David, what are your general thoughts regarding your four-year contract with the Avalanche?
I really wanted to come back and I felt that (the Avalanche) wanted me back so it’s just great to get a deal done this early in the summer and just know that I’ll be back with the Avs and be there for the next four years. My family is really excited and we can’t wait to get back there.Why was there a sense of urgency to get back with the Avalanche?
I think there’s something within our team and within our locker room. We have a great group of guys and I think we showed that during parts of the season. Just being there my whole career, I know everyone and there’s a sense of family. It makes it special when you can stay with the team for this long. With the four years it really gives me a chance to be a part of something that they’re growing towards and that’s pretty exciting.
You reached the 20-goal mark for the second straight year. Do you think you can take it to the next level knowing that you have more security and peace-of-mind with your new contract?
|"I think everyone really feels like we have the personnel (to make a playoff run). We have the team do it. It's time to do it now." |
Yeah. Absolutely. We had a lot of success after we brought Jamie McGinn in and our line (with Paul Stastny) really clicked. We were on fire after the trade deadline. I don’t think there’s any reason why, if we’re together during the upcoming year, that we can’t put up some good numbers and really help our team. I think that’s part of what they wanted with re-signing me. I’m excited and I only have more to give. I’m excited to get back to doing that. Have you shown what you can accomplish over the last two years while staying healthy?
Yeah. I had a little bit of tough luck in the first couple of years. There were injuries that were really unavoidable - big collisions or people falling on you the wrong way. It’s tough to battle through that but I’ve pretty much had two full healthy years - the last two years - and I think I’ve shown that I can be a player in this league and I hope to do that moving forward. There seemed to be optimism after the season ended that things would work out here. Was there ever any consideration for the open market?
It was definitely something I had to think about. You don’t get to be a free agent very often. I’ve been on one and two-year contracts and I think the most important thing for my family was to have some security and know that I’m going to be in one place for a while. That’s really what I was looking for. Colorado was able to speak with me prior to free agency and that was something that they wanted as well so it was great to get something done. You don’t know what’s going to happen after July 1 but I was just happy to get everything taken care of. I love it in Colorado and I’m definitely excited to be back. You were a ninth-round pick in 2003 and the lowest Avs/Nordiques draft pick to make it to the NHL. Does that make it even more special knowing how far you’ve come?
It’s great. The first couple of years you’re really just trying to earn a spot and I think I’ve done that. This (contract) really shows that they want me moving forward and to be a big part of the future of the team. That’s what I want and that’s ultimately what you dream of. It’s really special.
You know, the first couple of years I really thought about that, being a ninth rounder, but I think once I got more ice time and was able to play, you forget about that a little bit. You look at guys that haven’t been drafted that are playing and there are just different roads you can take. I wasn’t a first rounder or anything, so it maybe makes it that much more special. I’m just happy with how things have worked out and I’m really excited to be with the Avs. It’s been another long offseason for the Avs. Do you feel like the team can make the playoffs and take that next step in the future?
I think so. We’ve made small steps the last few seasons. This year, down the stretch, we were real close. It was a real tight race. Look what happens. Los Angeles gets in and they’re looking in good shape right now and we had good success against them. So it just goes to show you that if you get into the playoffs anything can happen. It’s proven this year how close the teams really are.
I think we have a lot of positives that we are going to build on. But with that being said, we need to make the playoffs. We need to make a run at it. We can’t be satisfied with moving up a couple of spots. I think everyone really feels like we have the personnel. We have the team to do it. It’s time to do it now.