Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving sat down with phoenixcoyotes.com on Friday for a Q&A session:
Q:Which roster move made this summer are you most excited about?
A: "We're real happy with all of the moves we've made. I think for us it's more about the collection of moves we've made, even going back to the trade deadline when we acquired Scottie Upshall, Matthew Lombardi and Petr Prucha. One of things we really wanted to focus in on is the depth of the organization. Last year at this time we had our solid veteran players and then it went
right to the kids. We didn't really have that middle tier of players, if you will. Now we have those three players who are really coming in to what we think is the real productive years of their careers. Then we were able to add a little bit of bite to our blue line with Jim Vandermeer, and Adrian Aucoin can play the power play and move the puck. Up front, we wanted to improve our penalty killing and improve our faceoffs and give an identity to our fourth line, and we think Vern Fiddler does that. So, we are excited. But this is a process. You're not going to do everything you need to do in July and August. We don't play until October, and there are still a lot of things we're looking to accomplish."
Q:Are there more roster moves to come or are you and General Manager Don Maloney ready to go to training camp with the current roster?
A: "It's an ongoing process. If you look league-wide, things have slowed down. But we continue to look every day at areas that we can improve. We think we've improved our offense by adding Radim Vrbata, but our offense is still an area that we continue to look at improving. Having said that, we don't want to discount improvement from within. Part of what we're building here relies on our young players continuing to improve, and they have. But we will continue to look, from a scoring perspective and a size and grit perspective. There is still some work to be done before we play our first game in October."
Q:Which player on the roster do you think has the most to prove in 2009-10?
A: "We all, as a group, have a lot to prove. But looking at the whole organization, a lot of it starts in goal. Ilya Bryzgalov took a step last year in terms of becoming a No. 1 goaltender and he showed signs of brilliance. We need him to be a consistent top goaltender throughout the
season...When you look up front there are players like Peter Mueller, Martin Hanzal, Mikkel Boedker and Radim Vrbata. I think Vrbata is excited to be back here and to show he can bring consistent effort for 82 games. But for us to have success, we need everybody to get better and to have something to prove."
Q: Which player or players impressed you at this summer’s Prospect Development Camp and why?
A: "I want to be cautious with this answer because it's only summer hockey and nobody's really battling or keeping score out there, but I was really impressed with Brett MacLean and his maturity and his level of competitiveness. To me, he wasn't just dipping his toe in the water. He came in there with a purpose. Chris Brown was a guy who when I left there I could see why our scouts liked him so much. With David Schlemko you could see what he's done over the summer to prepare himself physically. He stood out. But as a group, there were a lot of good stories there, including Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Chris Summers. Their skating stood out."
Q: Please explain why the Coyotes cut ties with the Arizona Sundogs of the CHL and signed an affiliation agreement with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL.
A: "We had a positive relationship with the Sundogs the past two years and they have a good organization in Prescott Valley. Our switch to Las Vegas will allow our prospects to compete head to head with other NHL team’s young prospects and enhance their development. In addition, the Wranglers have established a strong, professional program in Las Vegas so we feel this will be an excellent fit for us.”