On the free agent market this past summer
First of all, teams were careful with their money and how they were going to spend it. I think teams made up their mind what they were going to do immediately, try to get in, get out and accomplish something fast. And then this year for sure, there was a long lull, where everybody just backed off and waited for things to settle down. I think that is great because teams are being more responsible. A little bit has to do with how good the free agent group was this year. There were some good players, but there were not stars out there. It was just one of those years.On what the Ducks accomplished this summer
All things considered, where our budget is and what we were trying to do [we were happy]. Obviously, you’d love and grab a Scott Niedermayer if one was available. But we did not feel that there was anybody near that caliber this year. There was some good players, don’t get me wrong. We waited to see and checked on a bunch of the defensemen right off the first day. We saw what we thought they were to get and we went forward with it that way.
On adding size and grit to blue line
I think we did okay considering all things. Somewhere down the line here, we’re going to have to acquire somebody like Scotty or Chris [Pronger]. That is a necessity. Everybody knows that. If it’s not there, you can’t make it be there. We’ll have to keep exploring until that time comes. On Andy Sutton
Over the years, we’ve let some things get away here. Trying to keep up with the cap and change things over, the size, the willingness to block shots – especially killing penalties – had disappeared last year. There wasn’t that desperation in our group to do those sorts of things. If you get a few guys doing it, it becomes contagious. So having Andy here should be very good for us.
On Paul Mara
|On Mara: "He has the size and he’s not afraid to get his body in there. He’s a bigger, stronger guy. We got pushed around a little bit. That is not how we’re going to play. It’s a team thing. We have bigger guys and we just feel like we’re a bigger team. As a group, they have to step up and be counted." |
He has the size and he’s not afraid to get his body in there. He’s a bigger, stronger guy. We got pushed around a little bit. That is not how we’re going to play. It’s a team thing. We have bigger guys and we just feel like we’re a bigger team. As a group, they have to step up and be counted.On the possibility of both Luca Sbisa and Cam Fowler making the team
They will determine that. But we’re definitely not afraid to do that. The two kids like to play the game and we need that here right now. If it happens, it happens. They will only both stay if they are going to play meaningful minutes. It’s going to be interesting.On Sbisa being sent to juniors after eight games last season
That was one of our tougher decisions last year. It was something that you are damned if you, damned if you don’t. It worked out in our favor. Between the World Junior, the Olympics and the playoff run he had with Portland, he just matured and grew. I see a different kid. I see a man out there now. He is ready to go and play with the men. He’s a good hockey player.
|On Cam Fowler: "The biggest thing with Cam, and it’s something you can’t teach a young defenseman, is his poise and confidence with the puck. It’s his ability to read and see things in front of him as he has the puck and not panic. He just makes the little plays that 10-year veterans make." |
The biggest thing with Cam, and it’s something you can’t teach a young defenseman, is his poise and confidence with the puck. It’s his ability to read and see things in front of him as he has the puck and not panic. He just makes the little plays that 10-year veterans make. He has to get stronger. He knows that because that is going to be his tough area on the road some nights. The matchup is not going to be right and he has to fight through it. So far, he appears very willing to battle whenever he has to battle.On what he looks for in training camp
I’m definitely looking at chemistry. For whatever reason, chemistry was missing from that group last year. There were a lot of good players and there was no chemistry. We’re trying to put the pieces together here, so that there is some chemistry. Sometimes it’s not the better player that creates the chemistry. It’s maybe somebody with a little less who is willing to do things that are team things and everybody jumps on board with him.
Those are the things that you ponder forever. There were too many good players in that dressing room last year to not have chemistry. But there wasn’t any. You move on. We’ll try to make sure that doesn’t happen this year.On competition for positions
We have some good, young players coming in. We’re starting to rebuild and get into that transition stage where we have younger players coming along who are going to compete for jobs. Some of the veterans are seeing that and wisely so. We’re not afraid to put the kids in the lineup. Some of the older guys better get going.
On Teemu Selanne
|On Selanne: "Man, he can still skate and he stills has the passion to play the game. It’s a wonderful thing for us and the fans." |
Man, he can still skate and he stills has the passion to play the game. It’s a wonderful thing for us and the fans. All of those games and things he missed last year because of injuries, the freak things that happened to him last year, hurt our hockey team. He is a presence in the locker room. Not as much as a rah-rah guy, but he’s life. He comes in and likes to play. He’s fun. We really miss when he’s not around.On the captaincy
I personally believe too much is put on who wears the C. Leaders are leaders and they will do that no matter if they have a letter or do not. Sometimes you put a letter on somebody and they try to change. You don’t want that. You want them to be who they are. As far as Teemu, he is going to be who he is. He doesn’t need a letter one way or the other. I don’t think he worries about it and isn’t going to lose any sleep over it. Leadership is important though. There has to be a group of guys to take this team in the right direction. We’ll watch carefully here in the next few weeks and make some decisions.
I have some thoughts, but Randy and I will talk about that. We’ll let it evolve. You hope some of your younger guys are ready to take that step. But you have to be careful with it and not burden them with that. It can take away from their play. We’ll take our time with it. On Jonas Hiller
He’s a good goalie. It’s been a tough situation around here. He has handled it very well, as with everything else. That element last year hurt the hockey team, the goaltending situation. This year, there is no situation. He’s going to take the ball and run with it. You can’t win without goaltending.
On Bobby Ryan playing center
|On Ryan playing center: "He likes to create. There is going to be some growing pains with that. We know that. Bobby is the type that is going to worry about it. But we’re not worried about it. It’s a very interesting thing that could make us very successful." |
We’re constantly evolving and transitioning in the game of hockey. Different styles and types of teams are winning. For awhile we were two offensive lines, a checking line and a fourth energy line. We may have to experiment with some other ways here and run three scoring lines out to see what we can do with that. When you have the three good, young players together, there is only one puck. They all like to have the puck. Maybe we’ll get Bobby the puck a little more. He likes to create. There is going to be some growing pains with that. We know that. Bobby is the type that is going to worry about it. But we’re not worried about it. It’s a very interesting thing that could make us very successful.On Matt Beleskey
He’s come into camp in great shape and has the willingness to compete. He’s won at other levels and been a captain at other levels. Those are all good things. We just need him to compete and keep growing, keep working.That gives us some options.
On what has caught his eye in camp
|On camp: "There is competition for jobs and our players better realize that. We’re not averse to going against the flow with some things." |
When you get past the big, young players we have, there is lots of competition on the wings. There is lots of competition on that so-called third line and who is going to play there. It’s healthy this year. There is competition for jobs and our players better realize that. We’re not averse to going against the flow with some things.On the competition in the West
Our conference and our division are very difficult. We have tough games every night. Hopefully, it’s a cycle. Being in the East might be a little bit easier right now. We are where we are and we have to compete. It just makes our hockey team and our players better to have to play against these teams every night. That is how we have to look at it. The L.A. Kings are a good hockey team. I think we figured that out too late last year. But we know it now.