You know him better as Kristi Yamaguchi’s husband, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to interview the newest Duck before this morning. Turns out he plays hockey, too. Our Q&A…
Do you feel comfortable here yet?
Yeah. It’s been a change. It’s been a great opportunity for
me to join a great team. A great defensive corps as well. For me to join this
team was an honor. It’s a great opportunity to see what this team can do and if
it goes a long way in the playoffs, that’s why I play the game is to try to get
another chance at the Cup.
On the timing of joining the team in Ottawa:
I never thought the chance would come to play with a guy
like Niedermayer, Pronger, Beauchemin, Montador, you’ve got Huskins and some
great players back here. to come in and join that defensive corps is a great
opportunity for me, so I took it.
Were you concerned with the Ducks’ slow start?
No. Not at all. I knew what this team was capable of. You
win championships with good defense and this team has good defense. Great
defense, not good. Great defense. And they’ve got the experience up front as
well. They’ve got all upside. As far as getting off to a slow start, I wasn’t
concerned with that at all. Long season, 82 games, you’re going to have ups and
downs. They got off to a slow start, but as you can see we’re on a roll now.
Randy Carlyle on Hedican’s role:
provide us with minutes, and that’s safe minutes, and he’s done that so far. I
think he’s still getting his feet wet. He hasn’t made any huge mistakes. I
think that in itself is huge from the player’s standpoint that he’s just
getting comfortable with our group and hopefully that can continue. I think it
fits along the lines of, the less you notice him might be the best because he
hasn’t made any mistakes for us.
Can he alleviate SN/Prongs/Beauch’s big minutes? That’s
what we started, in an ideal situation you’d like to distribute the minutes
more evenly, but in today’s game, with the specialty teams, the power plays and
the penalty killing, that’s going to be a direct correlation between how many
(minutes) you play and how many you get for those players, play those key
situations – specifically Pronger and Niedermayer and usually Beauchemin has
played the second half of the power play, and he starts on the penalty killing.
Those three players are going to be the workhorses of your group. If we can
spell out some minutes to the Bret Hedicans, Huskins, Nathan McIver when he’s
in the lineup, that we feel will strengthen the group down the stretch from
game to game.