This year’s trade deadline was definitely a little bit different than in the past.
You didn’t really know what was going to happen or what kind of moves were going to be made since our team is in the middle of this intense playoff push. I was sitting in Winnipeg watching TSN’s TradeCentre updates for a few hours on Monday, but not much was going on since we’d already acquired Jiri Hudler, Teddy Purcell and Jakub Kindl on Saturday.
Those additions we’re definitely exciting for our team. We have a lot more depth and experience with those guys on board, and we’re all very optimistic about what can happen in the future. Both Kindl and Purcell seem like great guys, but Hudler, especially, seems like a pretty funny guy. He was cracking some jokes last night that we were all getting a kick out of. In the end, I’m sure that all three guys will be able to mix right into our lineup until it eventually feels like they’ve been on our team the whole year.
Honestly, it’s only been one game since the deadline, but I was really impressed with how quickly both Purcell and Hudler were able to jump right into the lineup in Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over the Jets since neither of them really had any time to practice with us other than a quick pre-game skate. They are definitely skilled guys that I think will bring a lot experience and excitement to our team, and it’s crazy to think that they could just jump in and play so well after playing with their old team just a few nights before.
It’s always tough to play in Winnipeg, but that was definitely a bizarre game. I don’t think I’ve won a game at the MTS Center since I’ve been with the Panthers, so it was exciting to finally leave there with a win. We definitely had to grind it out, but Roberto Luongo was unbelievable and kept us in it. It wasn’t really going the way we wanted, but we somehow found a way a win. It was good game to help get the new guys acclimated and we’ll hopefully keep getting better from here on out.
Looking ahead, we realize that Tampa Bay is gaining some ground on us in the standings and that there are other teams on our back as well. It’s important that we get two points every night, which is something we’ve stressed since the beginning of the year up until now. It’s pretty much a horse race to the finish line at this point.
A lot of us haven’t been a part of this type of grind before, so we’re just going have to take it day by day and look to the older guys to kind of guide us through this situation. If you make it to the playoffs, it’s a whole different type of game. It’s something that I’ve watched since I was a little kid and something I’ve always wanted to be a part of. We’re striving to get there right now.
Pirri Heads to Anaheim
It was pretty sad to see Brandon Pirri get traded since he’s always been a good buddy of mine. That’s how the NHL works, though. It’s crazy how one day you’re with your teammates and the next day they might be gone. We all kind of have an understanding that it’s something that could potentially happen to any of us.
When you lose guys that have helped out your team quite a bit and have been good teammates like Pirri was, it’s sad to see them leave. But you always wish the best to those guys when they move on to another team, and you usually see them down the road and remain friends.
I really think he’s going to do great out there. Obviously, going to a team like Anaheim is exciting for him. He gets to go to another warm place, so I don’t think he’s complaining too much. He’ll be missed, but we wish him the best.
That being said, I’m definitely looking forward to playing against him in the future… I’ve just got to try not to get in front of one of his shots!
I started playing hockey at a really young age, so I don’t really remember what it was like at the beginning, but you just need to have fun with it. That’s why I fell in love with the game. Eventually it turned into a job for me, but I always just had fun being with my buddies and competing every day. Sometimes you’ll get a little discouraged, but you’ve got to find ways to just keep working hard and get better. When I was younger, I was always trying to become a better player – shooting pucks, stickhandling, working off the ice. The main thing is to just have fun, though. Enjoy being on the ice. It’s a fun sport, a fast sport, and to me, there’s no other sport like it.
I definitely played a little Pokémon back in the day. I think everyone from my era probably did. I don’t remember a lot of them, but for some reason I remember Blastoise (I had a holographic one). So, I’d have to go with Blastoise as my favorite Pokémon. I think the typical answer would probably be Charizard, but I’ve got to mix it up.
Jameson Olive Contributed to this Article