Blackhawks VP/GM participated in a call with members of the media to discuss the signings of center Brad Richards, the team's salary cap situation and how having this depth at center will benefit the growth of Teuvo Teravainen.
What the signing of Richards means to the Blackhawks: “First off, I wanted to congratulate Brad and welcome him to the organization. It’s a big moment for us to be able to add someone of his caliber, both as a hockey player and an individual. He brings so many things to the table for us, and he’s certainly got the experience, the leadership and character off the ice that is sometimes something that gets overlooked. It’s really the whole package we’re excited about. There are a lot of options for our coaching staff now, and we’ve been searching for someone like him; he’s played a lot of years and done a lot of things. That’s exciting.”
On Richards’ veteran leadership: “There are a lot of reasons we wanted to bring Brad in. First and foremost was how he could help us on the ice, but you can’t overlook the other qualities he brings. He has been a very respected player on every team he’s been with; that’s sometimes overlooked, the value that the player adds with their character and leadership and professionalism. Brad is someone who is held in high regard. We look for that as well to filter down throughout our team. We do have a younger group, but I think even the veteran guys will enjoy being around him.”
On having flexibility with Teuvo Teravainen: “We’ve talked a long time about our hopes for Tuevo, and we’re very high on his potential and future with the Blackhawks. The one thing you have to be careful of with you players is not putting them in situations to fail. He’s just 19 years old and he doesn’t turn 20 until training camp. We’re going to see where he’s at when we get to camp. Now we have some latitude with Teuvo, and he’s going to dictate that in terms of when he’s ready to go. We don’t have to force anything.”
On salary cap considerations: “We have some ideas about what we’re going to do. That will play itself out here over the summer as we prepare for training camp. Obviously, we’ve got an idea and we’ll certainly make it work. But right now, the focus is just the excitement we have of adding a player of Brad’s stature. He brings a lot to us, on and off the ice, and it’s a great addition to our hockey team.”