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Ray Shero Media Conference: July 15, 2011

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins general manager Ray Shero met with the media Friday afternoon. Here's the transcript of what Shero had to say:

On what he knows about Sidney Crosby skating and how anxious he is for him to be cleared for physical contact:
With Sid, it’s the same. He’s been on this schedule that he’s been following. Everything has gone well. No red flags. He was spotted on the ice (Thursday), which is the big news. Fine detective work (laughs). It’s part of his progression, to be ready for training camp. That is our expectation, that he’ll be ready for training camp. This is part of it and he’s been working out hard off the ice. Getting back on the ice is part of it as well.

On the first year of Dustin Jeffrey’s contract being a two-way deal:
He’s a player that did not have arbitration rights this year, so that’s part of the two-way deal the first year. Then he has a one-way contract the second year to get his average annual value of $575,000. With Dustin, I think it’s been documented that he’s a guy that does need waivers this year. To go down to Wilkes-Barre, he will require waivers. In our opinion, at this point he is an NHL hockey player. His rehab seems to be ahead of schedule, which is great news. We’ll be looking forward to having him back. He’s a kid who has made great progress with us and has gone through those steps of playing in WBS and being a top player in the American Hockey League  I think as we saw last year, he can be a very good contributor in the National Hockey League. So I’m looking forward to him bouncing back from the injury.

On if Steve MacIntyre will be a replacement for Eric Godard and how he sees him fitting in:
Eric Godard did a fantastic job here for us. When we signed him three years ago, he won a Stanley Cup with us. He did his job well, protected his teammates. He was very, very well-liked by the players. When you get the Player’s Player Award, that says a lot about a player. I wish him good luck in Dallas and that’s fantastic for him and his fiancée. In terms of MacIntyre – to me, what I wanted to have if we were going to replace toughness or have a toughness list, is for it to be on a two-way contract for the flexibility. I went through this with Steve MacIntyre. Steve was actually a guy that I’ve tried to sign over the course of the last few years. I’ve seen him develop over the last few years from the low minors to being able to play in the National Hockey League. These guys bring a lot of the same things, starting with toughness, but they’re also known as great teammates, hard-working guys.I went through the entire situation with Steve as to having him here on a two-way contract. There’s no guarantee for Pittsburgh. There’s certainly no guarantee for Wilkes-Barre. So we’re going to see how it goes in training camp for him and our team. We know why Steve has moved along in his career. He’s a tough kid. But at the same time, he’s trying to improve himself as a player to be an everyday guy and stay on our roster. That's no different than Eric Godard at this point. I look forward to having Steve in training camp. From what we know, he’s a really good team player and a great guy in the locker room and the community. We’ve had a number of these guys, starting with Georges Laraque and Eric Godard – they were great off the ice for us as well and really fit into our group. So I’m looking forward to seeing Steve.

On having depth on the left wing and the process of moving players over to the right side:
Some of the things I’ve read saying that James Neal might play the right side or Steve Sullivan might play right side or left side – Steve is capable of playing either wing. It doesn’t matter. In the past, Chris Kunitz has volunteered to play the right side. This will go to Dan and how he wants to operate his team. I think what we’re going to see in training camp is what’s there the first day may not be there the seventh day. What’s there the seventh day might not be there at the start of the season. I think guys will move around and be interchangeable a little bit. That will be up to Dan. And I do think guys on the left side can play the right side. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to play one wing or the off wing. Some guys really prefer to play the off side. So we’ll see what training camp brings and if guys can do it with some success, that will certainly give us another dimension to our team.
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