On the Brad Stuart/Wayne Primeau trade for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew:
We’ve acquired from the Calgary Flames, defenseman Andrew Ference
and forward Chuck Kobasew in return for Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau. Ference is under contract for this year and three more and Kobasew is in a contract for this year and next year.
We have to preserve the assets. The players who are becoming unrestricted we have no chance of signing them so we have to find replacements for them. We’ve had discussions with Brad over the fall and winter, and we weren’t getting anywhere.On Ference and Kobasew’s skills:
Andrew is a defenseman who is a mobile player. He’s very high in character, as was Brad…Brad was a very good player. Andrew can play both sides, he moves the puck…he’s a tough player. Chuck is a player who is fast and can score and has some sandpaper, has some grit to him. Chuck is 24, Andrew is 27, so they have some youth, they have some energy and those things that we are trying to bring into this team.On Stuart’s and Primeau’s reaction:
They were taken by surprise. I don’t think Brad was really surprised, but anytime you hear something like that it sets you back a little bit. Wayne was very upset.On whether there were talks with Wayne’s agent about a long term deal:
There were a couple attempts, but nothing really substantive.On whether or not more trades are to come:
I can’t say that with certainty. You look to improve you team and at the same time you look to bring in players that are going to be here for a longer period. If there is something else that comes up, we’ll definitely look at that, but this is something we have worked on for a while. On Kobasew’s injury status:
Chuck is injured…he’s on the road to recovery, but he won’t be joining us right away. He dislocated his elbow, but he’s on the way back…probably two to three more weeks.On the consideration going into the trade:
From the moment I got the job, I knew that was something I would have to make a determination on. It became evident when I wasn’t having success signing Brad that I would have to make that determination. There wasn’t any specific point, but I had to come to the realization that Brad wasn’t going to be coming back next year. And I had to do what was best for the organization.
Because we’ve got two young players that are committed to staying here contractually and that are really high character players that are replacing high character players I’d like to think that the team sees these guys are positive additions to the team and going forward we have an injection of youth and energy. On Marco Sturm:
I’ve talked to Marco. We’re discussing some things. I [don’t] care to talk about them in public, just as I did with Brad.Head Coach, Dave LewisOn his reaction to the trade:
I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with these guys. I watched them play quite a bit these past couple of years, being from the west. And they do bring energy, they have a certain passion, [and] they are character guys. I’m not saying that the two guys that left aren’t character guys, they are both character guys, too. It’s one of those things that in the long run is going to improve our hockey team.On how Ference and Kobasew will mesh with the team:
As far as the on ice, we’ve got two new guys who are going to have to learn the system. They compete hard. One’s extremely fast, the other guy is very competitive and physical…There is some familiarity, some of the guys know them. I think they will have no problem fitting in. I think they’ll be a real positive addition for us in both areas, in the locker room and on the ice. On the necessity of the trade:
When any team doesn’t win hockey games, something has to change. We’ve won three of our last four, but prior to that I think we were 0-and-five. It was a cycle that we wanted to stop either with the group, or with new people.