Following the Rangers announcement that they had agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Greg de Vries, the newest Blueshirt defensemen fielded some questions from the media:
Q: Was part of this move done for you to 'step out of the shadow' of some of the other players in Colorado?de VRIES: I think so. I really enjoyed my time in Colorado and got to play with some great defensemen and great players. I had the opportunity to learn from some great players there. But I thought that it was maybe time to get out and try to do a little more and put a little more pressure on myself.
Q: Has your career really hit its stride the last few seasons?de VRIES: I think so. I've tried to improve each year and take it to the next step. Hopefully I can keep doing that here in New York.
Q: You scored the OT game-winner at Madison Square Garden last year to beat the Rangers ... do you think that had anything to do with helping to push this deal along?de VRIES: I'm not sure. I saw Glen in the hallway after that game and he didn't look too happy with me. Seriously, it was a lot of fun that night. It was my first overtime winner and it was really exciting. I just love playing in Madison Square Garden.
Q: Glen signed you as a free agent in Edmonton back in 1994. Have you kept up with him at all? Does it surprise you that you wound up with Glen and the Rangers?de VRIES: They were pretty much the first team that talked to my agent when I did become a free agent. They were in it from the start. When I was in Edmonton, Glen was the General Manager and we didn't see him too often. He'd come down to the locker room every now and again. Every time we'd see each other we'd say hello and have a short talk. Other than that, it was pretty much a business relationship. I'm excited to be back with him and really looking forward to this opportunity.
Q: When players come to the Rangers, it sometimes seems like the ones who have trouble are the ones who get caught up in the amount of money that they're making or get overwhelmed by people dwelling on that. This is obviously a breakthrough contract for you. What are your thoughts about coming here and playing your game, while not being defined by the contract that you signed?de VRIES: I'm pretty confident in my ability to keep playing the way I have and keep getting better each year. I'm really looking forward to it. I like the team. I like the dynamics of the team. I think we're just a step or two away from really being a contender. I'm quite confident that come September and October, I'll be ready to play the same game.
Q: Did you get any sense from talking to Glen about where you see yourself fitting in on this team?de VRIES: Defensively over the last few years, I've usually played against the other team's number one or two line. I've played in a lot of penalty killing situations. That's pretty much my game and hopefully what I'll be doing here in New York.
Q: A lot has been made about free agents coming to New York. Given the outcome of the last few seasons here, what was the deciding factor in coming to the Rangers?de VRIES: I think the Rangers have the players to turn it around and make it back into the playoffs. I talked to a bunch of players who I have played with and other players around the league and all of them said that when they played here, it was a great experience. It's a great place to play. They told me that if I ever had a chance, I had to play in New York. I guess it's a combination of those things as to why I ended up here. I had a great time in Colorado and I really enjoyed my five years there. My wife and I met a lot of great people, so I'd like to thank everyone for some good times we had there. But I'm excited about my new opportunity here in New York.