Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff met with the Buffalo media today for the first time since winning the Jack Adams Award. Ruff spoke on a variety of issues, including the awards banquet, Buffalo's latest draft selections, the lack of trades made Saturday night and Tim Connolly's health.
Could you talk about receiving the Jack Adams Award? Lindy Ruff: "It was a fun night. I was glad my wife and parents got to be there and it was a real honor."
What did you think about the Sabres' 2006 draft selections? Lindy Ruff: "From our indications, we liked our draft. The defensemen we picked are highly regarded by our scouts and the goaltender is a kid that has had a tremendous year. Overall, it was great to be there and see how excited the kids were that we drafted.
Were you surprised that there weren't more trades? Lindy Ruff: "There were rumors and a couple of big deals, but it was a little surprising there weren't some smaller trades made.
"We've said it before. We like our team for the most part, but we still have some question marks. We've got to get Tim Connolly healthy. Before the season ended, we really thought he'd be feeling better and indications are now that he's a little better."
He still isn't 100 per cent? Lindy Ruff: "No."
What are your thoughts about free agency as July 1 approaches? Lindy Ruff: "It's going to be very interesting to see what goes on and which players sign first. Initially when free agency starts, you see a couple of players get signed and then sometimes it takes a while to get things heated up. It will be an interesting July from a standpoint of seeing what players do, what they are offered and where they move."
Is the organization still looking to procure a defenseman through free agency? Lindy Ruff: "We like where our defense is at and there are some really good defensemen that we plan to have in Rochester next season: Michael Funk and Mike Card. We've had some young guys have tremendous years but they are a little ways away, while the guys we've drafted are even further away.
"So we'll be looking, but I think (Nathan) Paetsch and (Doug) Janik did a lot for themselves with the way them played during the postseason. I think all our guys that filled in gave us some great depth."