Skip to Main Content

Talking trades, the run to the playoffs and other good stuff

by Phil Coffey

Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles says he is unfazed regarding the swirling trade rumors.

From trade talk, to an assessment of the stretch drive, to some All-Star leftovers, this week's edition of Well Said has plenty to offer the NHL fan.

Let's kick it off with some talk about possible trades in advance of the Feb. 26 trade deadline.


"Of course we'll sit down with Mats eventually. It's not even February 1st yet. It's very premature. There's nothing going on in the league yet."

-- Maple Leafs interim GM Cliff Fletcher on whether he will discuss possibly trading Mats Sundin.


"As the 26th approaches, I'm sure there will be more trade rumors. It doesn't concern me. I love playing in Colorado. I love everything about it, the city, the community, the players, the organization. It's fantastic. Until something else happens, this is my home. All I can do is go out and keep playing as hard as I can."

-- Defenseman John-Michael Liles on the possibility of being traded.


"This is all I know in the NHL. This is what I've been around. I've really gotten attached to this city, the fans, my teammates. It hasn't really hit me, but I'm sure it will when I get home tonight."

-- Forward Jody Shelly after being traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the San Jose Sharks.

Phil Coffey
Phil Coffey is's editorial director. He has covered the NHL since 1981.
Ask Ice Age:

Got a question? Nursing a gripe? Itching to call Phil Coffey every name imaginable? Well, you can achieve all these goals through the magic of email. Send your questions, comments and critiques of Phil's photo to and look for the answers in the mailbag section of Ice Age each weekend.


"Our missing piece is a top-six forward. We have one (injured Steve Sullivan), but he's not playing. So we could add a top-six forward that could bring more offense, but — not to take myself off the hook — that's a tall order. Because in my discussions all year long with most clubs, they're looking for the exact same thing. Other than Ottawa and Detroit, almost every club would like a top-six forward."

-- Nashville Predators GM David Poile


"I've talked to a lot of the other general managers, and it's the same thing. There might be one team looking to unload players and that's (last-place) Los Angeles. All the other people are looking to acquire a top-six forward or a top-four (defenseman). … It's all buyers and no sellers."

-- Florida Panthers GM/coach Jacques Martin


"We keep wishing and hoping and wanting, but the fact of the matter is, at some point we simply need to be a realist. And when you look at where we are, this is the kind of situation that if it stays this way, this draft is incredibly important. So I wanted to be able to get out and see these guys myself."

-- Tampa Bay Lightning GM Jay Feaster on a recent scouting trip to the junior ranks.

Here is what is being said about the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


"Every game -- and I know it's a cliche -- means so much more when you look at the number of games we have left."

Well Said

"I take pride. That uniform was special to me. I played for this team for a long time and I care."

-- Blackhawks coach Denis Savard

-- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien


"The main thing for us is to play on a consistent basis. If we can do that, then we'll win our share of games, more than we lose. That'll be the key, showing up every night to play and getting everything we have from everybody."

-- Carolina Hurricanes forward Cory Stillman


"We need every point we can get. If you win a couple games, you are on top of the division, and if you lose a couple, you are out of the playoffs. We have to get on a roll. The team that gets on a roll between now and the end of the year is going to be in the best position."

-- Avalanche forward Ian Laperriere


"Your best players need to be your best players. What this month has come down to is we've had too much inconsistency. Other teams' top players have outplayed ours."

-- New Jersey Devils coach Brent Sutter


"We talked about coming out of the break … it's a sprint. If you know anything about sprinting, the start is what it's all about. We could have won that game. We have to throw it behind us now."

-- Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz


Well Said II

"When your team is younger, they have to learn how to win. … We have to, at some point, put this in place. It's going to have to start at the grass-roots level and (Anze) Kopitar, (Jack) Johnson and (Dustin) Brown and these kids coming through."

-- Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi

"It's going to be the team that wins 20 of the next 30 games that is going to be in the playoffs. The ones that don't aren't. That's it. I think it's as simple as that."

-- Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Ken Klee


"It's now or never. Everyone knows how close the standings are, (but) a couple of wins and we're right back in it. We're aware of that and we can't wait any longer. We need to put some games together. Every point is huge, especially when you're chasing teams ahead of you."

-- Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp


"The goal (is) to finish as high as we can in the standings. That's something we've talked about recently since we've been playing better. Before, we were talking about separating ourselves from the pack below, but now it's about catching who's in front of us. That's a healthy way to think about things."

-- Canadiens forward Christopher Higgins


"You sure don't like seeing the season go the way it has for me. But there's still a lot of games. Despite my shortcomings this season, the team is still doing really well. I'm going through hard times. But you have to look at it like the next game is the one that's going to pull you through."

-- Sharks captain Patrick Marleau


"I'm disappointed more in myself than the players. I just think we're young, and we should be ahead of where we're at."

-- Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff


And let's not forget some interesting quotes on a variety of topics.


Well Said III

"I was saying to the guys on the ice that if I do give it to my parents, it would for sure be the favorite of the family for at least a little while."

-- Carolina's Eric Staal on winning a new Dodge as the MVP of the All-Star Game

"There's nobody who cares about the team more than I do, but at the end of the day, the thing that I can do to help the team most is stop the puck."

-- Dallas Stars Marty Turco


"The guy knocked me down, it hit my skate and went in. It doesn't matter how pretty they are."

-- Flyers forward Scott Hartnell after scoring an overtime goal against the Kings on Tuesday.


"There have been a lot of winding roads. I'm still pinching myself being here, but don't have to worry after the game about being sent down. It has been a long haul, but I wouldn't trade any of the experiences. At the same time, I wouldn't give away the opportunity I have now. I love it. I wouldn't have done anything else other than being involved in hockey. I don't know anything else."

-- Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau


"He's a leader on the club, he's the guy pushing everybody every time we step on the ice, and we miss him. But it's an opportunity for the rest of the guys to step up and do their thing."

-- Penguins Sergei Gonchar on playing without the injured Sidney Crosby


"A lot of fun. It was nice to go through it a second time. You know what to expect and it made things a lot more comfortable for me that way. And I felt more comfortable in the game. It was just a good experience all the way."

-- Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell on playing in the All-Star Game.


"We've used the segment protocol throughout the season. Setting short-term, achievable goals ... helps men maintain their focus, their objectives. It helps them to recognize the cadence of the schedule. It's a tool that we use to help them through that long journey."

-- Calgary Flames coach Mike Keenan


"He has taught us how to win, shown us what works and what doesn't. He gets to know his players on a personal level. In turn, you want to play for him."

-- Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green on playing for Bruce Boudreau

Material from personal interviews, wire services, newspaper, and league and team sources was used in this report.



View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.