Within the last eight days, Andrew Cogliano
has had some monumental parts of his career take shape.
FIrst on July 12, the 24-year-old center was traded from the only NHL organization he knew in Edmonton to the Ducks in exchange for a 2013 second-round draft pick. A restricted free agent at the time, a contract still needed to be worked out or an arbitration hearing was scheduled for July 21.
There would be no need for that however, as Cogliano and the Ducks agreed to a three-year deal on Tuesday. Getting Cogliano signed gives Anaheim the depth at forward it originally sought entering the offseason.
Cogliano entered the summer faced with an uncertain future. He knew Edmonton was dealing with a glut of forwards and the numbers suggested moves were going to be made. His future is now settled as a member of the Ducks and he could not have envisioned things turning out any better than they did. "This is one of the most exciting times in my career and life," he said.
Training in his native Toronto this summer, Cogliano discussed all the recent events over the phone in an exclusive Q&A with AnaheimDucks.com.How pleased are you after signing a three-year deal with the Ducks?
I enjoyed my time in Edmonton when I was there. But I now I feel like this is a great situation for me. I couldn't be happier coming to an organization like the Ducks. It's a winning team and a team with established, great players already. I'm just overwhelmed and excited to start.Within one week of getting traded to Anaheim, you signed a contract and avoided an arbitration hearing. How easy were the negotiations?
I wasn't looking to go to arbitration and was hoping that wouldn't be the case. I think Anaheim felt the same way. They are a team that just traded for me and obviously wants me. That would have been the last case scenario that I wanted, going to arbitration. I was hoping to get a deal done like we did. That is behind me now and I couldn't be happier being on the team with a three-year deal. I'm just trying to soak it all in. It's been a whirlwind of a week for sure for me. This is the first time I have experienced this. Now, the bottom line for me is making sure I'm ready for camp and the season.How nice is the security of having a multi-year contract now under your belt?
For me, it tells me that the organization has confidence in my abilities and what they have seen from me over the years. That just makes me want to play hard, come in and prove them right. My ultimate motivation and goal is to prove to the organization that they made the right choice in acquiring me. I feel like I'm a very motivated guy and I work hard. I want to help the team. I've done a lot in the four years I've been in the league and have had success. Now, I'm just looking for consistency and a situation where I can take myself to the next level.You began the offseason unsure of your situation with the Oilers as a restricted free agent. How different does it feel now later in the summer, knowing you will be an vital member of the Ducks?
I'm very overwhelmed and happy with how the summer has played itself out. I went into the offseason not really knowing what was going to happen and where I was going to fit. Edmonton has an abudance of forwards and similiar types of forwards. It is an uncertain situation over there. To come to a team that is established, has an opportunity for me and wants me is great. My motivation is to come and prove them right. I can't really explain how happy I am. This is ultimately what you play for. You play to establish yourself, be on a winning team for a good amount of time and receive a contract where you can not be worried about where you are going next.What type of emotions do you have with getting a fresh start in Anaheim?
It's something where you forget about what has happened in the past. I have taken the positives from what has happened and where I have been. I have had success and come along as a player. Now, it's a different situation. I'm coming to a team that doesn't really know much about me. They are going to look for me to step in and make a difference. That is exactly what you want. Most of all, it is great mentally. I can forget about Edmonton and going through the regular routine. When you get too comfortable, you end up going through the motions sometimes and going through the same thing. Now, I'm coming to a situation where it is fresh and brand new. I'm going to be excited to learn new things, meet the people there and to live there. I'm coming to California. At the end of the day, it's a beautiful place to live and a great lifestyle. It's going to be completely different than Edmonton. At this stage of my career, this is exactly what I wanted.Do you consider yourself a versatile player and what can fans expect from your game?
I feel like in order to make a difference, you have to be versatile and be able to do different things. You look at playoff hockey, the teams that usually go far have players who play hard at both ends of the rink. For myself, I've learned that over the past year. I have definitely added more of a defensive element where I am playing hard and using my speed to get back on the backcheck to help my defense out. I feel like I have picked up a little niche in penalty killing. I was used a lot on the PK last year and I felt like my speed was an asset. I'll be looking to continue that hopefully in Anaheim. Offensively, I feel there is a lot more to give. I've had two 18-goal seasons to start my career. I'm working this summer to bring my shot back to where I think it was and to get back that offensive instinct, which I think may have tapered off the last couple of years for whatever reason. I'm very motivated to get back at the top of my game. Last year was a big step for me. I matured as a player and got better at different things. I made myself valuable, which is what you want. When a team trades a second-round pick for you, it shows that you have some value.Still just 24 years old, you have already put together quite the hockey resume. Among your achievements are two gold medals with Team Canada at the World Juniors in 2006 and 2007 and four straight 82-game NHL seasons to begin your career. How pleased are you with what you have already accomplished at such a young age?
At the end of the day, I feel like I'm a winner. I have won in my past. I had the chance to win those two World Junior gold medals. I won with the Under-18s and Under-17s in Canada. I feel like the last couple of years have been tough. When you are on a hockey club that is rebuilding and is in last place, it's a tough situation. It hits hard on guys who have won and feel like they are winners. I really believe that is what I am. That is why I am so excited. I'm coming to a team that is in the playoffs pretty much every year. They have guys who win constantly and are big-game players. I just want to get to that situation again. It's a confidence thing. I should be very confident coming into the season that I'm going to get an opportunity and hopefully add to the success that the team has been having over the last couple of years.
What was it like facing the Ducks over the years as an opponent?
I can honestly say, playing against them, they have arguably the best forward group or at least in the top three groups in Bobby, Getzalf and Perry. Perry won the Hart Trophy and scored 50 goals. Every game you play against Anaheim, it's a nightmare for you, especially for us last year. We were at the bottom end of the spectrum. It's exciting to be on this side now. My goal is to mesh with the guys both on and off the ice. I have been a good teammate and good team guy my whole career. Hopefully, that carries over to Anaheim.Have you had a chance to talk with any of your new teammates?
I talked to Bobby. I have been friends with him over the years. I haven't talked to Lubo. I know him pretty good and played with him. He's in Slovakia and I can't get a hold of him. Then, there is a couple of guys who moved there too from the Oilers. I'm sure I'll talk to guys when I get in. It's a brand new situation and change is good. Change can definitely liven someone up and bring a new energy to them. Hopefully, it does that for me.How has training been going in Toronto for you?
I have a trainer out here who works us pretty good. I train with different guys from the league. Right now, I'm training about four times a week and skating about three. Once August comes, I'll be on the ice much more. My goal is to make sure I'm improving my game. I'm working with some guys to improve my individual skills.What is the rest of your summer looking like?
For the most part, I'll be in Toronto. I'm doing some traveling here and there. Other than that, I'll be here getting ready for the season. I foresee myself coming down right at the beginning of September. I have a hockey camp that we do at the end of August and then I'll come out. I'll line up a place to live for sure. If I don't, I've already talked with Bobby and I might stay with him for a couple of days before I get my bearings. I'll have everything set up for the most part. I'm excited. At the end of the day, I'm going to California to start the season and that is a good feeling.