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Sept 29: DeBoer Media Transcript

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
The following is a transcript from head coach Peter DeBoer's press conference with the media Tuesday in Helsinki. Topics include the play of rookie Mike Duco, rookie Dmitry Kulikov's status and an injury update on Keith Ballard and Gregory Campbell.


MIKE DUCO'S PLAY IN PRE-SEASON; TYPE OF PLAYER:

He's an energy player. He comes over the boards. You know what you're going to get (from him). You're going to get speed, you're going to get physical play. He's going to finish his checks. We don't have a lot of that in the organization and those are the types of guys you want in depth positions on your fourth line, as your extra forward. Guys that can give your team a shot of energy.

HAD IN KITCHENER; DID STAND OUT THEN?

He's made a big jump. I'll be honest with you, I had him in Kitchener from 16-20. There was a time when he was around 18 there in Kitchener where I wasn't sure whether he was going to be a hockey player. He really turned the corner his last year for me as a player and has turned himself into a good pro so it hasn't been an easy road for him.

DIDN'T TAKE SERIOUSLY?

I don't think it was taking it seriously, I don't think he had accepted the role and the type of player he was going to be. Being able to do those things every night; finish your hits, fight on a regular basis, you know do those things. I kept trying to instill in him how I envisioned him being a pro player which is how he is now. I thought it took him two or three years to really grasp that role. And i wasn't sure at one point whether he was really going to get it. It wasn't all good between us in junior. We had some tough times and didn't see eye-to-eye and had some different points in his career.

HOW ARE YOU NOW?

Now we're great. (laughing) If he does what I ask him to do, we're good.

STATUS ON DMITRY KULIKOV'S CONTRACT?

I can't comment on the contract stuff because I don't know. Randy's working on that. I would like to see more of him. If we can get him signed, that gives us the luxury of playing him up to nine games and continue to see him play but that stuff is totally out of my hands. I'm not sure where it's at to be honest with you.

OTHER TWO GUYS: CHRISTIAN BACKMAN & JASON GARRISON: PLAN TO PLAY THEM TOMORROW?

We haven't done our lineup yet so we want to see all those guys as much as possible, we also have to try and get a lineup together that is going to resemble a lineup friday night too and make sure we're prepared. We have to juggle the evaluation process as it's winding down here and preperation for Friday so we'll make a lineup based on that. I think there's been plenty of opportunity to see all those guys and now we're coming to decision time.

KEITH BALLARD & GREGORY CAMPBELL: WILL THEY PLAY TOMORROW?

They skated today, we'll decide tomorow morning. The key is that they're ready for Friday night. In a perfect world i would like them to play in an exhibition game before we play Friday night.
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