The Washington Capitals announced on Monday that they had signed forward Richard Panik to a four-year, $11 million contract. Panik participated in a media teleconference on Monday afternoon to discuss the signing.
(On the process of signing a deal with Washington)
"The Capitals started talking to me right away and it was a great offer. They gave me the best offer I could get but I was still waiting for other teams to reach out to me but in the end, this was the best offer I could get. I'm very happy I signed with Washington, they are a great team, great organization and they are already a playoff team so it's a really good opportunity for me and hopefully I can help this team to the best of my abilities."
"For me it was really stressful, but this was the best offer I had from the beginning. They offered me four years, which no other team had done, so that was the main reason I chose them. And it was a really good deal for me. It was really nice that they were so interested in me."
(On his role with the Capitals)
"I think I can play everything it just depends where I fit best. I can play on the third line, fourth line or first line. Wherever works. I just want to be difference and make this team better. So, we will see wherever I end up."
(On the potential of returning to the 20-goal mark)
"Obviously I would like to get back on track on that 20-goal mark, but I think with Washington's playing style I can do it easily but it's going to be up to me how I produce. I think I have a chance here to do it."
(On how his game has improved over the course of his career)
"It's been a long road for me, but I think I'm a more mature player than when I was in Tampa for sure and even in Toronto. And then obviously my best year in Chicago was a great year, but I think even those two last years in Arizona were great seasons for me too. I didn't get much points, but I think everybody knows that Arizona they don't play that style of hockey. They're more defensive, so I think I've matured on that page too. I think I'm really good in the d-zone now. I started playing PK last year, so that helped me a lot to improve my game. It was a longer road, but now I'm an NHL player and can play real well."
(On playing on the penalty kill)
"Last year was my first year I was playing on the PK. We had a really good year in our penalty killing, so it was a great opportunity and I took advantage of it. I kind of like it, you're more in the game. It can give you the momentum when you kill the penalties. Now I'm really happy I play the penalty kill too. I add something more to my game, so I'm really happy for it."
(On relationship with Michal Kempny)
"Real good friends. He's from Czech Republic, so we're really close, our countries together. And even my wife and Kempny's girlfriend - they're really close. So of course, that's something positive [that] he's there. So, that's good for me and for my wife."
(On other connections to new Capitals teammates)
"I played with Gudas in Tampa Bay and we played together in Norfolk, the Admirals in the AHL, where we won the Calder Cup. So, I know him really well too."
Click here for the full audio from Panik's teleconference.