Willie D on the Team today:
- he has spoken to all the players by phone. Has met personally with some and has plans to meet with others before camp. Wants to know everyone before camps starts, wants to check in with each player to see how their off season training is going and to lay out expectations. What a different approach from Torts!
- believes the twins and Edler will have bounce back years. Says they are committed and determined to come to camp with something to prove.
- delighted to have Miller. Spoke highly of Lack, never mentioned Markstrom. Says they don't want to put Lack in a position where he has to be the starter before he is ready but thinks he is a future number one before long.
- says Vrbata is slated to start with the twins, his spot to take, but it's not set in stone.
- he has met with Burrows who he says us a key part of the team moving toward. Said Alex is fine playing any role he is asked to play. Willie feels Alex would be a good fit to play with Kassian and be able to help him take the next step to developing consistency. Likes the idea of them being on a line and Akex being able to talk to Kassian on the bench (
that one made me smile)
- says if a younger player out plays a veteran player he will get the job, said a tie goes to the younger player. Wants the younger players to be hungry and come to camp pushing for jobs.
- vey has the third line job, his to take, but he has to step up and show he deserves it. One of those bubble players who has the chance now to show he can be a regular NHL player.
- says Bonino is very excited to be a Canuck and can't wait to get going. Expects him to come to camp fired up and expects good things from him.
- on replacing Kesler, says you can't replace the player with a similar player, today, but you can replace the roles he played by spreading the responsibility around in different ways. As examples, he said one player may get more of a chance on the PK while another gets a bigger role on the PP.
- expects to make the playoffs, recognizes how tough the division is and the challenges the team faces but believes we have the right mix of veteran leadership and youth. The goal is to make the playoffs and every move they make will be to attain that goal.
Pretty good interview, short and to the point. I am encouraged by how pro-active he is being in getting to know the players, spelling out roles, albeit early penciled in roles, and how he is monitoring the off season progress. Sounds excited to be here and anxious to get going!