Jayme Platt interview

Friday, 29th August 2003

The search for a top netminder for the Phoenix roster has been a long and at times painstaking exercise. Early in the summer, there were simply very few quality goalies available and Phoenix head coach Rick Brebant decided to bide his time. “We got a few names sent to us and we looked at a few names we found ourselves, but nobody of real quality stood out. We cast our scouting net far and wide - North America, central and Eastern Europe and even to Japan where we came across a couple of interesting names. We looked long and hard at a Czech goalie, but his club from last season then offered him an improved and extended contract.”

As those avenues of enquiry and interest turned into dead ends and with all clubs reporting a seeming lack of quality goalies, the search continued as Rick continues the saga. “So, we continued to take our time and then… bang, three names came to us in very quick succession and amongst them was Jayme Platt. We looked at all three, and then a fourth came along and all of a sudden, we were swamped with potential number ones. Research is vital and we got to work with countless ‘phone calls to contacts far and wide… and the focussed narrowed from four to three, to two and then the one we decided we liked – Jayme. We knew by this time that others had been alerted to his availability and his record, and we hoped we could persuade him that Manchester and he would be a perfect fit.”

Jayme takes up the tale saying, “My agent called me and told me that Manchester in England were interested and having played with a few guys who have previously been to England, I was immediately interested. I know Eric Lind and we talked and he said he was coming to Manchester and then I talked with close friend Ryan Stewart, and he told me what a great place Manchester is and I started to get a good feeling. Another club in England then came up, but the people from the Phoenix were very persuasive and answered every question I asked, and they were very professional in the way they conducted themselves. In the end, I made my decision and I’m excited about joining the Phoenix.”

A product of the Lake Superior State University programme, after beginning his career is the USHL with the Des-Moines Buccaneers, Jayme studied for a degree in Political Science in college while honing his netminding skills under a number of influential coaches. “I was very fortunate in that Lake Superior had some very good goalie coaches with NHL experience and I was able to learn a lot from them in my four years there.”

Leaving college, Jayme signed for the Greenville Grrrowl in the East Coast and set off on a momentous first season in pro-hockey as the Grrrowl went all the way to playoff championship success with Jayme leading the league in wins. “It was a great year. I played there with Ryan and Colin Pepperall, another player who came to Manchester, and we had a super year. Last season I began with the Grrrowl and was then traded to the Dayton Bombers. Late on, I was called up to the AHL by the Lowell Lock Monsters and in my first game for them – a 4-4 tie – I made 56 saves on 60 shots faced and set a new franchise record for saves in a game and I believe set a new mark for saves in one period as well.”

Now though, Jayme is looking forward to a new stage in his career and a new stage upon which to perform – the Manchester Phoenix and the new Elite League. Asked to describe his style of play Jayme said, “I’m a butterfly goalie, like to play my angles, control the rebounds and concentrate on my technique. I try not to get over excited on the ice as if I’m jumping around a lot, the acrobatics might look good, but I don’t feel at times like that I’m playing as well as I can.”

On goalie heroes, Jayme doesn’t have one in particular. “As a goalie in North America, there are so many great guys to watch… Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, there are lots. I don’t try to copy or emulate any one of them really, I prefer to study their style, and adapt and adopt certain aspects of their play into mine. It’s about what they do that works for me that I work on.”

With a little under three weeks to the start of the Elite League season and probably a week before he arrives in Manchester Jayme closed this initial interview saying, “I’m excited. Like I said, I know some of the other players on the roster already and Stewy said nothing but good things about Manchester. Coming to Europe for the first time will be a new experience for me and since I agreed to come I can’t wait. I had to get my passport sorted out and now as soon as the other paperwork is sorted I’ll be on the first available flight. The club have told me I’m the number one goalie and I’ll be working with one of the local players Dave Clancy. I’m looking forward to meeting up with him, Rick and the rest of the guys as soon as I can.”