Here’s what Patrick O’Sullivan had to say about his new contract…
Question: Are you satsified with this deal? Glad to finally have it done?
O’SULLIVAN: “Yeah, it is a relief. Obviously it has gone on for quite a long time. I’m sure everyone was frustrated with how it was going. Fortunately we were able to come to an agreement that both sides are happy with, and now I get to play hockey again.”
Question: How aware were you of the day-to-day discussions and negotiations?
O’SULLIVAN: “I was involved every day in what was going on. The funny thing is, there were times when there wasn’t anything going on, but I’d still be getting updates from my agent. Obviously I’m the one who ultimately makes the decision, but it was hard to sit on the outside and watch everything happen. But at the end of the day, it’s part of the game and it’s a business. I tried to take everything as though it is a business and not take anything personal. I’m just glad it’s all over.”
Question: Did you ever expect this process to take this long? Did you have any expectations, coming in, about how tough it might be?
O’SULLIVAN: “I definitely didn’t think it would be this difficult. For it to go on as long as it has, definitely that was surprising to me, and I’m sure if you talked to Dean and Jeff (Solomon) and all those guys, they would say the same thing. I guess at the end of the day, we were able to come to an agreement, and that’s all that matters, but obviously I missed most of camp and that’s important. But I’m not the first person who has been in this situation and I won’t be the last, so as unfortunate as it is, it does happen, and fortunately we’re now able to go forward. That’s the most exciting thing for me.”
Question: Are you pleased with the security now, not having to worry about this for three years?
O’SULLIVAN: “Yeah, the core guys… There’s been so much talk about the young guys taking over, and to be a part of that for three years, and hopefully longer after that, is really exciting. The pieces are starting to come together and I’m excited to get there and see Kopi and Brownie and meet the new guys and obviously meet the coaches and all that stuff. It’s really exciting for me and the organization, and I’m really happy to be playing hockey and not working out every day by myself. I’ve been driving my girlfriend crazy.”
Question: Do you have any expectations about when you might be able to play in a game? Obviously you have to learn some new teammates and new systems…
O’SULLIVAN: “It’s more going to be about how I feel. As far as the systems, obviously it’s going to take some adjusting, but I don’t have a hard time learning things on that side of it, so I don’t know. Obviously I’m going to have to talk to the coaches and see how I feel these next few days in practice and make sure I’m not going to get injured. That would be the worst thing that could happen. If I play this weekend or I don’t, it’s going to be a week or two, I’m assuming, that it’s going to take for me to get my timing back 100 percent and all that stuff. We’ll see what happens. I’m going to take it day by day and we’ll go from there.”
Question: Did you talk to teammates throughout all this, or was it easier to just remove yourself from the situation?
O’SULLIVAN: “Honestly, they’re my friends. Taking hockey out of the equation, I’m still going to talk to them. I talked to a lot of guys on the team. As training camp started, obviously it got a lot harder at that point because people started asking questions about what’s going on. Obviously for me, it was hard not being there with the guys and going through all the stuff that a team goes through in order to come together and learn about each other. That was the most difficult part, but I definitely had support from everyone I spoke to on the team. That definitely helped me at the end of the day.”