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Running Quote Sheet

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS QUOTES

Thursday, July 14, 2011
BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI AND DEFESNEMAN ADAM MCQUAID
Opening Statements: Peter Chiarelli
As stated in the release, we want to announce today the signing of an extension for Adam McQuaid. Adam has kind of been a bit of a poster child for our development. He came into our organization and he worked hard at his craft at the American League level and improved every year. Found his way into the line-up and now is a real solid contributor with his size, his toughness, his range and we continue to see him improve and he’s still at a young age, and we’ve felt fortunate to be able to lock him up for the foreseeable future. He’s a very competitive player and competitive person, although sometimes he comes across as quiet, we know that there’s an inner drive to this player, we’ve seen it in the playoffs. We’ve seen the way he competes, the way he closes off his checks, and we’re very excited as an organization to have him in the mix for the foreseeable future.

Opening Statements: Adam McQuaid:
Well first off, obviously I’d like to thank the Jacobs family and Peter [Chiarelli] and you know other management, Don Sweeney, Jim Benning, Cam Neely, you know for making this happen. You know, I’m extremely excited it’s a great organization from top to bottom. And I really couldn’t picture myself being with any other team, and being anything other than a Bruin. And I love this city and love the fans and the people there. And just pretty much just overjoyed right now.

On what in particular impressed Chiarelli about McQuaid from early on and how he has improved over that time…
CHIARELLI: Well his willingness to learn is probably the thing that stood out the most. He was certainly raw when he came into our organization but you could see, I remember watching him at Providence and talking to the coaches at the end of a week what they’ve talked to Adam about and what he should work on. And you could see it unfold in front of you for the weekend set of games, like the little nuances of playing defense at a high level. You could see him slowly learning and adjusting to them. And there was always that part of his game, kind of the tough, the strong and you always knew that was there. But there’s a lot of polish that ended up with his game. And he continues to work on it still, whether it’s the skating, the turning, the passing, the little things. So his willingness to learn and he never really got down. And you just could see his game improve. And from year to year, he was up until this past year, he still continues to learn and improve.

On working his way into the lineup and how difficult it was to remain positive when there were times he was a healthy scratch…
MCQUAID: Well like you said, it was a pretty deep group. And you know I knew the situation coming in and I kind of looked at the Johnny Boychuk situation from the previous year and how he was in the same situation. And by the playoffs he was playing big minutes with Zee [Zdeno Chara]. So kind of talked to him a little bit about it, and you know my mindset has always been to just kind of work hard and kind of try and keep my mouth shut and work hard. And just kind of let the chips fall where they may.

On how important it was for Adam to get this done now and not have his final year of his contract hanging over his head…
MCQUAID: Well it’s certainly nice, I wasn’t really thinking too much about it but you know being able to get it done. And to know, you know, that you’re going to be with the team, you’re going to be where you want to be. And I’m very, I’m obviously very excited about the situation and you know I want to continue to improve. And continue to help the team, and you can see obviously we had success last year and want to continue with the winning ways.

On if he has plans to take care of the number of players whose contracts will expire after next season early and how complicated it will be with the CBA expiring…
CHIARELLI: Well, this was a case of both parties coming together and reaching a real good deal for both parties. You know we don’t always go out early and try and sign guys before their deals [are] done. But we look at it case by case and when it makes sense, then we go ahead and do it. From the perspective of the new CBA or the CBA expiring, you know, you just, it’s in the back of your head. You factor it into your decision making, it’s kind of an overriding thought. And, but what I can say is we’re not just going out today and trying to sign everyone to extensions, this just happened that this one fit for this time for our planning. And we’ll take them one case at a time.

On if McQuaid can remember what his thoughts were when he got traded to Boston…
MCQUAID: You know, I wasn’t really too sure to be honest with you. I had played a long season in juniors that year and only had a few weeks really before the Development Camp. And I think probably, you know right from day one at the Development Camp, I realized the organization was willing to work with me and I wasn’t necessarily getting things perfect right away but they were willing to work with me. And I was willing to, you know, if they were willing to work with me I was willing to put the work in. And really that’s been the same right from day one right until now. Really that’s all you can ask, you know, for someone to give you an opportunity to work with you. And I really feel like you know, the trade was one of the best things that could ever happen to me.

On if McQuaid will be with the Bruins for the next four seasons…
CHIARELLI: That’s correct.

On there being no hesitation for McQuaid in signing an extension with Boston…
MCQUAID: Yeah, I really, to be honest, there wasn’t really any hesitation at all. Like I said, it’s where I want to be, it’s where I want to be for a long time. To be able to do something that could put me in that position was really a no-brainer for me.

On projecting where McQuaid will fall in the Bruins top six defensemen…
CHIARELLI: Well, he’s progressed to a point where he’s a fixture in our six. And I see some, I see some shut-down abilities in Adam [McQuaid], I see a positive two-way component to his game that’s improving. His passing’s improving, so, I can’t, you know, I’d like to say he’s going to turn into a top four defenseman, I’d like to say that at some point, and he’s twenty-four, in four years he’ll be twenty-eight, and, you know, he’s a guy at that point where you can make a real, solid determination if he’s a legitimate top four at that time. So he’s got the game to play shutdown minutes, as Adam admits himself, he has to continue to improve and we give him areas to improve on. But he certainly has the framework to be in that shutdown role at some point.

On if Chiarelli is looking now to sign Joe Corvo to an extension…
I’m not, like, as I said, we’re going to take it case-by-case. This was an instance with Adam that both parties kind of came together and we felt the timing was right. And right now my priority is with signing Brad Marchand, so we’re going to stick to that, and then we’ll see, you know, we’ll see later on this summer where we’re at and where planning takes us. At this point, we’re not looking at extensions right now.

On if the Bruins have any updates on Marchand…
Again, I’m just not going to comment every time I go to the media. There’s been discussions. We feel there’s been progress. And again, that’s where I’ll leave it.

On how McQuaid thinks his game projects…
MCQUAID: Well, ideally I’d like to be a top, you know, shut down other teams, top line, play big minutes, and that’s something that I’ll, you know, obviously need to work on to get to that point but ideally that’s where I’d like to see myself in the not-too-far future.

On Zach McKelvie and if his service obligation to the US Army is complete…
CHIARELLI: We’ve been informed that everything should be in order for him to compete with us. His military obligations have been fulfilled. We’ve been informed that that’s the case. He’s, basically, he’s been fulfilling his military obligations these last two years and he’s still relatively young and we want to give him an opportunity to play so we’ve signed him to a one-year deal. We basically had his rights, we thought we were able to get him earlier on, when we signed him at first instance, but circumstances dictated otherwise. Now he’s in the mix and he’s fulfilled his military obligations and he’ll be able to perform for us.

On if McQuaid’s experience in the minors made him a better player…
MCQUAID: Yeah, absolutely. There’s some guys that spend more time, you know, I spent a lot of time there, but certainly the time tat I did spend there really helped mold me into the player that I am and you know, those experiences certainly, I wouldn’t be at this point.

On if McKelvie will be eligible to play in Providence this year…
CHIARELLI: Well, he’s signed a two-way contract, so that’s where he’d play. He’s missed two years of playing, so that’s where his destination will be.

On Craig Cunningham
CHIARELLI: He’s another individual, you heard me, I don’t know if you were at my press conference at Wilmington, he’s one of those guys who each year, it’s only been two years for him, but he’s improved his strength, he’s improved in all his testing. He went back and he played as an overage in the Western League, and he did well with a real good team, Portland, and he’s just a guy, he has a real, complete game. You know, he has to get a little bit stronger, although that’s improved, a little bit quicker, but I guess it’s fitting we sign him at the same time we sign Adam [McQuaid], he looks like he’s a kid who’s willing to learn, willing to put the time in. I expect him to improve once he gets into that full-time professional mode, and again, an all-around player with some offense, some defense, a solid kid.

On if Cunningham is eligible for Providence…
Correct.

On if McQuaid still has his mullet and what his plans are for his day with the Cup…
MCQUAID: [laughs] Yeah, I do, kind of have the mullet. I kept the general idea of it, but I got a little bit of a haircut. And the day with the Cup, you know, I have a few plans in motion. We’re obviously going to have some private time with it and also plan on doing a parade and a community thing, so really looking forward to the day and looking forward to sharing it with as many people as possible.

On if Chiarelli has any interest in seeing how any of the arbitration cases around the NHL shake out or if it’s “too much of a junk heap”?…
CHIARELLI: [laughs] No, it’s not a junk heap, although I like the terminology. You know, we’re always following the arbitrations. We have the schedule, I look at it every day, I look at the results. You look at it in conjunction with everybody’s cap situation. So whether it’s a buyout, new buyout windows following arbitrations or whether it’s walk-aways, we really try and stay close to it. We have flexibility, so we just kind of keep a watch on it and if there’s something that intrigues us, we’ll pursue it, but, and there may be new, I would anticipate some buyouts at some point, walk-aways maybe.


BOSTON BRUINS POSTPRACTICE QUOTES
BOSTON BRUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP
Monday, July 11, 2011

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI
On his overall thoughts about development camp…
I liked what I saw. Each day they got better, they were pretty sloppy to start, but they hadn’t played in a bit, so, you know, those players that have attended camps before, you can see them coming along a little more quickly than the new guys. Just, they know what they’re facing, they’re maybe able to pace themselves a little better through the power skating, which I thought was quite good, quite strenuous, but quite good. The new guys, I liked. I mean, obviously Dougie Hamilton is a tremendous, tremendously skilled player. He has to get stronger, but you can see, as each day went on, his skill came out and his confidence came out. [Alexander] Khokolachev, just going through our drafts, Khokolachev, again, very skilled. He arrived in not the greatest shape but I know he’s going to take care of that as the year progresses, as the summer progresses. [Anthony] Camara, he’s, I think a couple of these guys’ eyes were opened at the speed and strength, but he’s a robust player. Four was [Brian] Ferlin, I thought Ferlin was good, good stick, protects the puck, you put him on that line, that line was good with [Justin] Florek, [Ryan] Spooner and Ferlin. Five, [Rob] O’Gara who we talked about, or [Bruins Assistant GM] Donny [Sweeney] talked about him yesterday, I think he’s going to be a good player, provided he gets some strength and gets his feet under him. He’s got a good head, good stick, good sense. And then the goalie, the goalie [Lars] Volden, big kid. Again, I don’t know much about him so I can’t really comment about him. Those young guys, I thought, acquitted themselves well.

On if players are always trying out when they appear in front of the organization…
Any time you watch them, you’re always assessing them, so I guess, in that sense, yes. What I told them to start the camp was that, pay attention to every little detail in this camp. On the ice, off the ice, and treat it as if, not you’re trying out, but treat it with the utmost care and attention and determination. We want to instill at an early age the work ethic, the level of expectation that they’re going to be facing from us. At the end of the day, it’s a development tool, and it allows, it indoctrinates the new players into the organization and that’s what we hope to accomplish. It is something that we look, how they, on the ice, off the ice, we’re always assessing them. So in that sense, it’s a tryout.

On if his projection of the growth of any prospects changed after observing them…
It really hasn’t changed. The players, as I said earlier, the players that have been here before, you could see them kind of ramp it up as the camp progressed. I thought Ryan Button had a good day today, I thought his play has come around. But, you know, on this short period of time it doesn’t really, nothing’s really changed for the good or bad. The projections that I have, that we have, remain the same.

On if any moments jumped out from the scrimmages…
You definitely, and this was obviously not by surprise, you saw them getting sharper as each day came on and getting more confident and the skill players, I think you saw their skill come out more. That one line, I thought was very good, with [Justin] Florek, [Ryan] Spooner, and [Brian] Ferlin. I thought you could see the, they made plays together, they found each other, they scored. Just, it was just good to see the confidence in the players come out. You’re worried, not worried, but you watch if they improve and you know they’re going to improve, just because they’re good players, they’re going to improve from day to day, but it’s good to see when the confidence starts to come out and I saw that in a lot of these kids.

On if he sees a drastic difference in players returning to development camp multiple times…
Well, for a guy like [Ryan] Spooner, one of the things that we told him at the end of last year and at the camp, at development camp and at training camp, was he has to put the time in to get better, to get stronger, to get bigger. And he did. He did do that, and all the testing showed that, and there’s still room to improve, but he, you could tell, we take the testing very seriously and Ryan put the time in and you could see it in his play, even. He had a little more spring in his step with the puck, he had a little more bulk in his, he was able to protect the puck a little bit better. So you see it firsthand, so, a guy like [Jared] Knight, he was already last year in tremendous shape and this year he’s even improved. So it’s, there’s only maybe one or two guys that I was, I wouldn’t say disappointed, but who I would have expected more improvement in their testing, but for the most part, all these guys took it seriously. They trained for that run test that we have, which is very important. And the strength testing was good also.

On if he’s inclined to use Besa Tsintsadze with the NHL club…
Well, he’ll spend some time with our club. Throughout the year, yeah. He’s both, he’s going to focus primarily on our Providence team, but he’s going to spend time with, whether it’s one-on-one or one with a small group. He’ll spend some time with our big club. He’s good, very good, you saw, he’s dynamic. It’s all about edges with him and that’s important. I talked to a few of the guys after the first session and their groins and their rears and their lower back were all really, really sore. And to me, that’s good, when those things are pushed.

On the town of Wilmington and Ristuccia Arena…
Well, they’ve been great here, Bob Rotondo and his group. The crowds here have been terrific. It’s kind of cool, you know, you just finished winning a Stanley Cup, but you watch, you meet, the players make a good play and the crowd’s ooo-ing and aw-ing. It’s nice, the players play maybe a little bit better, a little bit harder, so that was nice to see. And it’s tough playing hockey in the middle of the summer, but, you know, it was a good venue and we were happy to hold it here.

On if he thinks he’s replenished some depth on defense...
We feel that we’ve done that. We’ve got a pretty strong group now, like you saw. I talked earlier about Ryan Button and he acquitted himself well at the end of the year in providence and he’s showing improvement here. You’ve got the [David] Warsofsky’s and, Tommy Cross I thought, he’s had his knee problems but I thought his skating and his mobility was the best that I’ve seen in a while. Then you’ve got Warsofsky who, you can see his skill out there, you can see his stretch passes. He’s an incredible stretch passer. Then of course you’ve got [Dougie] Hamilton and then you’ve got [Marc] Cantin. Cantin I thought played well and he’s one of those guys that’s may be a little bit older than the rest of the crew but as the days progressed, I thought he was strong out there today. I’m probably missing a couple here but we’ve got quite a few and [Matt] Bartkowski and [Steven] Kampfer weren’t even here of course. So we’re happy with the defensive depth right now.

On if development camp helps college players in particular...
I think what it does is it gets them a little more accustomed to the lifestyle because it’s a camp and it’s condensed and they’re doing a lot. They’re doing a lot during the day and there’s no classes persay. I think it just gives them the first take of the lifestyle. Style of play, it certainly would get them acclimated to their first pro camp when they turn pro. It’s a good pace out there. It’s deep when you compare it to a college game. It’s just deeper, it’s better players. Not quite as old for the most part but it gives them something different. It gives them a reference point when they turn pro.

On if he sees a couple guys from this camp making their way onto a roster come September...
I don’t want to kill any dreams that these kids have but we have a whole other strat of players like the [Jamie] Arniels, the [Jordan] Carons, the [Matt] Bartkowskis, I mean we have a whole level that are really close. But usually every year there’s one or two. Like last year, [Ryan] Spooner stayed till the very end. Now was it realistic that he was going to make it? Probably not, but he played so well that at least we talked about it. So in that sense there probably will be someone that is there and wows you and you have to talk about it and think about it.

On how additional size might compliment Dougie Hamilton’s skill set…
Well, I thought he, again I sound like a broken record here but each day I thought he played better, was more comfortable. He walks the line so well, he’s got the poise, I thought he carried the puck a lot in today’s session with strength and confidence. just, he has the poise, the vision and his passing is good and he’s got size. So by the time he’s ready to play he’ll be two hundred-plus so to get a defenseman who’s tall, rangy, and can make those fine offensive plays and still have the range and the ability to play shutdown because I believe he will have that. Obviously it’s a great type of player to have.

On where he would like Dougie Hamilton to be weight-wise...
I mean, if he can get to two-twenty that’d be great and he could. With his frame and he’s still growing. I think he’s still growing like from we had one posting measurement at some point towards the end of his season and he’s grown like a quarter of an inch or a half an inch since then so it’s got to be done properly and I’m sure he’ll do it. I know he’s conscientious about that. His parents are two former Olympic athletes. He’s got core strength too so like two-ten would be great.

On what he wants to be different this year in Providence after the changes he’s made...
Well we’ve added some veteran players that will take some of the pressure off of the younger players and their roles but their going to have a better environment to develop and to win at the same time. We didn’t really do anything drastic there. It’s just that we’ve got a new coach there and if we’ve added some players, every year we add players kind of like those older, veteran players but overall, you try and create a positive environment down there and have a winning attitude and that’s the best for development. That’s hard to do because those young players that come in, that’s hard for them to contribute like top-six minutes or top-four minutes and make a big difference to start so there’s maybe a third year season that you’re struggling a bit with those younger guys. So that’s what we try and do.

On what he thought when his third round draft choice went into the stanchions...
Well one, it didn’t surprise me that it was him because he likes to hit. He’s got a sturdy body. I think under a normal game circumstances, I think you might have seen his gloves off his hands at some point because that’s the way he plays. But I like what I saw in him. Again, he’s a robust player, he can make a play too and he skates well. So I wasn’t surprised. He and [Zach] Trotman were going at it too for a couple of days so it was good to see, but again, not surprising.

On if he’s had any more contact with Brad Marchand or his agent...
We continue to talk and we’ve had some discussion and I’ll leave it at that.


BOSTON BRUINS ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER DON SWEENEY
On if there were players that surprised him…
Well I mean, I’ve been hesitant to single out any particular players on any given day because you know, kids read into that stuff. You’ve asked me specific questions on certain guys and I’ve certainly answered it. I’ve been really impressed with the camp overall. The kids have really come in, I told them that on the ice today, I thought they really bought into trying to take advantage of all the things we’ve thrown at them: the challenges, the power skating and stuff, the scrimmages, even the tempo. And guys making plays that we ask them to try things offensively to get up ice, and d, and move the puck. They all really tried things. Off the ice, you know the first couple days are a grind. It’s a long day with the physicals and then you know, gong to play paintball and the guys decided to divide up teams. I’ve been really impressed with the group and the camp overall. If there’s a specific kid, I will certainly comment on him. But I’ve been really pleased with the group overall.

On the depth on defense in the organization…
I thought the eight guys out there were really good this week. I was, you know, we haven’t seen a lot, I haven’t had a chance to see a lot of Zach [Trotman] play outside of video. I thought that physically he’s a really developed kid. But he’s moving better. His puck decision stuff in the course of this was really good. Tommy [Cross]’s health is a real positive sign for our group. You know we were concerned about where he would be. And he looks like he’s back on track. David [Warsofsky] you know leaving school, and a small player, but a puck mover. Ryan Button now joining our group. You see the skating ability he has and we’ve worked awfully hard with him the last couple years to try and understand the d zone a little bit better. And be committed to some things there, he’s bought into that. I mean I can go right down the list of all of our guys. Obviously Dougie Hamilton we spoke about all week long, you know, that we’re excited about. Robby O’Gara, I know that you’ve commented like he maybe looks like he’s baby faced and won a lottery ticket to be a Bruin or something but he does not look out of place in any way, shape or form. He’s a nice piece of clay right now that we all get to go to work with. And he’s a great kid and he’s really excited to be part of our group. Overall I think our guys, you know we had the invite with Steven [Spinell]. Who am I missing? I’m missing one. Marc Cantin reminds me a lot of Marc Stuart. You know real, real competitive kid, has leadership qualities and loves to play hockey.

On if the group exceeded his expectation…
I don’t really have any expectations in terms of, outside of the guys we’ve already seen. We do have expectations that they are going to be better, physically and more comfortable to be able to do things that we expect them to progress in the areas that we’ve been addressing with them. So from that regard I think some guys have made some strides. The new guys coming in, it’s an open canvas. It’s their chance to make a first impression and then go to work on some of the things that we’re going to identify and we do it in pockets. Where the goaltenders will meet with Bobby Essensa and then us. And then they’ll also meet with [John] Whitesides individually from a strength and conditioning sides of things, meet with our scouts in an exit meeting and then myself to try and dial in some of the stuff they did well this week. Some of the things we saw, the carryover from when all of our guys saw them during the regular season. And like I’ve said, go to work on some of the things that we think you can improve upon.

On if there is an X Factor that he looks for…
I like to see the kids, obviously the competitive nature has to be there and you can go down the different facets of each and every one of their games. Anthony Camara as I mentioned yesterday is a kid that has a lot of bite. You know you saw him play a physical brand of hockey but he still can make some plays. Tyler Randell is the same way. You know we want to see whether or not, where his skill set is and continue to improve. You know Shawn Thornton is the best example of that that you can possibly come up with. I mean, Shawn Thornton scored ten goals for us this year and you know, he does the other part of his job, he’s used in all situations. You know the guys that play that type of sole should be identifying with that. But Shawn worked hard on his skills. And those guys need to. If it’s another guy that has good skills, Ryan Spooner is a example. He needs to get stronger in order to be in battle situations and he was doing that. Robby O’Gara talked about having a better stick position. I dial in to each and every one of the guys and we talk in a group to try and identify the stuff that you know, but they all have great assets that we’ve identified and that’s why they’re here and that’s why were excited about them.

On if he enters development camp with an expectation that the players will crack the roster or that they will return to juniors…
I think that those kids, and Ryan Spooner is a great example, he went through all of training camp last year and pushed it. And then it was decided for him to go back, physically it probably would have been a stretch for him. But he’s stronger, there’s no reason why those guys shouldn’t be encouraged. I mean we’ve had guys, you guys well know, emerge out of our camp the first year and play. And you know, [Bruins GM] Peter [Chiarelli], he’s coming up afterwards but he’s been very consistent that if a young man is ready to play and help his hockey club and help [Bruins Head Coach] Claude [Julien] in the areas that we want and we’ve identified. Then we make room. And Blake Wheeler, write down a list of guys that have cracked our club. And each of those two guys you mentioned have things that we’re excited about and have things that, they don’t have the experience yet playing. So they’ll go through camps, play some exhibition games and see how they continue to react. But there’s no reason why each and every one of those guys shouldn’t be coming here and saying I don’t have to go back to junior.

On if there were any standout areas of this year’s camp that they will continue to implement next year…
Still waiting for, we’ll do a little recapture in terms of how the players, sometimes we have feedback from them as well. We’ll get that in the exit meeting. As well as our staff to meet. So it’s a little early for me to judge that to offer an indefinite opinion. I think the  nutrition session that they did off the ice, and being able to go down to the Garden and spend time with our chef. Which we’re really appreciative of their time and efforts there I thought was really helpful. You know these guys are going to be on their own, and going to make selections at Whole Foods or somewhere else, Stop and Shop, not to be biased. You know you can continue to name names or whatever. Wherever they’re going to go shopping and pick out food but making good choices and being able to prepare them. I thought that was a nice addition to our camp and an area that we felt we needed to address.

On if that was a signal they should be shopping at Whole Foods…
No, that’s absolutely not. As I said, Market Basket you know, I could keep going, Shaw’s. They’re all, you know, the same choices that hopefully the kids are making better ones. Stepping into the green sections of them rather than the box section.

On if there is still no official supermarket of the Boston Bruins yet…
Not yet. But Stanley Cup Champions, they should be lining up, somebody should be lining up.

On what adding muscle and power to Dougie Hamilton’s skill set would do for him overall…
I think I said yesterday I don’t know if there’s, we haven’t set any high side, low side on Doug. I think it’s just been nice to get him into our camp and kind of start to fine-tune some of the things you see during the course of the season. And you know he can do a lot of these things. Where it goes will really be up to him. You know he wont know that until he gets on the power plays at the next levels, he knows he can do certain things at the junior level. And you know his physical stature helps him get away with some of that stuff. I would say at this point in time ,the decision-making is really what it will come down to as to where his impact will be. And you really, a lot of times don’t get that until you do go through these experiences and playing against guys that will expose you when you do run around. Or you do you know, step up in the wrong areas. Like I said you get away with that at the other levels. Like I said, the next level a guy will bait you and take advantage of that. Until he goes through that and maybe we say, ok well let’s see if he does it again and if a situation that’s similar comes up we’ll say if he does it again, to learn from it.

On Dave Warsofsky seeming very poised on the ice for his age…
I think it exhibits his hockey sense overall in terms of he wants to gain, he doesn’t want to force things offensively he wants things to open up. He’ll allow that, to have the patience to allow those things to open up. Rather than, we call it skating into the funnel so to speak. Where a lot of teams are trapped in the neutral zone and setting you up to turn it over. Versus allowing that guy to swing underneath, and make the underneath path and recognizing how I can effectively move the puck. And we’ve asked David in terms of, from defensively from the tops of the circles down. You know he’s going to have to engage and you have a really good stick, it’s just the laws of physics are going to apply. He’s a good skater, you know like do I think he needs to be a very efficient player. Yeah I do, and the margin for error for a guy who’s five foot nine is not very good. You know but if you’ve got the heart and the courage and the hockey sense to be able to utilize the tools you have, and we believe he does, then things will work out just fine and you’ll find your own place.


BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
On how development camp has been so far…
Yeah, I came in a couple of days ago and I got a good chance to see them scrimmage yesterday, again I think our guys are doing a great job at finding some players that seem to fit what we’re trying to do with our hockey club. A lot of good players, and I guess the obvious ones are always the ones we look at when we’re talking about first round picks and so on and so forth, the [Ryan] Spooners and [Jared] Knights and [Dougie] Hamilton, [Tommy] Cross, stuff like that. But I’ve also seen some other guys that have caught my eye as well. So it’s just a matter of staying on top of things and seeing where some of those guys down the road might fit in and some have to go back and, I guess, get more experience and play with their respective teams. Some guys are going to end up in Providence, you know, it’s always good to spend some time and get to know these guys a little bit better. Certainly, it facilitates, I guess, my job when it comes time for them coming to the main camp and at least knowing a little bit about them.

On the maturity it takes to play in the NHL and what is important to stress at this point in players’ development…
Well, I think for a lot of those guys, it’s almost like an initiation of how we do things around here, what’s expected of them, that’s on ice, off ice, the conditioning part but also, they’re teaching them about things in the community and being part of it. And hockey is more than just the game itself, it’s about giving back at times. You have fans that come and commit themselves to your team but we also have to commit ourselves to our fans. I think it’s a great thing for them to learn at a young age, so that when they do come to training camp, you know, again, it’s not a first time experience, it’s not a shock, they’re less nervous, and when they’re less nervous it helps them perform even better. So we’re helping them out, and again, as I mentioned earlier, to me it’s more of an initiation of the surroundings and everything that’s expected.

On if he speaks to the prospects during camp…
Yeah, I walk around the dressing room and I chat with them. Obviously, you know, we use the example of Tommy Cross here, he’s been here for four years now, I’ve seen him on crutches, I’ve seen him on the ice. So there’s an example of a guy that almost feels a part of your organization, you know, for a whole year because you’ve seen him so often. Yeah, it’s about talking to some of the guys that you met last year and meeting the new guys this year. So it’s an opportunity, like I said, for me to get to know them and for them to get to know me.

On if he’s been in contact with Providence Head Coach Bruce Cassidy and if he expects much to change with a new coach…
No, I mean, we’ve had our conversations about certain things and there’s, you know, I’ve been there, I guess, and I understand what you have to go through. You know, his job is, he wants to develop players but you always develop players better when you’re in a winning environment. So you’ve got to try and do the best you can with the players that you have to win. And sometimes what you have there may not be exactly what we have here, so you’ve got to maybe play it a little differently, but he’s got to feel comfortable doing his thing. And certainly from my end here, you have to support him. So in our chats, it’s been pretty similar to what we do here. There might be some small differences but nothing that’s going to prevent a player from coming here and feeling comfortable about playing our game. So we’ve had that conversation, I mean Bruce [Cassidy] has been with us for quite a few years now, as well, and to say he’s the new coach, it’s a new head coach, but the same guy that was there and certainly he’s got the experience of coaching in the NHL and American League, and he’s had a lot of success so I don’t anticipate that will change. As far as I’m concerned, he’s done a good job developing players, he was in charge of the defenseman and we’ve seen defenseman who have come up and done pretty well.

On how his summer has been...
It hasn’t really started yet. But not in a bad way, it’s been great. We went from winning the Stanley Cup to the draft and then back here to development camp. I spent, I guess, about a week now at my summer home which is nice to kind of get away from things a little bit but it’s been great. It’s going to be short but at the same time, I didn’t think I’d feel this way at this time this soon but I’m looking forward to getting going again. That’s just the way we are.

On his plans for his day with the Cup...
Yeah, kind of tentative plans but it’s more about sharing with friends and family and stuff like that and we’ve got quite a few people in the Ottawa area that are going to end up with the Cup and then a lot of them are already doing the hospital rounds and stuff like that. So you don’t necessarily want to duplicate, but you want to share it with as many people as you can and it is your day with the Cup and at the end of the day, family and friends are so important, they’re the ones that have been supporting you try and do a little something special for them.

On if he knows Benoit Pouliot at all...
Yea, I don’t know him personally. I’ve had my chats with him and he’s actually a kid that’s grown maybe fifteen, twenty minutes away from where I grew up. So I’ve seen him enough and know enough about him but I think he’s going to be a really good acquisition. I think his skill level is extremely high. I know that a lot of people seem to think that he underachieved. At the same time, we feel that we probably will be able to give him a better opportunity here with the space that’s open for him. From what I saw, when he played for Montreal, there were times where he was really physical. We saw him get in a fight with [David] Krejci but also involved in the corners and then being physically engaged I guess. I think in this surrounding here, knowing he’s got good support and our team has everybody’s back, I think that it’s even going to be even a better situation for him but at the same time, we expect him to come in and demonstrate his skills and use his skills that everybody seems to think he has so I’m really optimistic about him. We’ve seen Nathan Horton come in here and everybody knew about his skill level but they kind of questioned whether he can get consistent and he showed that he can. So we feel the same way about [Benoit] Pouliot. That he’s going to come in and be that same kind of consistent player and kind of grow from there. He’s a young player, I think twenty-four, so a lot of potential there.

On if it will be strange coaching a team without Michael Ryder...
I’ve done it before and for Michael he went out and got himself a contract that gave him some security. And you have to respect that for him, from players at this stage of their careers, I guess they get into their thirties and you know [Tomas] Kaberle, same thing he got himself a nice three year deal. So you know, you have to respect that sometimes. You try and keep those guys but at the same time new blood is never a bad thing into your lineup. And you know Michael has been extremely good for us, especially in the playoffs. You know I don’t think he’s ever disappointed in the playoffs. And you know his seasons he’s had some ups and downs but his playoffs were good enough that someone’s giving him another opportunity. So he moves on and so do we, we bring in another player that we think can certainly help our hockey club.

On Joe Corvo coming in and filling the void Tomas Kaberle leaves...
Well yeah, it’s not about replacing but taking on his role. I think you know you look at Corvo who’s got a really good shot. He’s a player that may be a little bit more physical and more engaged. And we’re going to have to work with him as far as kind of, making him understand the way we play here. And I think the way we play will certainly help him a little bit. Because you know again, we don’t want him running around, we want him playing well positionally. But again he skates well and he’ll move the puck well. But that’s where Kaberle, for people, you know, that thought he underacheived a little bit. Which I think at the beginning we weren’t quite getting what we wanted. But once you saw him get a little comfortable, you know, we’ve got to give him credit. He’s a smart player, he sees the ice well, makes good plays and that’s where his strength is. You know but when you look at Corvo, his shot is going to be a lot better and hopefully on the power play which we did [get] some good shots from the back end, it will certainly help us.

On Bruce Cassidy being a nice fit for the Bruins because of his playing background and the amount of young defenseman within the organization...
Yeah it is. You know, to me I see Bruce as more than that. Again, I think he’s capable of dealing with the forwards and the offensive part of the game. But you know, no doubt his expereince being a good puck handling defenseman when he did play is going to be pretty important for our young defensemen. Like I said, I think we have a good crop of guys coming up in that position. And I feel really confident that the depth in that area is very good. So he has an opportunity to make a difference for our hockey club by giving those guys a good education on how to play that position and he’s done a good job in regards to that as a player. And I’m sure he’s going to do the same as a coach.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

BOSTON BRUINS ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER DON SWEENEY

On if the goaltenders are ahead of the shooters at camp…

A couple of kids had some nice shots and finally scored some goals in the scrimmage and that generally finds its way to even out once they get a little book on them and they find their spots that they know they can go to. It’s funny how we all have to think about putting shootouts into the, you know, your camps and whatever the case is to kind of figure out like, okay, who’s, it’s one of the first things [Bruins Head Coach] Claude [Julien] just said, like, well, you know, we started to get a book on the guys that seem pretty comfortable in that situation. You know, they’re doing it at every level, right, and it’s not going to go away at ours, that I know of.

On what popped out during the scrimmage…

I mean, you know, you come to camps and all the kids are probably chomping at the bit to scrimmage a little bit. And, you know, choppy a little bit, at the first start, but once somebody scores a goal and you start to make some plays, guys kind of settle in, and that’s where the hockey sense and the stuff that our scouts and people see all year long start to materialize. And that’s probably the enjoyable thing, I mean, that’s again not the main focus of this camp but it’s always a nice little piece that kind of, towards the end of it, you kind of see these kids in the setting that they’re most comfortable in, while the game’s being played.

On if any of the individual players impressed during the scrimmage, potentially showing skill that wasn’t obvious in drills?…

I’m not going to single anybody out. I thought the [Brian] Ferlin line created an awful lot, did a real good job on the cycle, and obviously [Justin] Florek had the one opportunity and buried it, and you like to see that, the big man down around the front of the net. I thought all of our D moved the puck pretty well today, to tell you the truth, got involved in the offensive flow, which we’re going to continue to encourage. Obviously, [Anthony] Camara scored a goal, so you like to see that from a guy who plays with a lot of bite, that he can play on both sides of it. Overall, I thought the overall pace, you know, especially when we’ve only got two lines, I thought was really, really good. 

On the skill sets of the goaltenders and if Michael Hutchinson is ahead of the curve…

Well, he should be, I mean he [Hutchinson] obviously played a whole year of pro hockey last year. And the other kids, well, you know, Zane [Gothberg] going back to the USHL, so he’s not even headed to college for another year, and Lars [Volden] is playing, working his way up through the European teams and had a good year over there. So Hutch [Michael Hutchinson] has got some areas that Bob’s [Essensa] really focusing on. He’s a big kid, moves well, made a nice play with the puck, he does have good puck skills. So we are, I mean as much as other teams get a book and shooters get a book, I think Bob’s got a real good feel for what Mike needs to work on and he’s starting to deliver that message. You know, it was a challenging year for Hutch last year, you know, he was up and down a little bit between there and the coach, just balancing out, getting him the ideal playing time, the number of shots that we wanted to see. You’re not going to work on some of that stuff in practice, you have to play games. And that’s music to Allen Iverson’s ears, but, you know, for the most part, we’re happy with the year of development, but he’s got to continue to work on those areas that Bob and he have identified.

On the scouting process to identify who earns an invitation to camp…

Well, in a perfect world, that’s exactly what happens, you go through that identification process and the overlap, it won’t be any one person that’s seeing him. Because some of these kids we’ll be seen from an amateur viewing and some we’ll be seeing from a player personnel and a pro viewing, and a free agent signing, so you get a lot of overlap, be it from our amateur staff and the guys that are part of that, and Scotty Bradley, [director of] player personnel, and Adam [Creighton] in a pro environment, certainly John Weisbrod, doing the college scouting, who is a big part of that. Ryan Nadeau does a lot of that, as well, [Bruins Assistant GM] Jimmy [Benning] and I are backfill in terms of we’ve probably seen all of these kids that have been invited to camps. So you like to think you’ve got your bases covered in that regard so you have a little knowledge when somebody drops, ships themselves into your camp, that you know what this player is about. And then you see where he fits in with the dynamic of your group, what you’ve drafted and how those kids are moving along and finding out whether or not they’re going to fit in. Okay, well, does this piece fit in better. You know, I think that’s the part that all the players need to understand, that we don’t stop drafting and we don’t stop looking. I mean, if we’re going to find a way to improve our hockey club, we’re going to do it, and [Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli] Pete has really been instrumental in making sure that we turn over that, and that goes with the identification of our other teams. And [Matt] Bartkowski and [Steven] Kampfer are two examples of that. And Carter Camper would have been here as well, and would have been a player to follow in that same category. So we feel good about when those kids get here. And then you get to know them personally and find out whether or not that translates into what we’re trying to build here and continue to see whether or not they’re going to continue to be a part of that.

On his thoughts of the Dougie Hamilton/Tommy Cross line...

I mean, that’s a good pairing. I mean, first of all, it’s a rather large pairing, you know and Tommy’s [Cross] really filled out, obviously, he’s had some injury troubles so it’s good to see him, you know, on full speed, full capacity, no limitations to what he’s doing on the ice. And he’s got kind of a calming influence for Dougie [Hamilton]. You know, like I talked about yesterday, Dougie’s looking to get up ice. He’s comfortable on the power play, he’s looking to be physical. You know he’s going to be a well rounded, you know, well rounded player with a two way component. Where that fits in on the high side, one or the other we won’t worry about that today that’s for sure. We just continue to work with him and get him to understand and process the game, you know as speeds go up.

On how valuable it is for Dougie to be taken under Cross’s wing...

Well you hope that accelerate it a little bit. And you know, they get comfortable and they know somebody. Tommy’s been through some, was a second round draft choice, so he’s had some acclaim behind him in terms of where he was selected. But he’s been patient about staying in school, and he’s a captain which obviously speaks volumes. Boston College runs a hell of a program so that, that’s a credit to Tommy in a leadership capacity. But we knew that, you know you watched last year when the military guys and Eric Kapitulik when The Program ran. You know Tommy was a guy that wanted to organize things and put guys together. So i think that hopefully will give Dougie a sense of confidence in getting more acclimated to our organziation .

On how he evaluates Alexander Fallstrom...

Real good sign for Alex he met with, we set it up for him to meet with John Whitesides at the end of his year before he went back to Sweden. And to spend some time there and identify some of the areas physically that he could work on and fine tune so it would translate on the ice, and i think it has done that. He’s moving better, shoots the puck well, he’s a concisencious player. We want to see what his high side is offensively. So you’ve got to get him in, fine tune and get him in the right shape and be able to utilize the skills that he has to be able to get there. The skating side of it is something he’s going to continue to work on, he knows that. But he’s done a lot of hard work and the fruits of that are showing up here this week.

On if the players can check in with Coach Whitesides after they disperse to their other teams...

If they’re UDC, unsigned draft choice, and yeah absolutely they are part of our organization and they have that resource available to them. And they’ll send in, you know periodically send in their own game reports and how they’re doing and whether or not they have any injuries we could potentially follow up on and such. And like I said, they’re communicating though you know through the social media so we’ve got to stay on top of that. And that’s a good avenue for us to utilize.

On what he has seen from Justin Florek this week at camp and in general since drafting him last year...

Well I mean you look at the physical size and he isn’t even done, you know, filling out that frame. So there’s a lot of room there. Look at the drills, look at the power skating, you know it’s hard for him because he’s not a kid that’s a fluid skater. But he gets there, and he’s heavy when he gets there. And he’s heavy around the front of the net and then you see the release when he gets one chance. Some guys need two, three, four, five, right. But he gets one and buries it. Thats the stuff that you kind of say, okay, if we can continue to work on the other stuff, and he’s willing to work on that stuff then you know you could find a player there for sure. 

On if he was surprised at how physical the scrimmage was today...

No, because the kids, you know like we talk about i, I told them beforehand, like look, this is you know, scrimmage. So the competitive nature, you want that, is going to come out. Do I need to see anyone running anybody on center ice and risking blowing somebody’s, no I don’t. You know in terms of the step up hits and those things. But when there’s an opportunity to compete and battle for a puck and those physical situations then that’s what we’d expect. And they know that, I mean as much as we say it’s not a camp where you’re trying to compete for a job, it’s still about impressions. 

On Anthony Camara...

Well, I think I alluded to the fact that he scored a goal and he’s a kid that plays with a lot of bite, we know that. He’s a real, tough kid. Again, is the skill and working with Besa [Tsintsadze] necessarily where he’s going to shine to the most but you know what, he’s been working at it, he knows it, and he wants to get better at it. Then when the puck’s dropped, you realize that this kid has a skill set that is probably better than what some people think it was because of the toughness. I mean, sometimes those guys get pigeonholed and there’s no reason for Anthony to get pigeonholed at all. He showed he can play today and he’s physical and then he’s going to stick up for his teammates as well. So, I like that flavor.

On Eric Robinson’s absence from the ice...

Eric had committed to two camps so he had left. He committed to the first part of ours and then he was leaving to join another camp.

On if he wants to get any players under contract before they leave the camp...

On any of our unsigned draft choices? We’ve been speaking to a number of them, yea. I mean, the timing of it, be it in the middle of this or coming out of this, I’ll be speaking to a number of the agents to go down that path very shortly.

On if there’s a frame of reference when he’s signing players such as Josh Hennessy and Jamie Tardif...

[Jamie] Tardif I wouldn’t have seen quite as much. Sometimes the other conference I don’t get to see quite as much. [Josh] Hennessy I saw a little bit. Our pro scouts and our amateur scouts, we’re in direct contact when we go to make those decisions and I’ll tap into resources of coaches and people who have coached these kids on a two-fold level. One for a character level and one from a playing level and to see how they’re going to fit into our group. It’s so vitally important as I’ve obviously pointed out. And I’ve made some mistakes in that regard in terms of some of the kids coming in, they might not be the best fit for where they are and what we need so you need to make sure you do that and these guys are going to want to play. They’re, from all indications, Jamie Tardif is a kid that will push for a spot and Josh Hennessy is a real skilled guy who decided to go overseas but these guys are going to be competing not unlike Trent Whitfield and that’s what you love to see out of guys like that.

On what he’s seen from Alexander Khokhlachev...

I mean, he’s a young kid too and this is a different environment for him. He’s got some things that we’re going to identify going forward throughout the summer and going back that he’ll get in better shape and he knows it. But when the puck drops he makes plays. He sees the ice so very well. He’s probably a little unselfish that we’re going to get him to shoot the puck a little bit more. But he’s a really good kid and he wants to play over her. So we’re just going to continue to work with him. I mean, this is hard. He doesn’t really have, he’s got Besa [Tsintsadze] now that he can speak Russian too but he’s not bad, he understands it pretty well. So being able to communicate with him and being very direct in terms of what he needs to do in order to take advantage of, as you pointed out, the high level of skill that he has and the hockey sense that he has. 

BOSTON BRUINS POSTPRACTICE QUOTES
BOSTON BRUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP
Saturday, July 9, 2011

BOSTON BRUINS ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER DON SWEENEY
On Ryan Spooner and the strides he’s made…
Well, we’re very excited to have Ryan as part of our group, first and foremost. He’s a highly skilled player, he plays at high, high speed, something we want to continue to have in our organization and I think he’s going to make other players better. He’s got a real good mind for the game, I love the fact that he came down to Providence at the end of last year unsigned, but wanted to come and play hockey and wanted to kind of be a sponge to absorb, he wanted a taste. You could just tell that the kid is gung-ho; he wanted a taste of what it was going to be like to play against bigger, stronger players. And he came in and did very well, we asked him to shoot the puck a little bit more and he did that. I think that most of his growth has come off the ice, to be honest with you. I think he’s maturing, as all these kids are, but he’s kind of understanding the work he needs to put in, and particular areas that he needs to pay attention to, and it’s starting to translate on the ice, you know, he talks about feeling better, his, he’s got a better, even overall shape, and size in the right areas and stuff. So you know, some real good progress with Ryan, we’re excited to see where he’ll be come September.

On if Spooner needs to work on his physical game and strength…
Well, strength for any of these kids, I think, eighteen or nineteen years old is first and foremost, to be able to play at the next levels. But you know, you’re not going to understand the compete, Tyler [Seguin] would be the first person to be able to answer this honestly, understand what it takes to compete against the likes of the players in the National Hockey League until you’re kind of going through it. And he showed very well in training camp last year and really pushed to stay right to the very end, and deservedly so. Obviously the bar resets this year, and he’ll come back and try and do the same thing. I could sit here and guess, but I bet you I’m accurate in the fact that he thinks he can make this hockey club, and that’s a great thing, you know, for the kids to come in here and feel that way.

On the off-ice activities during camp and how important they are in bringing the prospects together…
Well, we think it’s a big part of it. You know, you can go and work them for as long as you want over the course of the day, I mean, you’re only going to get so much out of them on and off the ice, to tell you the truth, before they check out. Having gone through training camps and such, I know where the tipping points are for kids. So we try and, you know, we do, we try instructions in different areas and when you find some people that are kind of thinking outside the box, last year, you know, Eric Kapitulik and The Program is a perfect example of that. This year, the nutrition class, and having the people kind of give these guys a leg up in how they prepare a meal and what they shop for, nutritionally, and such, is an important thing. I mean, the paintball is certainly, on the surface, is kind of a fun afternoon, but, you know, they decided to play college against Junior, there’s little things, nuances, that fall into place there when guys kind of sneak around and I think you learn about people. You learn about future teammates is really what that comes down to.

On Besa Tsintsadze’s drills and what they show about Dougie Hamilton
Well, I mean, at six-foot-four, [Hamilton] moves very well. Very well. And he’s got a good skill set with the puck, without it, we’re just trying to fine-tune some of the things defensively. You’re not going to see, from a camp like this, in terms of you know, we might do a little power play in the scrimmage-wise, or whatever the case may be, but you’re not going to see the guys do that. I mean the ice gets chopped up, it’s a little frantic, the guys haven’t played together. So anybody that comes in here is not going to see somebody wow you with you know, there will be some wow moments, but overall it won’t be that way. I think we want, first and foremost, Dougie as well as everybody else, to feel comfortable in being part of this organization. So he comes in, in September, and he does work between now and then that will put him in the best light to challenge and to continue to get better. He’s got a lot of upside, I don’t think anybody in our organization feels that he’s pigeonholed in any capacity, be it defensive d-man, offensive d-man. I think he’s just going to be a real good, solid two-way player and we’re excited to have him.

On if it’s a coincidence that there’s an even amount of college guys to major-junior guys...
That’s a coincidence.

On what the organization likes about Besa Tsintsadze and his approach...
Just a different approach. We’ve been very fortunate to have Paul Vincent, John McLean and Victor [Teleguine], some guys that have certainly helped us and it’s just an opportunity to explore a guy that brings a little different look. He’s worked with a lot of NHL players and had, obviously some success and where he has been. It’s kind of a fresh approach. We felt that we could tap into a resource there and obviously primary focus will be here as well as Providence but there’s no reason why guys up here in Boston couldn’t use it too, because he’s got some kind of neat things that take you outside your comfort zone, which is a good thing for us.

On how they make sure players don’t discouraged or embarrassed by the challenging drills...
I think deep down, the next drill coming, you don’t know necessarily what it is and you can be the one struggling. There’s some ribbing going on, I’m not going to tell you, there’s guys that are like, ‘Can I send you a manual for that one?’ Because, I mean it happens. Everybody is feeling that way and one might click for you, but you might be embarrassed in the very next one, so I think that’s the beauty of that and he’ll find something during the course of the time here, I’m sure that you won’t be able to do and you’ll be challenged. I love the fact, to be honest with you, I love the fact that guys are falling down, guys are really trying to do the things. There was no one mailing something in out there in the course of the past couple of days from the power skating side of it that weren’t really trying to be like, ‘Wow, this is kind of neat stuff.’

On if it’s harder to look at a prep school player like Rob O’Gara and be able to project his skills...
Probably a little bit. You obviously have to have a feel for the league and guys that have come out of there and how their trajectory has gone. It’s a harder route. I went that path. It’s definitely a harder route. You don’t play as many games. Level of competition, I mean, it’s still hockey. There’s games in any league that teams are on a rebuilding mode. You go into buildings that aren’t necessarily up to par for where that team is. So I don’t want to put down the Prep School Hockey League overall. Will I tell you they’re producing a lot of NHL players? No, they’re not. But it’s still good hockey and Rob’s at a stage where he’s coming out of an area that probably isn’t known for producing a lot of players. So things are kind of new to him and you can tell he’s a little wide-eyed and trying to get himself up to pace. But that’s a good thing from where we sit. He’s got the next four, five, whatever years, whatever he needs to develop into the player we think he can become. He’s not getting any smaller and, you know, hopefully he only continues to get bigger and he could be like Tommy Cross here, coming back for four or five of these camps and you just see him continue to grow and develop as a player before we even think about him turning pro. That’ll map itself out, as I said, there’s no course of action laid out for each and every one of them, they’ll set their own course. But him being in our backyard, I think gives us the ability now to dial in a little bit even better through the course of the season when I go see him play. I didn’t talk to him at all until we interviewed him. But now, I’ll be getting to pull him aside and say, ‘X, Y and Z,’ and be very specific about things.

On what Sweeney is hoping to see during the rest of camp and on what he’s seen that he likes…
Well, I think we’ll get to see the scrimmage environment here a little bit in the next couple days. And this camp is not set up that way. I have been pretty adamant in saying that; that this is about learning. But we’ve kind of implemented some of the things that we expect them to absorb and implement during the course. And then you allow the creativity side, I think that’s the part we’re all waiting to see. You know, when the puck drops, who kind of rises up. You can do drills all you want and some guys will stand out in drills. But the next little tweak, in terms of what guys will do when it’s a little bit more of a scrimmage environment will be interesting. So I think that’s the thing that most of the scouts will look forward to most. I love the fact that these kids seem to be coming in, and first of all, I think they’re better prepared. I think they know kind of what’s around the corner at these development camps now. They’ve been talked about and written about and thankfully, covered by you guys. You know, so they have some insight there. Some of the kids are returning so they know they have to be in shape and do some certain things and they’re going to be pushed. So they’re better prepared to take advantage of it. Yet, all these kids, and the power skating thing is a perfect example, they’ve bought in. I love the fact that they’ve all tried to do things differently, what we’ve asked them to do, and take a little different approach. I mean, obviously the fact that we’re Stanley Cup Champions maybe has had something to do with it, in realizing holy [cow], these guys are at the top of the ladder here. You’ll have to edit that out, fellas, [laughs] but anyway, and that’s where we want to be as an organization. And I think from the time that this camp and stuff has been implemented and what Pete’s [Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli] philosophy has been, that we’re moving in the right direction and hopefully these kids want to jump on board.

On Craig Cunningham
I had a chance to go out and see Craig [Cunningham] later on in the season. He actually toyed with playing in Providence last year and decided to go back. Albeit it was in Vancouver at the time, he was captain and felt that he was going to be in a real leadership role, which kind of dovetails with the character of the kid. To be honest with you, he’s a kid who feels like he’s a leader and wants to be a leader. He went to Portland and was spoken very highly of by the coaching staff there in that capacity. So you know, the playing field kind of gets leveled out now, in terms of, he’s a younger kid and coming, but even in this type of camp with kids, he’s kind of taken a leadership role. And guys, like we were talking about, we were doing the drills and he was messing up a couple and guys were giving it to him, but I think that’s an indication of, people like you. Half the time when people are giving it to you [it’s] because they know you can take it and whatever and it rolls off him pretty good and he’s going to try it again. I like what Craig does. I think he’s the type of kid that just decides he’s going to work hard and get better.

On Brian Ferlin
Well, I think there’s a lot of room for growth on Brian [Ferlin]. He’s got tremendous upside athletically. I think he’ll continue to get more and more comfortable on the ice as he plays more and more hockey. It’s like taking the one thing until they converge, so to speak. I think that’s, as he plays more that athleticism will start to show up. He’s got good speed, he’s got good size, he’s got good skills, he’ll understand now in terms of how to utilize those even better as he plays with better players and moves forward. We’re excited. I think he’s a nice project and a nice piece to have to continue to go to work with and then see where he takes it.


Friday, July 8, 2011

PROVIDENCE BRUINS HEAD COACH BRUCE CASSIDY
On today’s two sessions and his impressions of the players…
I mean, I think the skating part’s always interesting because there’s a lot of edge work and you’re not sure what guys are at what level. And we’re going to continue to do that, especially at development camp and throughout the year in Providence with Besa [Tsintsadze]. I think he’s really good at what he does, very energetic guy. The second part was more, we’re not doing a lot of systems here, per say. It’s more about skill development, building in some habits, backpressure, some of the things the Bruins pride themselves on. So we’re working on that every day. Overall, as a group, I think every kid’s doing, as a whole they’re doing very well, they tested well, for the most part. There’s the odd guy that might have lagged here or there, but they’re in pretty good shape and they’re going to get lots of work, and demanding work, and so far I think they’ve been great.

On the switch in power skating coaches at development camp…
Well, I think what happened with, Victor [Teleguine] was more skill, puck skills, than anything. John McLean came in for a while and then Besa [Tsintsadze] came in late in the year. Again, these were things that were decided by Bruins management, so I can’t tell you exactly why they decided to make the change. All I know is everyone brings a different element and Besa, certainly, his ability to skate, they should sign him, the way he zips around out there, is motivation for the players, and I like what he does with the guys. He keeps them moving, he mixes in edge work with puck skills work, while you’re working your edges and balance. But again, I don’t want to disparage Victor and John McLean either, but Besa, if he’s the guy, I think that the players will be happy with him.

On Besa Tsintsadze’s skating skills…
Well, I don’t know if I’ve seen a guy that demonstrates as well as him, let’s put it that way. He’s extremely good at what he’s doing and don’t forget, he’s been doing this for a while. It is mesmerizing at times, he can really go, great balance and speed. You get the price of admission just watching him, that’s for sure.

On if any players are jumping out in particular early in development camp…
Well, the obvious guys, I watch the guys that are turning pro more than anybody. The guys like [Marc] Cantin, [David] Warsofsky, [Ryan] Button, those guys are all going to be in Boston or Providence. And then I watch some of the younger guys, the higher picks, I mean, a guy like [Dougie] Hamilton, for example. For a big guy, at 6’5”, [6’4”], he moves pretty well, he’s pretty fluid, you know, most guys who are eighteen years old are still growing into their body, they’re a little bit clumsy, but he’s got very smooth feet for a big man and gets around the ice very well. I haven’t seen him play, obviously, I don’t do the scouting, but I imagine that’s going to translate and that’s why he was the ninth pick, because of his skating and his, he looks like a heady player, he has a good stick. Again, he’s one guy for sure that I’ve noticed that looks good and again, you don’t know until September comes around, until he’s playing against men, but he sure looks like the real deal out there for the past forty-eight hours.

On Alexander Khokhlachev’s performance so far…
Well, watching some of the in tight drills, especially the small ice games, he’s got excellent hands in tight, he freezes goaltenders, he gets pucks up in tight, so certainly the skill and goal-scoring ability is there. His conditioning needs to get better, but he’s one of the, what usually happens, these young guys, it’s an eye-opener, their first camp. I don’t think they truly realize how good of shape professional players are [in], so he’ll get that part of it down. But like I said, I like his instincts around the net.

On if development camp is an early look for him at players that may end up in Providence…
Well it is for sure, just, [David] Warsofsky, [Ryan] Button and [Marc] Cantin are three examples, just, hey, God bless them if they crack the Bruins lineup. That’s a Stanley Cup Champion lineup with a lot of guys returning, so they’re going to need their share of seasoning, I would assume. So I watch them, for sure, to get a head start on where I think they’ll fit in. But we’ll have our training camp, the Bruins will have their training camp, there’s a rookie training camp, so there will be plenty of time for that. I think this is more about orientation, for lack of a better term, just to watch players, see how they test, see how they improve in their testing in two months, when they’re back, just find out a little bit about them also, as people. There’s not a, I think those are the only, [Craig] Cunningham up front, Hutch [Michael Hutchinson] we’ve had, obviously, so we know about him. And Tyler Randell, I think those are the six guys that are turning pro, I may have forgotten one of them. So certainly I’ll watch them a little more.

On Michael Hutchinson and what he wants to see from the goaltender this year…
Consistency. All the second year guys, they, every first year player goes through it, it’s very rare you find a guy that has a, you know, that goes like this all year and climbs a little bit, there’s usually some peaks and valleys and he had his. He’s a more mature, he’s a mature guy for his age, as far as goaltenders go, because sometimes you know, you hear it all the time that goaltenders can be a little goofy but I find him to be mature for his age. Pretty focused guy, hard worker, it’s just a matter of that big body and developing his technique and his athleticism to the level that it needs to be. I would assume he’s going to have a good year for us, just because of what I saw last year, because he’s a mature guy, he’ll get better. I don’t think you’ll see him go backwards. I think he’s, like I said, a pretty focused guy.

On the study in contrasts between Hutchinson and Anton Khudobin
Khudobin played great for us, he gave us a chance to win every night once we acquired him. He’s had good numbers throughout the AHL in his other stops, even in his call-up to the NHL he had good numbers. He’s not that far off, unfortunately, Timmy [Thomas] and Tuukka [Rask] are pretty good, so the guys in front of him, he’s going to have to wait his turn. But, Anton’s more like a Timmy, little more unorthodox, battles, whereas Hutch [Michael Hutchinson] is a little more like Tuukka with the technique, so it’s a good comparison, and hopefully, hey, if they each become as good as the guys we’re comparing them to, the Bruins are in good shape.


On Ryan Button and the course of his development…
Well, he was drafted and he was a great skater, he still is, very mobile, can push the puck up the ice. He’s got decent hockey sense, that’s an area that most kid come out of junior, if they’re good skaters, get away with being able to do certain things because they can recover and that’s what we saw last year. Some of the things he probably got away with, with cheating up in the neutral zone to try to pinch off some plays, he got exposed a couple of times, and he knew it and he learned. We just want to see him, again, we talk about consistency in a defenseman because every mistake gets magnified when you’re back there, so he’ll have to go through that process. But he’s stronger than he has been, and that’s natural, every year at that age you get a little stronger, so that will help in his battles. That’s an area that he’s going to have to be a good contributor in, as a defensive, shut down type of guy. And then maybe he’ll grow into the other part of it offensively. That’s something we’re looking at. But when you have guys like [David] Warsofsky, he’s down there, and [Matt] Bartkowski, pulling some guys that are going to play ahead of him probably, in those situations, his best chance would be to just be solid one-on-one, move the puck, keep it simple, I know it sounds like a cliché but that’s how I see him down the road, and maybe his game blossoms offensively. But that’s not something that he should be focused on right out of the gate.

On his thoughts on Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner
Well I certainly tell they have been here, and they finished the year with us also. They’re definitely ahead of the curve, just the way they conduct themselves a little bit of a swagger. You know [Ryan] Spooner’s a very dynamic player. Well they both are, just in different ways, but these are the guys you kind of wait for September to really watch because they are going to be the best guys out, well should be. And I don’t think they’ve disappointed anybody so those are guys, the guys you watch down the road. Because I think they have a legitimate shot to push on people for jobs here.

On his thoughts on them at the end of last year…
[Jared] Knight was your typical up and down, north south style of winger. Got to the net, you know he would muscle his way through there and get second chances. I think he got a goal, I cant remember, I certainly noticed. I know Spooner had a couple goals. He’s more of a playmaker but, and he was as advertised also. He was always making something happen. You know a lot of times god things, making plays. And a lot of times some turnovers that were high risk. But those are the things that will be addressed over the years with him but you don’t want to take the creativity out of his game. Neither one seemed phased at all or intimidated by playing against, I don’t want to say men, but the American League they are certainly young men for the most part. They’re definitely older than these two guys, it’s not the NHL but the guys are older and more mature and they didn’t have a problem with it at all.

On how to push Zach Hamill to get to a point where he can compete for an NHL job…
Well I think if you just, first of all, go back over the last three years obviously his development isn’t, he hasn’t developed as well as we all hoped. Okay, so we all know that up front. Part of that has to fall on the coaching staff and part of that has to fall on the individual. You know now we move forward, Zach gets an opportunity to work with a new coaching staff per say. Maybe that motivates him, maybe we look at moving him around in a different position. He’s been a center iceman, not a lot of room there, sometimes maybe try him on the wing. I know it’s a little unorthodox, thinking outside the box. But maybe that gets his game to the next level, putting him with some players that can make him a better player also. But at the end of the day, when you’re your fourth year at the same organization it falls upon yourself just to push people. I think, the individual has to recognize what’s going on around him, a few people have passed him. And it’s time for him to start passing a couple of younger guys that have come in the last couple of years. And whether he’s ready to do that we’ll find out in September. But he is unique, you know. He was a top pick and sometimes there’s no room. When you win a Stanley Cup there’s obviously good players and there might not be room. But for him, part of his process could be hey there’s twenty nine other teams, maybe if I show other people I can play then he’s still an asset to the Bruins but gets other teams to start thinking about him in their line-up, that are weaker you know up front. And that’s sort of how Zach has to approach it. I think both at a personal level that hey I’ve got to find a home somewhere else, if it’s not here but playing well. Or I’ve got to make space for myself here and they will move someone currently in the line up. That’s kind of what falls upon the depth players, and that’s how they push, Brad Marchand, he pushed guys out of the line up, let’s face it. So guys have done it, it’s just not that easy.

On this opportunity to go back to head coaching…
Well I’m very thankful for it, coaching can be a humbling experience and humbling profession. And unfortunately for Rob Murray, who, we were great friends. He was nothing but respectful towards me in the three years. So certainly it’s not always the idea situation when you replace a friend but it’s the business side of it I guess. And management made the decision and I’m just happy to have the opportunity in a nutshell.

On his thoughts about how the Providence Bruins team is shaping up for this season…
Well assuming, you know, things stay relatively the same up top then we’ve got [Anton] Khudobin, [Michael] Hutchinson, so right out of the gate I think we’ve got two good goaltenders, very good goaltending. Going to be young on defense, most teams are in the American League that’s not a big deal. Up front, this isn’t a draft, for example last year [Jordan] Caron, [Joe] Colbourne, [Max] Sauve these high-end skill guys coming in. this year there’s not as much of that. But we’ve replaced it with some depth guys, [Josh] Hennessy, [Jamie] Tardif that have had success in the league scoring, so for us personally that’s, you know that’s something you need down there as taking pressure off of the younger guys to have to score every night. So you have some guys that have been there and done it. So obviously everybody’s positive I think about the start of the year. So once it all shakes out we’ll see what we got and go forward. But I believe we’ll be, you know, a very competitive team just from what it looks like we have on paper.

On what he thinks was missing from Providence in the last two years when the team did not make it to the playoffs either year…
Well last year I think early on we had some goaltending struggles. I mean, it’s, coaches tend to do that pin it on the goalies because it’s easy but I think they’d be the first to admit that there were some struggles you know. Like I said, Hutch [Michael Hutchinson] is a first year guy, at the end of the day, I think he had a very good year but he had his ups and downs, and Nolan Schaefer had his ups and downs, Matt Dalton’s given a chance. So that’s, you know usually at that level there’s a lot of mistakes every night from every team, so you need a goalie to keep you. The year before I think we lacked scoring, once the Bruins had some injuries two years ago so we lost [Brad] Marchand, [Vladimir] Sobotka, [Trent] Whitfield, for extend periods of time. And those were the guys we relied on for scoring. And last year the Bruins stayed relatively injury free so we had most of our line up. I just think the younger guys that we counted on to score some did, some didn’t, but maybe there was too much pressure on them. Like I said I think down in the American League it’s always nice when you have some proven guys to take that slack off the guys night in night out. I mean they have to, if you’re drafted and you’re a scorer you’ve got to get it done, but it’s hard when you’re the go-to guy every night and you’re playing against the other team’ss best pair, et cetera, et cetera, so those are some the things that I think hurt us.

On how he would describe his approach to coaching…
Well I mean I, when I first started I was called a player’s coach, I don’t know what that means, to be honest. I talk to the players, they’re human beings, I like to put them in a position to succeed. I like to push them, to get a little bit more out of them. But I think I’m a lot less vocal than I was when I first started. I think part of that’s just being around it longer and having young children now, I think that changes the way you look at things. But at the end of the day we’re there to develop, so developing means communicating, teaching, it’s reinforcing and then it’s motivating and then when it’s time when the puck drops then your coaching. So those are basically the elements that I look at. But I think communication is a big thing nowadays, players want to be, you can’t just bark at them like you did fifteen years ago and expect them to perform. It’s a lot of explaining why and the purpose and how it benefits the team, how it benefits them. So that’s what I’ll do, it will just be an extension of what I’ve done for three years. I think the defensemen that have come through Providence in the last three years, for the most part, have all gotten better. They’re not all playing for Boston because that’s impossible but you know Jeff Penner is a kid that played well but didn’t really make it but we were able to move him for [Anton] Khudobin. So he was an asset, [Andrew] Bodnarchuk has been down there for a while and he’s gotten better. It’s just there’s number crunch up here you know [Adam] McQuaid and [Johnny] Boychuk they’ve made it and good for them. And hopefully, some of these other young kids we have will get up also. Because when you can develop from within, let’s face it, it’s a lot cheaper than having to go out and buy your players.

On if he has finalized his assistant coach yet…
No we’re still in the interview process. I would hope once the development camp is over that’s something that gets worked out. But again that’s probably Donny Sweeney, Pete [Peter Chiarelli], and Jimmy [Jim Benning] can give you a better answer there.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

BOSTON BRUINS ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER DON SWEENEY
On his thoughts after seeing Dougie Hamilton today…
A big boy, moves really well for a kid that’s six four. I like his overall approach to the game, you know, he looks like he wants to get up ice and is conscientious about his one-on-one play. And it’s a small sample size, obviously, but based on all of our games we watched him play, he’s a well-rounded player that has a lot of room for continued development so we’re really excited to have him.

On his hopes for the first day of camp and if it’s different than in years past…
Well your hopes are that everybody gets away healthy, first of all, I mean, obviously Jared [Knight] drives to the net and it’s probably typical, I was talking, actually, to Doug [Hamilton] and Marc Cantin, two guys in the OHL, it wasn’t any surprise to them that it was he who ran into Hutch [Michael Hutchinson] but Mike’s fine and Jared’s not going to change his game. I think overall we just, you know, we have fresh faces in here, we have some older guys who are returning, you hope that you blend that together right away. And maybe some of the older guys kind of, you know, give them a little heads-up because some of these kids are coming in here wide-eyed and they don’t have any idea. Last night, you try and take away some of that nervousness and tell them that, you know, as I’ve always said, the Bruins are here to learn about you, you’re here to learn about the Bruins and how we do things, and then learn about yourself and where you need to go between now and in September, when you come back here or you go to college or back to your USHL or the OHL, wherever you’re going to go play. And be a sponge, throughout the course of the week. Because there are a lot of teaching moments that happen throughout the course of this week that you should really file away and learn from.

On veterans of camp taking on a leadership role…
Yeah, I mean I don’t think that’s anything that’s force-fed, I think that’s something that’s a natural progression. I would expect Tommy Cross and Ryan Button, just two guys off the top of my head, have been here, Ryan was down in Providence, Tommy exhibited that in the last couple of years. And he’s been facing some challenges, injury-wise that I would think that, he’s been around more an [observational] role two years ago, and then last year was full bore, so I think he’s been through some trials and tribulations that he can share with some guys. But I really wanted, as I said last night, I wanted all of the kids to feel really comfortable. We’ve had players make our hockey club coming out of the development camp, and going to the rookie camp and going to the training camp. And I want everybody to realize, you know, they get to know the staff and they just feel comfortable when they come back, they’re part of this organization now. Even in the capacity of an invite, that we have these kids here. They’re here because our staff, that works ridiculously hard to identify who are the best players, have earned the right to be here, and they should feel good about that and hold their head high and go about their business.
 
On Ryan Spooner’s and Jared Knight’s return to camp…
Well there’s no question, I think, that both those players have matured, first and foremost, I mean they’re a year older, but professionally, they’ve, you know, Ryan I’ve talked to numerous times during the course of the development role that I kind of play, in some areas away from the ice, as well as on the ice, but most importantly away from the ice, and the challenges that the professional ranks will present to him. Jared’s a little more ready-made in terms of his physical stature and what he’s going to be as a physical player. The cerebral part of the game for him, you know, we’re going to continue to work upon and I think we did that in Providence, when they got a snapshot. And to give those two kids a lot of credit, they came in last year in Providence, you know, they’re not signed yet, but they wanted to play. We indicated to them that they’re a big part of our group going forward but there’s not a lot of players that necessarily do that. There’s a bit of an inherited risk there, obviously. So we’re excited, that’s the type of players we’re trying to identify as part of this organization, that’s a big part of why we won this year.

On if the group is smaller this year…
No, it’s about the same size. That’s really not going to change. We’re not going to, you know, every organization is different in terms of their philosophy of how this camp is run. But we’re not going to be scrimmaging a heck of a lot. We’re going to give them a flavor of that but that’s about on and off the ice and overall experiences, realizing a closer, smaller group, I think, lends to be able to do some of that. 

On Marc Cantin and Rob O’Gara…
Certainly, obviously, I did speak about Dougie [Hamilton] and we’re excited about bringing him to the organization. Marc Cantin has won everywhere he’s been. He’s got kind of the build that Marc Stuart had. I haven’t been inside the locker room with him but all indications are that he has the intangibles of the player that we lost in Marc [Stuart]. So we’ll see what continues. I mean, he’s got some areas that we’re going to continue to work. But we’re really excited to have him. He was a player that went through the draft. We acquired him through free agency. He was an unsigned, undrafted player. Coaches speak highly of what he brings to the table and he’s just a kid that kind of, you know, puts the boots on and goes to work. Robbie [O’Gara]’s a piece of clay right now, albeit it’s a big piece. At 6’4” it can change. Things have come at him here a little quicker in the last, I’d say, eight months. But we got a chance, I did in particular and other people got a chance to see him a lot. He’s in our backyard. We went down and spoke to him and he’s excited. This is probably catching him a little off guard in terms of the preparation aspect of it. As I mentioned, you come from the prep school ranks and you know, there’s a lot to digest here in a short period of time. The good thing is there’s no timetable for him. He’s not going to get any smaller. He’s only going to fill out and continue to get better. And he’s going to be right in our backyard for another year then on to a real good program in Yale. So I think that he’ll learn a lot. He’ll be one of those kids that walks out of here, hopefully, and learns an awful lot and takes some of this stuff going forward. 

On David Warsofsky
He was a little dinged up coming into camp last year. I think he’s in better physical shape in order to put his best skills forward. He has to play, you know, with his skill set, he’s got to move the puck, his power play skills, that might not completely translate in this environment. You know sometimes it’s a little scrambly and kids are playing out of position and whatever. But you know, from an overall skill, when the puck settles down on his stick, you’ll realize what he brings to the table. I think it was real important for David [Warsofsky] to get into Providence last year. And understand that, I guess I’ll speak from experience, that size is going to present a challenge to him. He knows that. He’s only played at this size so that’s a good thing in terms of where he’s standing, because he’ll look at it and say, ‘what do I have to compare it to’. But the thinking part of the game and understanding body position, things that you’d get away with maybe at the other levels you do not get away with at the pro level. And he needs to understand that and go to work on it. I think he’s been going through the conversations, going back over the conversations we’ve had. You know, we’re excited that he’s accepting that as well as what he does bring to the table from an offensive, puck moving, and the way he thinks of the game. 

On what he remembers from the first Bruins camp...
Well, I think the overall opinion in reflecting back is, there’s a bit of gratification there in terms of how some of these players were the start of that and we’ve seen them through. That’s the lifeline of the organization. It better be finding and developing players from a character and skill point if you’re going to hope to be amongst the best year after year. Obviously Peter [Chiarelli] has done and added parts to go with that but the home-grown stuff from our amateur scouts all the way through to everybody and our coaches, when they get a hold of them, it’s a testament to the organization, it’s a testament to the change in philosophy I guess, that Peter instituted and the Jacobs family supported and certainly what Cam [Neeley] and Claude [Julien] and the rest of us are going to try and continue to do. Those players had no idea, we didn’t have any idea what it was going to be. I mean, I’ve picked the brains of some of the people that run camps at the National Hockey level but it was a trial and error situation for sure and we’ve learned from it, we’ve tweaked it each and every year and try and continue to find ways to challenge the kids as well as challenge ourselves and I think we’ve all learned from it.

On how this isn’t a minor undertaking of a year...
No, this is not a minor undertaking. Nobody’s going to shed a tear for us, given the fact that the window has been shortened in terms of the planning aspect of it. I’m very thankful that, Ryan Nadeau in particular, does an incredible job in that regard. We have a good relationship to try and plan things and sort things out but we have people, Karen Ondo, booking flights. I mean I can go right down the list of people in support that get behind it and all of our staff, I mean these guys have been tapped out too and what they’ve been doing. But they’re here every day and setting things up and again, to me, that’s the philosophy of the organization and everybody jumps on board and pulls as hard as they can. I think it shows up on the ice. The players themselves, I hope that they respect it and the whole organization gets to share in the result of it.

On the off-ice activities the players will do this week...
Well, they get to shoot some paintballs at each other tomorrow. They’ll have a little social media and how to deal with you guys and the rest of the world tonight. We’ve got a nutritional cooking class set up for them, community service, you know, a little different twist than what we had on last year. Again, just kind of stretch and pull in different directions and just see what these kids are made of in that regard.

On how he feels on the veteran group he’s assembled in Providence...
Well I think bringing back Trent Whitfield is a big key component. Trent’s a real good swing guy for the organization because he can play at the National Hockey level if we run into a depth situation. He’s a consummate leader at the American League level, he’s a captain down there and he pushes kids. We’ve brought in two other older players that will challenge for spots and depth up here and push the kids up here and buy for spots in Josh Hennessy and Jamie Tardif. Our back end is going to be a little young, but that’s just sometimes the timing of things when guys collide as to who’s coming out of contract, who’s leaving college and that’s the case. So we’ll go through those growing pains. But I think we’re putting together a more balanced team down there. I’m hoping the offensive side of our game will be improved because it needed to be

CONFERENCE CALL
BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI AND DEFENSEMAN JOE CORVO
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Opening statements...
CHIARELLI: I’m just announcing what we’ve already released, but the Bruins have acquired Joe Corvo from Carolina for our 2012 fourth round draft pick. We, Joe’s a player that has a lot of experience in this league, he’s a strong player, very good skater, very good shot. Can log a lot of minutes, can play power play, be very strong on the power play, and his extensive postseason experience. He’s someone that we’ve talked about over the last little bit as we’ve progressed on some of these free agent signings. You go past kind of the free agency days, the first couple of days, and you look to possible trades, if you're not satisfied with what you’ve accomplished in the free agency. Joe became available as a result, not directly as a result, but when we did not reach terms with Tomas Kaberle and we felt very strongly about Joe as a player and we went after and acquired him. That will be my statement.

CORVO: This came as a surprise to me and a very pleasant surprise. I’m very happy to be with a team that’s coming off such an outstanding season and really hasn’t made many changes at all. So I just think, at this point in my career this is just an excellent opportunity to win, and to have the chance to win. And you know, I couldn't be any happier.

On his thoughts on Tomas Kaberle and how hard he tried to bring him back…
CHIARELLI: I’ll answer that question briefly as this is to announce Joe’s arrival. But they are connected to a certain degree, we had some talks, with myself, with Tomas and with his agent. And you know, I think one of the stumbling blocks was terms and I can completely respect why Tomas would want some form of term. And you know, we weren’t able to reach common ground in that respect. And this opportunity had been, I had been nibbling at this opportunity for a bit to acquire Joe and it just came. You know, it came down to maybe now Carolina was going to sign Tomas, so here’s a chance to be able to acquire Joe. So we seized the opportunity, we do wish Tomas well, he provided us something that we greatly needed in the Stanley Cup and he’s got a good contract with a good team now. But as I said, we’ve brought in Joe, who’s got the things that we’re looking for also in the skating, the shooting, the passing. Some very good experience and a very good sturdy body for the way that he plays. So we’re very excited to have Joe on board.

On Corvo’s style on the power play…
CHIARELLI: Well he can, he’s a tremendous skater, very quick, so he’s good at retrieving pucks. And skating them up through the neutral zone and making a good clean pass. He’s got a terrific shot, and I’ve seen him score often on one-timers, I’ve seen him score often on receiving a pass and shooting. So he’s very dangerous that way. So he gives us another hard shot from the right side, you know, and to me, with respect to the power play, it’s his skating and passing that, obviously I liked his shot, but his skating and passing helps with the entries and he’ll be an asset to our power play.

On if he has any discussions with Ottawa about bringing Corvo on board last time he was a UFA…
CHIARELLI: I was, not really, no. I was kind of in a bit of a purgatory so I couldn’t really do a whole heck of a lot.

On making Corvo a complimentary player so he will stay fresh for the end of the year…
CHIARELLI: Well it depends on how you define a complimentary player. We, as I said in my opening statement or one of my responses, Joe is, he may be thirty four but he’s got a very good sturdy body. Like I can see him play, you see him knock people down, you see the way he skates. You know we, there’s a lot of kind of ebbs and flows this season, and we’ll see where Joe fits in, and certainly his, I think he what did have twenty four minutes this past year, almost twenty five, that may be a little high, but we’ll see how it goes and how he plays.

On how he has improved as a player in the last few seasons as an offensive defenseman…
CORVO: I think it’s the experience, I’m a lot more comfortable in a lot more situations. I’ve played a lot of penalty kill, and I’ve pretty much done it all out there now. So it’s more of just a calm factor to where I know what I can do out there and I’m not going to really extend too far past that and try and do too much. I think that just the years I’ve played, you kind of find your niche and you find out what it takes for you to be successful and you just do those things over and over. And I think that’s where I’m at right now.

On the difference between Carolina’s style of play and Boston’s style of play…
CORVO: I’m not quite sure about system, system-wise. I know, in terms of thinking I know Carolina, we were more of a dump and chase kind of team just because we lacked the overall skill that maybe a team like Boston has. That would be one difference. Other than that, transition-wise, I know with Peter [Chiarelli] being so excited to have me and I’ve had conversations in the past with him just in passing. That makes it easy for me to know that there’s a GM that wants me to be there and wants me to do well. And you couple that with the fact that there’s a couple guys on the team that I’ve played with before; Chris Kelly and Dennis Seidenberg. I just think that at this point in my career and those factors it’s really a perfect fit for right now.

On if he is at a point in his career where he wants to be with a contender…
CORVO: Not really, just because of the fact that I like to think people see me train, that I train hard all the time. I put the maximum effort forward. My body feels great. I mean, if you look back in my career I think I take one or two years where I didn’t even play. And you know I feel great. You know these guys normally play until forty or whatever, I don’t know. I think everybody’s different. I just try not to look ahead that far and listen to my body and its just not ready to quit right now. I feel really good.

On coming back to the East…
CORVO: Oh definitely. I think travel-wise its where you want to be. It doesn’t take its toll on you over the course of the season as it might if you play in the West somewhere and you’re getting home super late and getting into bed late. It’s great to be right in the middle, right in the East where travel is easy. And it’s definitely conducive to good play, that’s for sure.

On if Brad Marchand is the off-season order of business…
CHIARELLI: More or less. We always look to improve. You’ve heard me say that a number of times. So there’s still a lot of players out there, and we’re obviously, with getting Joe [Corvo] in place here we really solidified our back end. You know you kind of just got to keep your, stay attuned to what’s going on and if something comes across your desk that you can look at, we’ll certainly look at it. But were not going out and being real proactive at this point now.

On how he feels about playing in Boston and joining an Original Six team…
CORVO: Oh definitely, I think it doesn’t matter what Original Six team you play on. When you put that jersey on, it's probably going to feel different if you haven’t done it before, so I’m super excited about that. But my impression of playing as a visitor in Boston is, the first thing you notice are the fans. The fans are super passionate about their team. The place is always jammed. It just seems like a great place to play. Like I said with the jersey, and it being an Original Six, it's just going to make it that more special.

On if all post-season surgeries went well…
CHIARELLI: Yeah, they’re over now and I don’t have the exact dates when they happened but they were both successful. And the normal rate of recovery will apply for both, with Tuukka [Rask], the arthroscopic surgery on the meniscus. And with Luch [Milan Lucic] it was just the cartilage of the nose, just cleaning that up.

On Chiarelli’s next contact with Marc Savard….
CHIARELLI: I don’t really have a date in mind other than I would touch base with him once a month, so it’s probably got, maybe another couple of weeks before I talk to him again.

On if Corvo made an impression on Chiarelli when the Bruins faced Carolina in the playoffs…
CHIARELLI: Yeah, what I’ve seen from Joe, I’ve seen him, he talked earlier about his experience, I’ve seen him grow as a defenseman with his experience. Some D plateau, it’s a tough, very tough position. I think we saw Dennis [Seidenberg] grow that way, too, and I’ve seen it in Joe, since he’s been, I know he bounced around a little bit in between his stints with Carolina, but if a team wants a player back, that speaks volumes, and that’s what Carolina did. And I saw, his play reflected that, so, I’ve seen him, you know, you heard him say he’s feeling more comfortable in what he does and what he can do and what he can’t do, and that’s a tremendous thing to say that, because you’re maturing as a player, and his play reflects that.

On if Corvo will play as a left-sided defenseman…
CHIARELLI: Yeah, I think he can. He could play on the left side, I mean he’s fast enough, he’s got a good enough stick and he’s smart enough, so I’m sure you’re going to see a lot of different combinations. But at first blush, we do feel comfortable putting him in at that left side if need be.

CORVO: Yeah, I played the left side my first couple of years in L.A., or my last couple of years, actually. It’s not really a big transition for me.

On if Corvo’s last consistent partner was Tim Gleason in Carolina…
CORVO: Yeah, pretty much. I think I’ve been on and off with a lot of guys over the course of the last couple of years, but I probably spent the most time playing with him.
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