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What is an 'OKG'?

Wednesday, July 15th
What is an 'OKG'?

Throughout my interview process, I consistently brought up the themes of culture, recruiting, compete and relentless work ethic. I spoke about my desire to provide the Orange Army a team that our fans could be proud of night in night out. I felt that the team's identity must constantly have a work-based foundation and that all players must excel through personal ownership of their work rate & pro habits.

The focus is solely based on bringing in players that are "OKG," short for “Our Kind of Guy.” Of course, we want to bring in the best talent possible, but in all honesty we must look to build the best team possible and by that we must fill our needs and voids and create a consistent culture of a winning mindset and a relentless work ethic. 

An "OKG" is a player that must possess the following traits:

-High quality pro habits-Exceptional work-rate-Personal character-Rabid Compete level-Personal ownership over actions and reactions-Leadership-Willing to stand up for each other and battle as one-Exceptional skill and speed-Great hockey IQ-Willingness and understand to embrace the Kansas City community-The desire to advance their skills to climb the ladder to the NHL/AHL

If we can find enough players with those traits, we'll get done what we need to get done.

Our hockey ops staff is hard at work recruiting, retaining and rediscovering some of the best talent we can bring to Kansas City. The focus isn’t just about bringing in the best it’s about bringing in the best fit. Whether it be a speedy right winger, a rugged d-man with a bomb from the point or a heavy center man that is strong on draws and can navigate the ice at 200 feet.

Myself, Assistant Coach Kohl Schultz and President & General Manager Brent Thiessen are constantly having discussions with regards to salary cap, the COVID-19 impact and recruiting ranging from (AHL, NCAA, CIS, Europe and ECHL).

We are dealing with a lot with regards to Covid-19 from start dates, to the landscape of the NHL and what that means with affiliated players. We also are looking closely at Europe with regards to league closures and import regulations. There hasn’t been a day since I was hired that the discussion of recruiting hasn’t occurred.

I have been so incredibly impressed by what we have to offer. Kohl has an incredible eye for talent and has created great relationships through his years in college and pro hockey, Brent has been in KC since day one and knows the ECHL as well as any President in the league to have these two as part of the solution has been great.

In my short time in KC, I have fallen in love with what the city offers. It’s no wonder Patrick Mahones loves it in Kansas City. It’s a remarkable sports community with incredibly passionate fans that support their teams through and through. It’s a big city with a small town vibe. The city offers everything you could desire in a metro market with great people.  

The first challenge I issued to our organization is that we must be able to tell our story better than anyone and when it comes to recruiting battles. Let's go head-to-head with the big dogs in the league. If we need to make 100 calls and get 98 nos, so be it. We will land talent in KC and once they see how great of a city it is, they will continue to be a part of the recruiting process by spreading the news about this hidden gem.

We recently began to send our recruits a Kansas City Mavericks recruiting packet, a 30-page document jammed full of great content educating the players on the city, arena, fan base, player apartments, player development model and all the great aspects the Mavs have to offer. Our Director of Communications Brian McGannon was instrumental in creating this packet and it has been a huge hit for our players. I have had several players reach out to say how impressed they are with the city and organization.

I am so excited to get on the ice in front of our fans this season and I can't wait for that first night at the arena. I hope to see each and every one of you in the stands.

Go Mavs.

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