Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met with the media today following the NHL trading deadline. Below is a transcript.
: Watch Holmgren
* * * Q: Paul, what happened today?
Paul Holmgren: “Nothing happened.” Q: Are you disappointed?
“No, not at all. I’ve said all along that I like our team. We’ve looked around today for a few things and to see if anything made sense, just to really add without subtracting, and nothing came up that made sense and we’re marching forward.” Q: Talk about the [Dan] Hamhuis or [Tomas] Kaberle talks.
“Never talked about Tomas Kaberle. Obviously Hamhuis, what was speculated over the last few days I’m not sure where that came from, but we talked about… David [Poile] talked about Hamhuis for quite awhile because he’s an unrestricted free agent moving forward and again nothing made sense. We like our team and like the chemistry of our team right now more than anything.” Q: Do you feel like you would have been able to do something that would have made sense if you had a little bit more in the way of draft picks in the future?
|Paul Holmgren kept his roster intact at this year's NHL trading deadline. (Getty Images) |
“Well, if you look at the things that were moved around for draft picks, we didn’t really need any centermen. The centers that were traded for second round picks, we wouldn’t have been interested in any of those anyway. Some of the depth defensemen or defensemen that were moved for later round picks, if we wanted to get in on those we certainly have the draft picks to do that too.
"Again, nothing made sense. We didn’t think anything made our team better, to be honest with you.” Q: Given the speculation, how much of a confidence boost do you think this will be for a guy like Michael Leighton?
“Well, Michael Leighton is playing confident since he’s been in the net. I don’t see any reason for that to change. I think the team has the belief and a faith in him and I think are playing very well in front of him as well. Outside of maybe last night, I think we gave up a lot in the first period, but tightened up as the game went on.
"I think anytime you come off of a layoff, those things are expected so it should give all of our players a boost. They’ve been together for most of the year now, the same group of guys, I think they should be in good spirits and in good shape [and] ready to go. We’ve got a tough road here this month to stay in the fight, and we expect them to be ready for it.” Q: What would you say was the top priority today?
“We were more or less, [looking] just to add a guy and depth. Depth at some positions, probably more at defense than anything. Again, we made our big deal last June when we acquired Chris Pronger
and we’ve added a couple pieces over the course of the year. One through the waiver wire which happens to be one of our goalies right now, and another one in a late season addition in Lukas Krajicek, who has played very well for us. So when we got right down to crunch time today, we were trying to acquire a depth defenseman and just to add to our mix without giving up anybody and the guys we inquired about weren’t moved.
"That’s kind of the status of a lot of teams. Either they didn’t want to move a guy because they couldn’t, or they needed them for their roster. That’s what we were trying to do at the end, but the fact that we didn’t do anything, we’re certainly not upset and we’re looking forward to moving forward.” Q: When you go into a deadline like this, do you have to be wary about giving up too much and talk about where you stand right now as a team and how close you think you are?
“At the end, we explored some of the guys who were mentioned and then we started to focus on depth when it didn’t look like anything was going to make sense for us – I didn’t believe that anything that was made available to us, made us better and then we just started to look at adding just a small piece by a late round draft pick or something like that, and we weren’t able to do that.
"As I’ve said all along, I like our team and I think what’s been proven since the lockout, you get into the playoffs – anything can happen. I think that’s the way I feel today still. I don’t feel there’s a front runner in our conference. Obviously Pittsburgh and Washington are very good teams. I think Boston’s a good team and right now they’re out of the playoff picture. So there’s a lot of good teams in the conference, the Devils, Rangers, I think we’ve got our work cut out just to get in and that’s what we’re focused on now. The next 21 games we have left, that’s our focus. Try and get in and we’ll change our focus to whoever we play in the playoffs.”Q: Did your salary cap situation factor into this? Could you have done more if you had more salary cap space, or was that not really a factor?
“Anything we were talking about, it was never a stumbling block. The fact that we didn’t do anything, obviously we’re sitting in a pretty good position in terms of the salary cap [room] we have. We’re carrying 23 guys right now on our roster and we have cap space or if we run into injuries, we can recall players we need. We feel like we’re in a real good spot in that regard.”Q: Now that the deadline’s over, will you make any personnel decisions on whether Riley [Cote] will stay?
“Riley is staying.”Q: How about [Danny] Syvret?
“Danny is down until he gets healthy. We’ll probably be more inclined to get him playing again before we look to recall him. So we’ll deal with that when he’s healthy again.”Q: You’ve been through this quite a few years with having a different goalie going into the playoffs and it looks like Michael Leighton will be the next, assuming you get in. How do you expect Michael to handle that?
“It’s hard to argue with his numbers since he’s been in our net. As I said I think our team, the way we play and the structure of our defense right now, I don’t know if we give up a lot. Michael’s played very well.
"He’s a good goalie. I think Jeff Reese has done a good job in changing a couple of things in his approach to the game and maybe how he plays in and around the net. So we’re very happy with the way Michael has played and look forward in continuing that.”