Pierre Dagenais' role this season will be player and mentor. His innate ability to bring the team together, molding both skill and raw determination on the ice will make for a season filled with surprises that will keep the fans on the edge of their seat.
Akwesasne - Oct. 24, 2011 - Talking Hockey with Warriors President Patricia Francis and Director of Game Ops Keith Papineau
1. What is it like being one of only a few women working as President of a professional hockey team?
A: Being one of only a few women working in the position I hold, for a professional hockey team has its challenges. I like to think that my past experience as a contracting officer has given me the ability to effectively do my job in the best interest of the organization.
2. After the team won the Inaugural Feldmeier Commissioner's Cup, what kind of pressure is on the team to repeat as Champions?
A: Last season's champions are todays most formidable opponent. The coach and players alike know what is before them this season. The team has one goal, to once again bring home the Feldmeier Commissioner's Cup to Akwesasne.
3. Early in the spring Mr. Darby Oakes purchased the Warriors from the previous owner. What type of owner is Mr. Oakes? Is he hands on or did he turn over the operations to you?
A: Mr. Oakes is a very "hands on" owner. He takes pride in knowing what is going on with the organization and being there to provide direction, and make decisions in the best interest of the team. Mr. Oakes is a very personable man who is very easy to talk to, players and staff alike are very proud to be part of his organization.
4. I noticed that you also have a new Head Coach and a new GM. Can you tell us a little about both new members of your staff?
A: Earlier this year, two appointments were made, one for Coach and one for General Manager. The new coach, Stephen Thomas, is a local athlete, who all his life has played hockey and lacrosse, excelling throughout the years to the level of coach. His most notable coaching accomplishment was co-coach of the St. Regis Braves Lacrosse team, winning the most prestigious Canadian Lacrosse championship, that being the 2011 Senior B Presidents Cup.
The general manager Steve Thomas, a former local politician who sat on the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne for 3 years, will share his knowledge from his tenure there. He was also employed throughout his life as a high steel ironworker. He has been involved lacrosse and hockey all his life, being inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Akwesasne Hall of fame.
5. Pierre Dagenais was an important part of your team last year as a player, what role will he be playing this season?
A: Pierre Dagenais' role this season will be player and mentor. His innate ability to bring the team together, molding both skill and raw determination on the ice will make for a season filled with surprises that will keep the fans on the edge of their seat.
6. I understand that you have brought Keith Papineau back for another season of webcasting. Keith was by far the leader in the FHL as far as using multi media for the team. Does Keith have any surprises in store for the upcoming season?
A: Keith has many surprises in store for this season; however, to reveal those surprises would be like having Christmas in November, it's just not right; all will be pleasantly surprised by what the new additions will be. (Smiling)
7. I hear that Allison Papineau will play an important part in this year's team. What will her duties be?
A: Allison's role as team photographer is her chief responsibility; however, to not acknowledge her talents administratively would be wrong. She along with Keith will be responsible for all game day personnel beyond the glass as well as other duties dealing with team administration.
8. Your first game of the season will be against the Brooklyn Aviators at "The MAINE Event" in Lewiston Maine. How important will this game be for the Warriors?
A: To the Warriors "all" games are important. To play our first game of the season against our championship rivals the Brooklyn Aviators, this game is paramount to set the tone for the season.
9. Are there any new players on the team that will bring attention to the Warriors?
A: Our core players from last season have returned with the addition of more native players. We have also enlisted some enforcers to further enforce our statement of "we will be challenged and rarely beaten".
10. Is there anything else you would like to mention to the fans?
A: We plan on bringing a bigger and better on-ice product for the fans to enjoy this season.