| Alain Vigneault addressed the media for the final time this season and answered several key questions about the team's performance this year, as well as his plans moving into next season.|
We've transcribed a few questions, and have cut some key portions of what was a lengthy press conference and posted them as audio and video files.
Here are a few of Vigneault's thoughts:
As a coach, what can the team do to improve?
"I think if Dave can do two or three deals like he did last year before the draft we'll be fine." [Laughter] "I think Dave answered that question properly. If we can improve in any area, we're definitely going to look at it. We haven't really sat down, Dave and I, as the season just ended a couple days ago. We're going to sit down with the rest of the staff here and figure out what we need to do to go forward."
Does management hope to re-sign Trevor Linden?
"I do think that it's not up to us to influence him one way or the other. When I talked to Trevor at the end of the year I said to take whatever time he needs to relax and the organization is not going to influence him one way or the other in his decision."
How satisfied was the coaching staff with the team's performance?
"Obviously, I think our best performer in the playoffs and the regular season was Louie. That being said, there's no doubt in my mind that our players wanted to do well. They put it all out there. Some guys had better performances than others... that being said though, we need to find a way to make sure all our team put their A-Game out there during the playoffs. That's the only way that you can have success. I think with Roberto being the way he is, it's a great start as far as where we need to start and where we need to go. I think we're on the right track."
Are you satisfied with the leadership on this team?
"Well, Markus for me, this year, did a fantastic job as our Captain. His offensive production may've slipped a little bit, but his defensive awareness progressed quite a bit. I'm very pleased with the way he conducted himself and his behaviour on and off the ice and the example he set out for his teammates.
Brendan, for me, was very good in the sense that he worked really hard. He got going after Christmas once I think he was healed properly. On the 81st game of the year he hurt himself slightly there, but nothing that should've affected his performance significantly. I'm please with him.
In Trevor's case, I got here last year and I was a Trevor Linden fan, I still am. I had him in Montreal and I'm very please with everything he brought to the table this year and won't influence him one way or the other on the decision he has to make."
Which prospects do you see potentially cracking next year's line-up?
"I think that's what we need as an organization, is to put some good, young kids into the line-up that make the minimum or close to it, but we're getting a lot more valuable for our money and we've got some of those kids coming up. I think Jannik Hansen has a lot of upside, Edler's got a lot of upside, Rypien was hurt all year but he's got a lot of upside. We've been talking to Scott Arniel and Mason Raymond over there has been one of their best players.
There's some good, young kids that are in our organization right now that I think are going to push for jobs in the near future and permit us to have a better team. Their contribution is going to be, hopefully, significant. They might not be there right at the start of the season, but we're hoping in the near future some of those kids can come in and play."