At first he said he wasn’t going to do an interview today, that he was going to leave everything to Dean. But we stressed that there were game-related issues like how losing Stuart would affect the team that Dean wouldn’t know about, so he obliged in the end. He talks about losing Stuart, how the defensive pairings will look, possible call-ups from Manchester, LaBarbera’s health, today’s practice and looking forward to the final five weeks of the season.
“I thought Stuey played really well for us. I thought that, especially on our team, its not the biggest group of defenseman and he played a big game for us. Like anybody, it takes a while to get adjusted to a new team. I think Brad went through those growing pains early and basically 10-15 games in, from that point on, I thought he contributed extremely well for our team. He played basically half the year with a bad foot as well. He had trouble practicing, couldnt put his skate on and that sort of thing. I think hes going to be a nice addition to Detroit. Obviously he goes to a top team and has a chance to win, so I feel happy for him that way.”
On the defensive pairings after the trade: “It all depends on if Rob is healthy for last game. If Rob is healthy well probably play Rob with Jack, and then were left with Lubo and a bunch of right-shot defenseman. If Rob isnt ready, obviously well have to call somebody up and Im not sure who that would be right now.
“Peter will have an enormous opportunity to play here now. Im not sure who their top guy down there right now is, whether its a guy like Patrik Hersley or Joe Piskula who played a few games last year or Richard Petiot. Those are the names that are down there. Klemm is another one. Well see.”
On today’s practice: “I thought there was some good energy, actually. We wanted a hard working practice, we told them before they went out. So if they were subdued its because they knew there would be a lot of skating. I think the quietness was from the burn in the legs because there was a lot of drills.”
On looking forward now that trade deadline has passed: “Were playing well so we want to continue to play well and strive to win every game. Down the stretch here were going to get the opportunity to see some more young guys come in here and show their wares, so to speak. For the other guys, weve got many who are playing for contracts. So theres always an angle for every player.”
On the goalie situation: “Theres nothing new on Jason and I dont expect any news on Jason until end of the week. Ill play Dan in the next game and thats all I know for sure.”’