Q: There’s a blog entry on your Web site where you wrote, “We have been written off for dead by many members of the media and fans throughout the league.” Why would you think that people would write this team off?
A: It’s more who’s the hot team in the league. Everybody’s talking about Detroit
. San Jose
’s made all these moves. For us, it’s going to be pretty good. We were media darlings a couple of years ago. Last year with everything surrounding Teemu (Selanne) and Scotty (Niedermayer) we were kind of in the limelight again…To come in under the radar, I think is going to be pretty good for us. We’ve had 4-5 months to get our heads screwed on straight after a disappointing end to last year. Q: How long did it take for you to get over the end of last season?
A: How many drinks? (laughs). It took a while. It was disappointing. The whole year was such a mental grind, from the whole Scotty saga and Teemu, it was more taxing mentally than physically. It probably took about a month. Q: There’s a statement on your Web site that says “Off the ice, I’m a good man.” How would you describe yourself on the ice?
A: Probably not very nice. I try to make it as uncomfortable as I possibly can (for opponents). There’s a gray area of the rules, though, and sometimes you go over the line. I learned early on to try to be as unpredictable as possible. . Q: Why would a player with your size and skills choose to play so edgy?
A: It’s always been the way I’ve played from Day One. I’ve always been that guy stirring it up. I learned early on, from minor hockey all the way up, that’s it’s kept me in the game. If they get mad at you, they’re not thinking about the game. Q: How do you control your anger?
A: Not very well. Did (NHL disciplinarian) Colin Campbell send you that question? Q: You were captain last season, taking over the role from Scott Niedermayer. What are your thoughts on this season’s captaincy?
A: I talked to Scotty after the season, and we decided we’d revisit it after he knew what his situation was. We haven’t had a chance to talk about it. I’ll probably have to sit down with (Coach) Randy (Carlyle) and talk about it. Q: How is that handled? Is it Carlyle’s call?
A: At this stage, it’s between all of us. Randy wants someone in there who wants to be captain. Q: Would you like to be captain?
A: Yes. But, at the same time, what’s going to work best for the team? Q: Hypothetically, which two teammates would you not want to play against on a 2-on-1?
A: Probably (Ryan) Getzlaf and (Corey) Perry just so I could have bragging rights on them. I know how to play them now so it’s hard to answer. It’s like taking candy from a baby right now. (To the film crew: Did you get that?)
What are your feelings about new defenseman Steve Montador
I think he’s going to add a good presence back there. He’s a good skating defenseman, mobile that can play with a physical edge and is willing to fight anybody. He’ll fill that 5-6 hole quite well.
Q: It seemed like last year Francois Beauchemin’s game kind of tapered off from what it was the season before. Do you think Beauchemin can elevate his game back to what it was two years ago or is that just the ebb and flow of the seasons?
I think two years ago everybody on our team had career years and we were just dialed in. It was like a perfect storm … last year, it was difficult to focus. You get off to a poor start and you get in a rut and it’s hard to get out. That’s kind of what you use training camp for - to slowly build up chemistry with your partner and your line combination.
Q: Are there teams you can’t stand to play?
You mean, like, I want to puke when I see their players? There’s quite a few of those in the league … there’s a number of cities you want to get in and out. Edmonton
’s one of them. There are teams you have rivalries with - San Jose
- and we’re starting to get a pretty good rivalry with Dallas
Q: The Ducks visited the White House last year. How was it to meet the President?
It was fun. He was real down-to-earth cool. He was slapping guys on the back. He was talking Scotty (Niedermayer) up about going mountain bike riding together. I can imagine with everything that goes on in his job, he was glad to take a 15-minute break and kind of relax and decompress.
Q: Who were your idols when you were growing up?
I was a big Mike Bossy
fan. I loved watching him come down and let that big slapper go. As I got a little bit older I loved watching Ray Bourque
and Al MacInnis