The following is a transcript from head coach Peter DeBoer's press conference with the media fowllowing Sunday's practice in Helsinki.
REGARDING SUNDAY’S PRACTICE:
“Well, the season is right around the corner so we’re trying to get in all the details and the things we have to cover before the season starts…some of the details we hadn’t got before today; faceoff assignments, what we’re doing in all three zones faceoff wise. We continue to work on D-zone coverage and everyone’s responsibilities on the ice. There’s just a lot to cover and with the hectic preseason schedule we hadn’t had a lot of practice time, so its nice to have a good practice day.” ON CURRENTLY CARRYING NINE DEFENSEMAN
“We feel comfortable that all play can play in the NHL, or all almost ready or are very close to playing in the NHL. Again, it’s still an evaluation process. We have a week to make those calls. There’s some outside influences with some of those situations. Obviously, (Christian) Backman doesn’t have a contract yet. (Dmitry) Kulikov, we’re still waiting to see if we can sign him or not. From a coaching perspective, we’re still making evaluations on those guys. Some of those decisions might be made for us with contracts." ON JASON GARRISON, KULIKOV AND BACKMAN
“Well, they all do something a little different. Garrison is a big wide-body guy who plays hards and is real strong in the puck area. Kulikov, I think, does a little bit of everything. He’s hard in the puck area, great offense, the only negative is his inexperience. Backman, on the flip side, is a veteran guy who’s been through the wars, played for a lot of teams, played in a lot of NHL games, in a lot of situations. They all bring something different." ON STAYING IN ONE LOCATION FOR A WEEK IN FINLAND
“This is a much better setup than (the trip through) North American in preseason. We’re not changing hotels; we don’t have two separate teams. It’s funny, someone was telling me Ballard and Jordan Leopold are pretty good friends and someone called one and asked how the other was doing and he said, ‘I haven’t seen him the entire camp. We’ve been on two different teams.’ But being based out of one place, other than the one exhibition game we’ll play, is nice." ON WHETHER HE’S GETTING USED TO THE TRAVEL
“I popped out of bed at four this morning and I didn’t know where I was, whether I was in Edmonton, Port Hawkesbury or Helsinki. But I am getting used to it,”