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FEATURE: Key Quotes as Camp Opens

Check out some of the key quotes from the opening of training camp at Prudential Center

by Amanda Stein amandacstein /

NEWARK, NJ - After a marathon day on Thursday covering the Devils opening day of training camp, here are some of the best quotes from players, coaches and management on Day One.

On the off-season setting the team up for new year … 

"It was a great summer for us, there's no doubt about it. You know, a team like ours. we finished - I think it was 28th - so there were some upgrades that needed to happen, and I think they've all been filled. But now, we play the games. Now, we see how everything fits, how guys can play in our system, and in who surprises. That's really what you're looking for, is guys that come in and play better than and you think, or you guys think they will and I'm excited to see that." - Taylor Hall

"A lot of action, obviously, leading up to the draft and then the draft and then in the free agency there," said Greene. "We added a lot more skill to the lineup and a lot more players to compete and it's exciting. Now the pressure is on us players... You can sit there and say we need this and that, this and that... Ray [Shero] has done everything to do that for us from inside the locker room and now it's on us. The pressure is on us and it's a good thing to have. We're looking forward to getting going here." - Andy Greene  

"We're pretty fortunate to come into camp and have a lot of new faces, which sometimes may be daunting but, I mean, some of the guys I've had the chance to meet here are all awesome guys that are going to add a lot, not only on the ice but off the ice to our culture and I'm looking forward to getting to work." - Kyle Palmieri  

"I think the whole team is excited, there's a buzz around the team right now. Everyone is really excited to get going here because of all the new additions. I think there's just a positive outlook on the year to come, myself included, we're all just pretty excited." - Mackenzie Blackwood

"It's huge. I think the whole team was kind of waiting something like this to happen and I think it ended up the best way possible. We're all really excited and I was just sitting there at home waiting to fly over to have the camp start. Really excited for this camp to start and to have some fun with the new guys." - Jesper Bratt

"I felt like every time I had an event or a thing on my personal life, I'd get upstaged on Twitter that day by some Devils news. It was awesome to follow. P.K. came over right on my wedding day and my buddies were like "did you get traded?!" I was like, "I hope not!" We're excited to have him here, and Wayne, Jack… just a ton of exciting additions coming into the year and that makes it fun for a player to come in and have good talent around you and to play with. I'm excited to see what they bring to camp." - Blake Coleman  

On acquiring Nikita Gusev…

"He's very skilled, and I thought he was a little bit bigger to be honest! But he's very skilled and I think he's a huge addition for us. He's going to be very good, especially being a power-play player it's going to be nice to see a guy like him come in, it will be great." - Will Butcher

"He's slick with the puck, obviously. He has a pretty weird tape job from what I can see but certainly, with the puck he looks confident, he's a guy that's probably going to be a lot of fun to play with." - Taylor Hall

On the addition of formal Philadelphia rival Wayne Simmonds… 

"Don't have to play against him anymore, which is nice! I think Wayne is going to be a huge add for us. It gives us another aspect in our lineup that a lot of teams don't like playing against. I think everyone knows, coach Hynes being hard to play against is one of the things he stresses most. He's a guy who plays such a relentless style, which is something that's going to fit in seamlessly with us. It's something you can always feed off of as his teammate." - Kyle Palmieri

"I've known Simmer for a while, we played in a World Championship in 2013, I've seen him around Toronto a few times. He's a great guy. He flips the switch a little bit once he gets on the ice and he can kind of go a little red sometimes. I'm excited to play with him. For myself personally, having a guy net-front, having a guy that you can play with possibly that's going to drive to the net, create havoc, win battles… he knows how to play his game. He's been in the league for so long that he's a veteran, he knows the ins and outs the way that he has to play to help the team and I think it was a great pickup." - Taylor Hall 

"I think that's the best, when [Ray] Shero texted me right before, I was so excited when I got the text. To know that he's on the team now and to know that I don't have to bark at him anymore when we're playing the Flyers or Nashville… I think it's so important to have those guys on your team in the long run, especially come playoff time. He's a player that I've admired over the years that he's played, 800-plus games or so. I watch his highlight films and how he scores goals, to now actually meet him and play with him, I think that's really cool for me. He's a great guy, he's got no teeth just like me, so it's something to share!" - Miles Wood

On goaltending…

"The end of last year they really got their footing going, they played really well and they pushed each other. I think they've had a great summer, both of them. You know, just being out here for the last two weeks just skating they really push each other, really work well together, they really want each other to do well and I think that's important to have a good 1-A, 1-B." - Andy Greene

"In a game, my job is to do the best I can to help the team win. Whenever I get put in net, I'll do the best job I possibly can to help the team win, and whenever I'm not playing, you know, it's my job to be positive, embrace the other person who is playing and help the team win that way. Whatever my role, I want to play as much as I can but whatever happens it's all about just being a good teammate and working as hard as you can to help the team win." - Mackenzie Blackwood

"[Mackenzie] is an exciting kid, he's got a lot of energy, he's got a lot of talent and we have a very open dialogue. We talk to each other, we bounce things off each other and I think that's great. For him, it's good and bad. He played so well last year when he came up, I think obviously he set the bar pretty high, but I think people have to understand that it's still early in his career and his development and a lot of goalies take time to smooth out the bumps. Obviously the good and great outweigh the bad but I think it's a challenge as you get a young guy to understand that things aren't going to go well every single time you go out and for him to just rely on his instincts and his abilities and soak things up and learn as he goes." - Cory Schneider

"We're hoping that together we can be a strong point of this team. I think obviously we're probably the biggest question mark as far as this team goes, or at least that's what everyone is saying. It's not unfair to say that but I think last year down the stretch we felt really good about both of our games and that if we can push each other internally and compete… we both want the net, we both want to play, but I think we have a good dynamic where if one guy is playing well that the other guy is there to help and support but we're not satisfied not playing." - Cory Schneider 

"I think to be honest, anyone that's in camp can challenge each other for playing time. We like both guys, both goaltenders Cory and Mackenzie are in excellent shape. They've worked hard over the summer. They're both competitive guys, so we're going to put them out there and we're going to evaluate practice. We're going to give them quality time in the exhibition games and we'll see how their play determines who does what." - Head coach John Hynes 

Selecting Jack Hughes…

"I got to play a little bit with him, he looks like a really special player and I'm looking forward to getting out there and seeing him in camp. I haven't had a chance to watch too much of him, I've watched a couple World Juniors and some of the World Championship, but he's a guy who has incredible vision and he's able to slow down the game and find space for not only himself but for his teammates. You look at some of the record-breaking stuff from the national team and looking back on some of the numbers he put up... it's pretty incredible." - Kyle Palmieri

"He looked good. He's a very talented kid. He can skate and… I think he might be a little bit shorter than me!... There are still a couple of guys who I think are shorter than me but it's always fun [to joke about]." - Sami Vatanen  

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