Buffalo, N.Y. — On March 30, the NWHL announced that Buffalo Beauts’ co-coach Ric Seiling would shift into the role of general manager, while retaining his position as coach.
That morning, the obviously very busy Seiling took some time to speak with Today’s Slapshot, and offer some insight into the team’s outlook going forward.
Today’s Slapshot: “Congratulations on your new position. It was definitely a surprise to see the news this morning – is this a decision that came at the end of the season, or something that has occurred since then?”
Ric Seiling has been named General Manager of the @BuffaloBeauts for the 2016-17 season https://t.co/QdT0Avq0Gg pic.twitter.com/BKsvhtahXs
— NWHL (@NWHL) March 30, 2016
Ric Seiling: “The decision was made just recently, it wasn’t something we were thinking about at the end of the season.”
TSS: “Linda [Mroz] spoke to the 716 SportsPodcast last week. She indicated that she, Shelley [Looney] and yourself were already scrubbing to roster and making decisions on returning players. Will you be carrying through with that plan, or have you started with something new?”
RS: “Well, unfortunately, Shelley will not be returning next year. Her responsibilities with the Buffalo Bisons youth hockey organization have taken priority and she’ll be focusing on that going forward. We will be working to find a replacement as soon as possible.
“Linda and I will be working as a management team. We have identified our top players and will be speaking with them soon.”
TSS: “Is there anyone you’re targeting to replace Coach Looney? Is there someone local, or is there a more qualified candidate elsewhere?”
RS: “With the schedule that a coach needs to maintain – practices, meetings, games, etc., finding someone local, or someone who is willing to be local, will be important.”
TSS: “The re-signing period is fast approaching. Is it a priority to find a coach before this begins so they are a part of this process?”
RS: “Re-signing our players is the most important thing on our agenda. It would be foolish to rush to find a coach.”
TSS: “You played a part in designing this team upon its inception, and the team made its way to the championship. Given your role as GM, will you be drastically altering the team’s makeup? Are there things you intend to improve upon?”
RS: “The goal of every GM is to give the coach (which is myself) the tools to put a championship team together. Last season, we designed a system based on the players we had. They took to it well and it got us to the championship.
“I am proud of last year’s team. We started slowly, but we improved every game, and obviously, our hard work paid off. As always, there are things that need to be improved upon, and Linda and I will be working to address those things in the coming offseason.”
It seems like Seiling has his work cut out for him. Maintaining stability will be a priority going forward, and thankfully, he won’t have to do it alone.
Linda Mroz offered this in an exclusive communication with Today’s Slapshot:
“The feedback I’m getting is overwhelming and humbling for sure and I am extremely grateful for the fans and their support and I look forward to continuing working with the Beauts organization as we expand the management team.”
“Ric will bring plenty of experience to the table and I’m looking forward to learning and working alongside him.”
BREAKING:Per the #NWHL, Linda Mroz will remain with @BuffaloBeauts
as a game-day operations manager working directly with Ric Seiling.
— Kate Cimini (@k_cimini) March 30, 2016