Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello spoke about the team's roster moves ahead of the home opener on Sunday afternoon. Here's what he had to say...
How difficult was this process today and how much temptation was there to keep those young guys around?
It's been an ongoing process to make sure whatever decisions were made were in the framework of what we've put together here as a group with the plan. They did extremely well, the younger players in camp, so there's an extremely bright future for them but this is the right decision for right now to make sure we see exactly who we have here — that is of the veterans — and what they bring.
Is there a reason you haven't gone down to the final roster number?
Yes there is, there's some decision to be made but we didn't want to sort of hold back on where we knew what we wanted to do. We knew we wanted to get the players into the Marlies and get them stable there and also get down to the closest number we could for the next couple of days at practice. There is one decision that has to be made, yes.
Will that decision be at forward or defence?
I'd rather not respond to that right now. We'll see that within the next 24 hours as far as that decision.
Did you like what you saw from Harrington and Marincin?
Yes, they've gotten better and better during camp in my opinion. I did not know much about either one of them, certainly Harrington I saw a little more because of in our area in our division where I was last year, but they've impressed our coaching staff and they've deserved the opportunity they're getting. We'll just have to see what the final decision is.
What kind of message did you send your young guys off with?
We were honest with them. They've had an excellent camp and at this time the right thing is for them to go and be the best possible players they can be. There's going to be an excellent team there, there's no timetable for when they would be here or when they wouldn't be here. There's a lot of decisions that will be made as the season goes on and they could be here before they know it or there could be some time. A lot depends on the whole sort of process we're going through. The first thing for us is to see where our veterans are at and what type of team we have, how the people respond to Mike, which they've been tremendous in doing and they understand — I'm sure they're disappointed — but they'll be here before they know it.
Could you comment on the pre-season performances of the veterans? Some players flip a switch when opening night comes around.
We've seen that in the past and especially when you don't know the players who are accustomed to doing that. I think there are no preconceived notions but I think we'll find out exactly where everybody is at very quickly this week. We're very pleased with the last couple of games as far as the effort that was put into a lot of areas and also the players who started to play well.
Could you comment on the guys you put on waivers?
I think it's no disrespect to them, you have to make decisions, this is the process you go through. You certainly don't want to lose any of your players. I spoke to each and every one of them this morning, they're certainly looking forward to going to the Marlies and earning their way back. If something happens it's not in any of our control.