I had everything arranged on the table as people began filing in. Mr. Green always had me do that for the big meetings and this looked like a big meeting. He even had a file for Jack, which as a player was unheard of.
Jack was the last one to enter and we shut the door and Mr. Green came out of his office. “Good morning everyone, help yourself to coffee or a Danish, this is going to be quite the meeting.”
Everyone got up except me and Jack and Mr. Green and took advantage of his offer. The file was thick this morning. Mr. Green was at the head of the table as the GM and son of the owner of the organization. I was to his left. Coach Lumm was to his right and he had taken two Danish, not that it was important I just noticed.
Roger Morris was next to Coach, he was the most senior of the GM Staff and had been with the team for years, there were even rumors that him and Mr. Green had gone to college together. Next to him was Jacob Trouba, former player in the league and a scout for the team for the last few years. Next to them was Mary Yang, head of accounting, if she was here trades were happening today.
Then Jack was at the bottom of the table, directly across from Mr. Green. Next to Jack was Ivy Pendleton, head of marketing and Sales, and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Next to her was Junior Johnson, Head scout of the Blizzard, this was a big meeting if he was here. Then last but not least Martin Mascho, GM of the Blizzzard, and lucky me I got to sit next to the prick.
If he was here people were getting traded from both clubs and I bet he was pissed the meeting was happening here and not in Buffalo. Of course, Mr. Green was going to be the owner as soon as his father stepped down and I could see that happening any day now.
“Alright let’s get to it. We are the worst team in the league, so we are making wholesale changes, starting today. I have lists of players we are targeting and I want to get them, but I want the costs to be as low as possible. We don’t have to act scared when other teams call, everyone knows we are rebuilding, so play it safe and everything goes to me before anything happens. I have also a list of players that cannot be traded for any reason; these are our future people so let’s make this work.”
“Who made these lists? These aren’t what we talked about at all.” Martin said throwing the list back down on the table.
“My team and I came up with the lists, all you wanted to do was bring in high priced players and use up salary cap space. We are rebuilding Martin, we are not in playoff contention.” Mr. Green said.
“Well with that attitude we always will be. I could have Shabrook, a fifty goal scorer, and you went to your father and stopped the trade.” He said pissed.
“Yeah, a thirty five year old player, and all they wanted in return was Maddison and out next first round pick. It was a bad trade for us and we didn’t need it. Rebuilding is the key word, and that starts with youth.” Mr. Green said and he wasn’t getting upset at all, unlike Martin.
“Let’s face it Garrett, we have different ideas how the team should be run. Let’s do what’s best and leave the player personnel to me, and you just develop the kids we bring in.” He said getting up from his chair. “I’ll send you a list of what we will do as my office does it, have a good day.”
“Martin, why do you think I had you come here?” Mr. Green said leaning back in his chair. “The future of this organization will run through me, and only me, from this point on. I tried being nice and letting you think you had some say in this, but I will not be talked to like that. Your presence here is no longer required and your time with organization is now over.”
“Hah, you can’t fire me. Your father gave me my position, and only he can take it away from me.” Martin fired back.
“As of last night my father stepped down and I took his place as owner and CEO of the company. My first act as new owner is to fire my General Manager,” just then two security men entered. I sat still as possible not wanting to draw his attention in the slightest.
If I thought he was going to blow I was wrong, he began laughing. “Really Garrett, do you think you can run this operation, you and this ragtag bunch of misfits sitting here. Who can replace me Garrett, who?”
“Not that you are really in a position to demand anything but I will let you know since it will be common knowledge in the next hour anyway, and your old staff has already been informed, Roger Morris is the new GM of the Buffalo Blizzard.”
Martin looked pissed. Guess he didn’t see that one coming. The two security guys stepped to each side of him and he finally knew he was done. He glared one more time at Mr. Green and left.
“Well that was fun, everyone can congratulate Roger later, and in the meantime we need to get some players. Jack, have you looked at the lists?”
“Yeah, while all that was going down I looked them over. It’s almost exactly what I wrote up. Not that I don’t appreciate the faith in my abilities sir, but I am not a fully fledged scout or anything.” Jack said sounding more curious than doubting his abilities.
“I’ll take this one Garrett,” Roger said and Mr. Green just nodded. “You have already proven an eye for talent, and while you don’t understand all the contract implications, we would be fools to not look closely at your suggestions. I did remove a few names because of clauses in their existing contracts and did add a few names that Junior and I think are going to be successful going forward, but we value your opinion.”
“Let me throw something out as well,” Junior said jumping in. “When your career is over, we want you as a scout. You can stay with the organization for the future if that is what you want.”
“Well thank you, all of you. Mr. Green knows why I am working so hard, and whatever it takes to make that happen I will accomplish.” Jack said and I felt myself blushing. Damn he was hot when he was strong like that.
“On that note,” Mr. Green said getting all the attention back on him. “Jack, we are sending your line up to the Blizzard effective immediately. Ivy, I need you to do a marketing push on the Maddison merchandise. Jack, can you make the kid look good for a few games?”
“Yeah, between me and Cussman we can make the kid look good.” Jack said smiling.
Was he smiling because he was going to the main squad for the first time? Then he looked at me and my heart did a little flutter. Nope, that was not why he was smiling.
“Ok, a few other announcements, and then we can all get to work with our jobs and Jack can go tell the kid and Cussman the good news. My father did step down so I need to be in Buffalo as well. Coach Lumm is staying here not wanting to take over the big squad, and I wanted a fresh face in Buffalo for the fans to see with a positive change and me and Roger are going to do that, but that leaves holes here.”
“A minor league hockey office is all about the young players and making the local fans happy, we have been doing much more than that for a while now. We need to get back on that and promote all the young players that we will be bringing in. One of those movements where it’s I knew him when kind of thing.”
“All of you sitting here are much more than that, that’s why I stayed here and didn’t go to Buffalo before now. As time goes I will probably call on the rest of you to do more for the Blizzard and less for the Storm. When the draft comes I will need all my assistants working hard to improve this team, and I will also need some new people brought in.”
“All of you are department heads and you are all secure in your positions. Well most of you, anyway. Jacob, you were a player and a scout, but I need someone in Buffalo to be the player liaison, is that something you are interested in?”
“Without a doubt boss,” he said smiling.
“Alright Jacob is going with us as well. Ok, we have a lot to do before the trade deadline. Let’s get to it.” He said.
“Uh boss,” Roger said smiling.
“Yeah,” he said still smiling.
“I think you forgot to mention something.” Roger said almost laughing.
“Oh yeah, I almost forgot,” he said but in a way that everyone around the table new he hadn’t he was just making this a moment. He was like that from time to time and most the time I didn’t mind, but I had a feeling he was going to say who they were bringing in as my new boss and I was praying they were as good as Mister Green.
“Like I said before we have been doing things down here that the main club usually does. That’s not the way Minor league teams are run. We still need a GM down here to take the lead and run this team and flow fluidly with the Blizzard. I need someone that I can trust and can trust our vision for the future. I think we all know who that is, so it won’t be a surprise. I expect everyone still here to help our new GM in anyway that they can but also remember they are the boss now, and need that respect, any questions?”
Everyone around the table but me and Jack said “no.” He hadn’t said who it was. I didn’t know who I was reporting to. Everyone began getting up and I was getting nervous. When were they coming and who was it. What would I need to do? Was I supposed to just continue on working on possible trades or should I do something else.
“Sir,” I said and everyone stopped and looked at me. “You forgot to mention the name of the new GM. I need to know who is taking over so when they get here I know who to look for.”
Smiles were evident around the table. I was out of the inner circle apparently since they all seemed to know and finding it funny that I didn’t. I was about to remark on that when Mr. Green said the next thing. “Maddie keep working on those trade folders, and don’t clean my office out yet, you can clean it out next year. I won’t actually step down till next year and then you can move your stuff in.”
Everyone laughed as they headed for the door. Did he just make me the next GM of the Syracuse Storm? I mean it sounded like that. I’m twenty-five years old; I’m too young to be a GM. I mean even working under the main office, isn’t twenty-five too young for that position?
I looked around and everyone had already left except for Jack. He was staring at me and we were both in shock. See he must know it too. I mean I am only twenty-five.
“Did he just say what I thought he did?” I asked quietly to Jack.
“Seems he did,” he said coming toward me.
“Why me,” I said again.
“Honestly he is a smart man. I don’t say anything that I’m about to undermine your abilities, but you are young. He is locking in the future of his organizations with a clear move. You stay here, your brother feels inclined to stay with the team when his rookie contract runs out.”
“He shows everyone in the league that this is a youth movement even in his front office hires and since he already has a few key women in executive roles it’s not like he is just hiring a woman to hire a woman, he is hiring the right woman to lead a young minor league organization.”
“He already said that he is still going to be the only one to make executive decisions and he knows you won’t overrule him, and to be honest you are perfect for this club because you bring freshness and a strong work ethic. That SOB is taking on the league with the things he is about to do, and damn, if I don’t think he will win.”
“Well wow,” I said after Jack’s little speech. I think he was right though. Everything he said made sense and even though I was so young Mr. Green still had ultimate control and everyone knew it. I was GM in title but not in action yet. I would have lots of time to prove I could do this job.
“Shit, I just remembered you are leaving.” I said turning to Jack immediately.
“That’s part of the goal remember. Now, I need to make your brother look good. Don’t worry Maddie Maddison, you got this.” He said and then we both filed out of the office together and I realized that next time I came into the conference room, it was my conference room.