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Ray Shero 2012 Trade Deadline Transcript

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins general manager addressed the media following the end of the NHL's 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Opening statement:
Just to confirm that we were not active today. Nobody going and nobody coming. Our roster is our roster moving forward.

On if he came close to making a deal or if it really was as quiet as it appeared:
It was pretty quiet. Even though you don’t make a deal, we had a number of conversations with some teams. Whether the price, in our opinion, was too high on some players or there just wasn’t a fit on our end, (nothing happened). We did make some offers on some players. But those players never even got moved. It was a long day to really come up with nothing, but as I said going into it, we were fine with that. We’re going to get a few injured players back here – hopefully Arron Asham soon and Tyler Kennedy – and we’re going to go forward with our team.

On how Sidney Crosby’s status factoring into today’s non-activity:
As I said (Sunday), I’m hopeful he’ll be able to come back and play. There’s no guarantee of that. It was just one of those trade deadlines. I think this is my sixth trade deadline here and we’ve always been active doing something. This is the first time we have not done anything. It just really wasn’t there for us in terms of the players that were available. You really see it with the standings being so close. Some teams went all the way through yesterday’s games to make some decisions on players, whether to trade them or keep them. You were kind of getting the usual, ‘If I get blown away by an offer I might consider moving my player.’ Well, a lot of these players didn’t move because teams wouldn’t pay that price. In our case – and I’m speaking from the Penguins standpoint – is that we’re happy with our team going forward. It’s easy to say that as a manager when you can’t make a deal or don’t make a deal. Whatever it is, you can say that. But I said this six weeks ago when we had lost six in a row, I like our team and I believed in our hockey team. I still do and I’m comfortable with this team moving forward. That’s where we are.

On if today was an extension of the lean free agency deadline in the summer:
There are less and less trades at the deadline, it seems. It seemed a lot of teams had cap space this year. The cap had gone up. It’s just the parity in the league, I think, where a lot of teams are not trading players. It’s maybe a combination of the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) moving forward, if a guy has term on their contract, (teams) are not willing to take that on. I think it’s a combination of everything. But most importantly, I think it’s the parity with the exception of a few teams. Teams are within 4-5 points of a playoff spot and there are still 20 games to be played. There’s still a lot of hockey to be played and teams are still optimistic they’ll make the playoffs. As I said back on July 1, we did make a few deals and let some players go. It’s kind of how you set your team up for the season. Hopefully, we get a few of these injured players back and right now, we’re in a home-ice position and we’re fighting for home ice. I’m happy with that right now.

On his confidence in the team moving forward:
Well I think from the net out, we have very good goaltending. We have a lot of guys here who have won the Stanley Cup. We’ve had the most man-games lost in the league due to injury and we are finally starting to get healthy again. I think it’s a combination of everything. I think we have some really good players. After you missed Jordan Staal for 20 games, you get him back in the lineup and see the difference that it makes in your team. I just think that we have a pretty good hockey team here with our leadership and the character that we have. The special teams have been good. Our penalty kill has been amongst the top in the league. Our power play has been very good obviously. Just a lot of things have come together for us and we’ve got some of these injured players back. We have a number of those guys who have rings in the room. That counts for something as we move forward towards the playoffs.

On the key factors in the Penguins’ success this season:
We have James Neal with the most power-play goals in the league. The year that Evgeni Malkin is having, he’s taken it to another level. Chris Kunitz has done a fantastic job as a net-front guy. I think Steve Sullivan has made a big difference to that power play in terms of transition of the puck up the ice gaining zone-time. He’s really smart up top. Of course having Kris Letang back after the number of games he’s missed has really helped us. The coaches have worked hard at this over the last year or so. Again to come up with different variations to the power play with Sullivan on that one side to kind of open the left-hand side of the power play, I think it’s been helpful. We’re shooting the puck and getting it through. Neal and Malkin have made a big difference. And you have Jordan Staal with 21 goals. Obviously these guys are making a difference. 

On Brad Thiessen stabilizing goal depth behind Fleury:
I think that with Brad (Thiessen) when we signed him as a free agent out of Northeastern, we were hopeful he’d become a professional goalie here. Last year being the goalie of the year in the America Hockey League, those guys at times get an opportunity and with the way Brent (Johnson) has played in the past, he never really got that. Fortunately we didn’t have any injuries – knock on wood – in that position. But for the goaltenders that were out there and in terms of the price to get them, I’m not sure any even moved today. Obviously we are very happy in the No. 1 guy with (Marc-Andre) Fleury. And if Brent Johnson can get healthy here, which I think he will, gives us that experience. And of course Brad gets some experience in the National Hockey League and moving forward for us, I think we are confident in this area.

On keeping the three centermen model if Sidney Crosby returns:
That’ll be up to Dan (Bylsma). I think if we get the three centers back together, the way that Dan has done this in the past is that guys tend to move around a bit. You see ‘Geno’ playing center and you see Geno at the odd time playing wing. You see Staal moving up to the wing depending on the match up situation. The beautiful thing is that they can all play well over 20 minutes a night, so you can put them in different situations depending on the game and the score of the games. It just gives us a lot of options and flexibility. It creates many more problems for the teams we are matching up.

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