Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and head coach Peter Laviolette talked to the media today following the announcement of Laviolette's contract extension. Below is the transcript... Q: How important was it to do this now rather than dragging it into the season?
Holmgren: "Peter [Laviolette] and I have a strong relationship. We talked about it briefly at the end of the year and we had our own business to work through with the draft, July 1st, and all the other stuff that goes on. There was never a question that this wasn't going to get done. I am very happy to have it done. Peter is a tremendous coach in our league and he is has done a tremendous job for the Flyers. I know that is going to continue. He is a good man and very deserving of this."
Q: How do you plan for this season with the uncertainty? Laviolette: "We will go about it as normal. I think there is a lot of preparation in the month beforehand with regard to your team and what it is shaping up to be. I don't think anything will change that. Hopefully we start and move forward as planned, but if we don't I guess it gets delayed and you forward when they say move forward. I don't think anything will change in regard to the team's preparation. When it is scheduled to go right now, our coaching staff will be prepared to prepare the players for the season."
Q: Evaluation of the club right now, and any concerns on the defense?
Laviolette: "No. I think when you look at a guy like Shea Weber, there are probably a lot of teams that wish they had a player of his caliber on their club. Our team moved forward without Shea [Weber] last year. We dealt with certain injuries and things that I think our club had to overcome. We used a lot of good, young defensemen and a lot of good players. I am excited about the players that we brought into the fold this year. I think it is going to be an exciting time to be building it back up from where we left off and adding the new players to the mix. I feel good about the players that we have under contract and moving forward."
Q: Can you give us an update on [Andrej] Meszaros?
Holmgren: "About the back injury? Yeah, he's fine."
Q: On his accomplishments since coming to the Flyers, and deciding to stay with the team
Laviolette: "I was really excited to come to a market like Philadelphia, and an organization like this with the history, the ownership, and working for Paul. I'm as excited today as I was back then about being able to move forward. There's a great group of players here and to come back and be able to continue to work here is where I want to be. Philadelphia is a big market and I was really excited back then and I'm still really excited about that."
Q: Paul, could you update us on the status of Marc-Andre Bourdon?
Holmgren: "Health-wise he's fine. The contract part is on-going but I expect in the near future we'll get something done with Marc-Andre.