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Here are a few key excerpts:Of the guys released, maybe Rypien the biggest surprise, what are your thoughts on the reasoning for him to go down?
Rypien had a good camp, he played hard. I mean he hasn’t played very much, he’s been hurt for the most of the past 2 years, and we only have so many guys that we can carry right now with the 22-man roster. So to have him in and out of the line up didn’t make a whole lot of sense to us. He did come in good shape and he worked tremendously hard, but he hasn’t played a lot of hockey. And I think that Rypien will be back here this year, and I think ultimately, he’s going to have a pretty solid spot on our team. What do you say, Dave, to somebody who looks at Bourdon starting his pro career in Manitoba might raise an eyebrow over that draft pick?
Most players are drafted at 18, sign their first contract the next summer, and they start their first year pro. And Luc, because he had the great first year and played some games last year, people think he’s going backwards – he’s further ahead than the majority of players that are 20 years old. And the same thing applies: he’s not ready to play yet, as a regular for us, so why would we have him as a 7? It doesn’t make any sense to have him in the press box and not learning when he can be in Manitoba playing in every situation and getting ready to become a solid NHLer. I think anybody is suggesting that there is a comparison between [the Rypien] hit and the Downy hit is way out to lunch. How much responsibility is on the hittee to not put himself in a vulnerable position?
Well, some. I think that’s part of the factor is when they look into whether there should be a penalty or whether discipline should be applied. The players getting hit have some responsibility too, you know, to take the hit as opposed to turning and creating a situation. And the player who’s delivering the hit has to take some responsibility as well. There’s no question about it. I think that situation, and the hit itself, you can look at both players and share some of the blame. I know that Rypien was just trying to finish his check and came in hard, as he’s good at doing - that’s part of his game - and Roy turned into the boards. And unfortunately he got hit in an uncompromising position. So, you agree with the charging penalty?
I have no problems with that call, no, I don’t. I understand what the officials were doing with that call. Dave, we talked last week about wins and losses in the preseason and you said that, that wasn’t the most important thing, more getting a gage on individuals. But having said all that, it must’ve felt pretty good to winning Calgary on Saturday with a young line-up you dressed up against a pretty veteran-heavy team of the Flames.
Yea, you know, we wanted to see our players play well and I thought that was the most pleasing part of it. Winning is great, it’s always nice to win whether it is an exhibition or not, but I thought the young players played very hard and pushed hard for jobs – that’s what we wanted to see. We wanted to see some competition in every position and, like you said, we didn’t have veteran players in the line-up, we had mostly younger players and they pushed to make a case for themselves to stick. And I thought that was, for us, it was very impressive that they could go there and play that well in a pretty hostile building.