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Best wishes, trade talk and plenty more

Friday, 02.15.2008 / 11:00 AM / Ice Age

By Phil Coffey - NHL.com Sr. Editorial Director

The fan support for Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik has been overwhelming this week.
Panthers vs. Sabres video highlights 
No shock that there is plenty to talk about in the NHL this week, but before we get to mundane stuff like the trade deadline, let’s hear from Jessica Zednik, wife of injured Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik.

***

“On behalf of Richard and our entire family, I want to thank the fans, his teammates, the Panthers and Sabres organizations, plus so many others for their prayers and well wishes. I especially want to thank the medical staff involved in his care and the Buffalo General Hospital for their tremendous support during this difficult time. Richard continues to improve and we are encouraged each day. We thank you for respecting our privacy and would ask everyone to continue to keep Richard in their thoughts over the next few days.”

-- Jessica Zednik, Richard Zednik’s wife

***

”’I was watching the replay a couple of times, and it kind of makes me feel sick. First, you go through and you want to see what actually happened. ... It was just a freak accident. Losing blood like that -- you never see anything like that. You remember that the rest of your life. You just have to find a way to deal and live with it.’’

-- Panthers captain Olli Jokien, whose skate accidentally cut Richard Zednik during a game with the Sabres.

***

"I've had lots of phone calls. I'm best friends with a lot of guys in the League the last few weeks. I've told them all I have not solicited or had an offer made. I told them I don't even want to get into that at this point. Our goal has been to sign him."

-- Thrashers GM Don Waddell on getting calls inquiring about making a trade for potential unrestricted free agent Marian Hossa.

***

“I wasn’t going to turn down this opportunity. In this game, you dream about (winning the Cup) and there’s nothing better than winning. Being there two of the last three years is great. The team here is going through steps. They’ve been to the Final. I don’t really think you have to say anything to the guys. They know the battle they are going to go through. I’m just a piece of that now and if I have something to say that maybe makes a difference, obviously I will say it.

“I’m not coming in here to change the team. I’m coming in to the play the game I’m used to playing and helping. Try to make Mike Fisher better. He’s a great player as it is and I’m going to try and make him better.”

-- Cory Stillman on waiving his no-trade clause to join the Ottawa Senators.

***

“Our focus has been on trying to get him signed. Obviously as an organization you have to look at the possibility and know what you’re going to do if you’re unable to sign him. And it depends on a lot of things. Last year with Chris Drury and Danny Briere, we certainly missed an opportunity to capitalize on bringing back something for losing those assets later on in the year. But we were a first-place club and wanted to utilize those in hopes of winning . . . the Stanley Cup.”

-- Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier on attempting to re-sign defenseman Brian Campbell.

***

Well Said

“That may be the prerequisite. I only go to teams with red jerseys, I guess. I’m hoping I look good in Senator red.”

-- Mike Commodore on wearing red with the Devils, Flames, Hurricanes and Senators.

“(A trade) doesn’t concern me right now. Buffalo is where I believe I’ll be at the end of the year. I feel strongly about it, but I do know it’s out of my control. I’m focused on the Sabres and that’s it. Any time deadline day comes around for any player, you never know. For me, I hope that never is the case that I get traded.”

-- Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell

***

“Trades only happen when they’re meant to happen. I’m coaching the guys that are here and this is the team that I have to expect that we’ll have right to the end of the season. It’s Lou’s decision if he wants to change that, but I’m here to coach the guys that are here now.”

-- New Jersey Devils coach Brent Sutter

***

“I think it is going to be tough to get away from the game completely. Hockey is always going to be a big part of my life. I hope I would do something else for awhile anyway and then come back to the game, but we will see.”

-- Mats Sundin surmised he will stay involved in hockey after he gets around to retiring.

***

“I don’t want to prove anything, I just want to win. I just want to go to the playoffs and go as far as we can. There is only one goal here. There is only one Stanley Cup.”

-- Alexander Ovechkin

***

“Either you have it or you don’t, and that’s how we have to play. That’s the way the Blackhawks play. You need to bring it every night. If we don’t realize it pretty soon it’ll be April and we’ll be saying we should have done this or that, but then it’s too late. We have an opportunity now and we know we can play like that.”

Well Said II


"I’m not here to be the happy man and make everybody happy. I’m here to make calls as far as the game is concerned."


-- Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella

-- Blackhawks forward Martin Lapointe

***

“I’m not here to be the happy man and make everybody happy. I’m here to make calls as far as the game is concerned.”

-- Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella

***

“I think we’ll have to go to a different network if you want to hear those.”

-- Stars coach Dave Tippett on some of the things agitator Steve Ott says to get under opponent’s skin.

***

We know each other's games so well. We have a few things that we do quite regularly to help us kind of stay in sync, and all three of us communicate real well. Alfie jumps around and plays a different game, he plays with (Mike) Fisher sometimes, but me and Heater, there's always constant dialogue, we're always talking about different things to try.

”Just having that comfort level of knowing you've got the same guys with you all the time I think helps. When they're out they're still watching the games and trying to figure out what to do, so we've got a pretty good fit.”

-- Senators forward Jason Spezza

***

“I cannot fairly criticize my teammates because I did not hold up my end of the bargain. I was the weak link.”

-- Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle on falling short in a team bowling outing.

***

Well Said III


"I’m sure there was quite a bit of relief and a few other things, too. That’s life. He played really well. Athletes that are upset, they contribute and help the team win, coaches are happy. This isn’t a touchy-feely thing here or love fest. This is a game of hockey and we’re fighting for our life."


-- John Tortorella again when asked if Vinny Prospal was relieved by a two-goal performance against Montreal.

“Some people can throw in the towel if they want. I know that we haven’t. We still believe we can do the job. Obviously these next five games on the road are going to be huge for us. Hopefully we can right ourselves.”

-- Bruins coach Claude Julien

***

“When I was talking to Doug (Wilson, Sharks GM), he was one of the first players Doug mentioned as being one of the best players he’s ever seen and I was taken aback. I had no idea about it, and I’d played him a lot. But coming here, watching this kid every day, the talent level he possesses, the way he skates, the way he skates from a stop position, his stick-handling ability, his breakaway speed, you realize he is so good.”

-- Sharks center Jeremy Roenick on teammate Milan Michalek.

***

”You’re not going to win scoring one or two goals a night. It’s a difficult life.”

-- Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock

***

“It needed (to be) fixed and sooner rather than later so this doesn’t carry on into next year. It’s been challenging, it’s been frustrating but it is what it is. The prognosis is that it will be better than ever.”

-- Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray on having season-ending shoulder surgery.

***

“I just feel there are lots of different players who can wear it. You have to be a leader, but on a team there are often lots of them, and they might never get a chance to be captain. And being captain is a great honor. I know when they get it from us, it’s something special. They’re really happy.”

-- Wild coach Jacques Lemaire on rotating the captaincy among the entire roster.

***

“My game is defense first. I take the body and try to make things difficult for the other team in the defensive end. Anything other than that is a bonus. I’m not going to try and change anything.”

-- Senators defenseman Mike Commodore

***

“It took him a little while to get to the NHL. He taught me is that it’s one thing to make the NHL, another thing to stay. Once you get your feet under you, it doesn’t mean it's over.”

-- Oilers rookie Sam Gagner on the lessons learned from his father, former NHL player Dave Gagner.

***

“I’ve watched a lot of Detroit games this year and it just seems that no lead is safe. They never panic and they’ve had a lot of comeback victories. They shoot everything and they go to the net. Half the shots you don’t even see because you’ve got guys in front of you. You just always have to be ready, which in a way is good. You know they’re going to shoot and you just have to be ready.”

-- Predators goalie Chris Mason on the Detroit Red Wings.

Material from personal interviews, wire services, newspaper, and league and team sources was used in this report.


 

 

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