Dave Nonis signed Jeff Cowan to a two-extension Thursday, which means one more tick mark off of the list of to-dos but what’s next?
Nonis patiently answers questions as curious journalists probe to get more answers to events yet to happen. Listen
to what he had to say about Jan Bulis, Trevor Linden, and more. Can you share some thoughts on signing Jeff Cowan today?
Jeff, we think did a very good job – that’s why we picked him up last year, and he fit in very well with our team. He provided an element maybe we were lacking a little bit. He’s a better player than most give him credit for so for us, he’s a very good fit. Do you see him here beyond what his contract says?
He’s not an old man… one of his attributes is his foot speed – he can skate. Alain was able to use him on different situations, different lines because he can keep up. I don’t think there’s any reason he can’t play for more than two years. The two-year deal is never a sticking point. How significant was it to have a gritty player like Cowan in the lineup?
It’s important, you always want players that compete. It’s all about competition and Jeff competes in various ways. Down the stretch and late in the season he was a guy we could rely on, whether it was finishing his checks or going to the net, he’s a very competitive individual and it’s something that all teams that have success have to have and he helps us in that regard. What is your status with Lukas Krajicek?
We qualified him and we’ll take as long as it takes – we own his rights. Steve’s working hard to get some contracts done and we made those qualifying offers to the players that are restricted with the intention of getting him signed as soon as possible. Have you contacted any of the remaining free agents yet?
We’ve had some contact to let them know our position on those players and we’ll see what happens between now and July 1st but I would expect that we probably won’t have any more signings of our unrestricted players until July 1st. What about Rory Fitzpatrick?
Actually he’s one of the agents I have talked to and I told him the same thing. I wouldn’t rule out a return for Rory, I know he really enjoyed it here. We are willing to give it until July 1st just to see what else is available but he is a player on our list and he’s a good fit, he’s a good teammate and I wouldn’t rule out bringing him back. What are your thoughts on Marc Chouinard?
I think some players just aren’t a fit for certain teams and Marc’s played in the league a long time, he had an excellent year the year before. We expected more of him and he expected more out of us. It was just a situation right from the start that didn’t seem to work out so we made the decision that we have to move on in a different direction and I’m sure Marc will get signed by someone else.
There are some players that just don’t fit the certain coaching style or staff. There are lots of players that are bought out or have been put on waivers that are pretty good hockey players and end up finding their mark with someone else. It wasn’t a situation that worked out for him and I don’t see that changing next year so I have to make that determination on how do we move forward and get better. What are the intentions with Ryan Shannon?
We talked to him about five minutes after we acquired him but they haven’t exchanged numbers or anything like that. I know that Ryan was very happy to get moved. Although they won the Cup, it was a tough year for him personally and he was looking for a change in scenery. From our standpoint, one of the things we talked about was adding more speed to the organization – he has that – and it’ll be up to him to make our team. I wouldn’t say that he’s a lock but his ability and foot speed, he definitely improves our depth. Have you heard anything from Cory Schneider?
I haven’t talked to Cory in quite some time but the ball’s in his court. It’s his decision to make, I don’t think pushing him’s going to do any good for anybody. I know it’s a tough decision for him to make but I think he’s ready to play in the American League level and he’s ready to start at that level, talent-wise. It’s going to be up to him as to how he wants to spend his next year.