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Leader-Post article (Pats GM Parker will 'evaluate everything')

March 17 2009 at 12:40 PM
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Response to Vancouver Province article (Small, sure, but feisty too)

 
Pats GM Parker will 'evaluate everything'

By Greg Harder, Leader-Post

March 17, 2009 2:21 PM

Brent Parker is the general manager of the Regina Pats.Photograph by: Don Healy, Leader-Post filesREGINA -- Brent Parker’s end-of-season housekeeping list doesn’t include sweeping changes for the Regina Pats.

Not yet, anyway.

While some disgruntled fans are demanding that the Pats clean house, Parker says he won’t be rushed into making dramatic changes to the team — or its hierarchy.

“There have been some people who have encouraged me to make a decision," the veteran GM said with a laugh. "Some of them maybe not in the most appropriate manner, but I respect that people are frustrated right now. We’ll go through and evaluate everything.”

Does that include the GM's post? Parker insists it will.

In fact, after 14 years on the job and no championship to show for it, Parker admits he has considered the possibility that it might be time to give someone else a shot. Granted, this is just the third time during Parker’s tenure that Regina has missed the playoffs, but the argument for change is supported by the fact that expectations were much greater for this year’s club.

“There have been thoughts that have crossed my mind on that for sure,” he said. “I’d like to think we have a pretty good track record of having good players. I know we treat our kids good. If I could find that missing link, whatever it is, I’d gladly do it. If I thought that involved somebody else as the GM, I’d step down. Right now, if you ask me at this moment, I don’t think that’s the case, but we all need to take some responsibility in this. Me included.”

On the flip side of the decision-making process, Parker also admits he would have a hard time leaving under these circumstances.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been a quitter in anything I’ve ever done,” he said. “It would be difficult to walk away this year. It’s not how I would want to leave. But we’ll evaluate everything and go forward.”

That includes rookie head coach Dale Derkatch, who has two seasons remaining on his contract.

“It’s all part of the evaluation,” said Parker, whose father Russ owns the team. “It’s no different than myself. We’ll go through it, I’ll sit down with (Derkatch), get his thoughts on things. Same thing with (assistant) Terry (Perkins). His contract is up at the end of this year. We’ll go through all of that and speak with Russ and determine if that’s the right way to go forward.”

If it’s assumed the Pats’ talent was superior to their dismal record (27-39-1-5), something else must have been absent or mismanaged. That said, Parker isn’t ready to concede that someone has to pay the price for the team’s failure.

“No, I don’t think you make change for the sake of change,” he insisted. “As crazy as it sounds, there’s just no explanation for a lot of the things that have happened. Yeah, Dale was a rookie coach and there were some things I know he would have done differently and some things I wished he would have done differently. But that’s part of the growing process too. I think Dale did a lot of good things this year. I think he grew as a coach. He’s a good person who cares deeply about that organization and that’s a great place to start.”

Although Parker hears the cries for whole-sale change, he refuses to say the entire organization is in need of repair. In fact, he vehemently stands by the foundation that has been established during his stewardship.

“The part that maybe frustrates me as much as anything is I don’t think people have given our organization enough credit for the good things we do,” he stated. “I’m not proud of the fact we missed the playoffs — I’m disappointed and embarrassed about it — but I’m proud of how much we do in the community. I’m proud of the donations we make to charity. I’m proud of the fact we have 3,500 season tickets and the building is a lot fuller than it was 12, 14 years ago.

“We want to win. We’re trying to find that formula (for success on and off the ice). I don’t think anyone through it all can ever accuse us of not trying.”

gharder@leaderpost.canwest.com

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