After today’s first session, Terry Murray spoke publicly for the first time about Drew Doughty’s absence from training camp, and also talked about his impressions of the players’ on-ice fitness…
Question: Not having Drew Doughty here, does that change your planning at all?
MURRAY: “The plan does not change at all. We’re going to miss Doughty. I wish he was here to be a part of it. He’s a very important player. He’s a big part of the locker room and he’s a fun guy to be around. He’s a great player for us, but the plan does not change for the training camp. We have to get ready for the start of the year. We’ll go through the same plan as we had in the early part of August.”
Question: But it would create a spot for another defenseman to step in a fill his role…
MURRAY: “I’m not too sure how all that is going to play out. The opportunity is there for someone to grab a position, if Doughty does not show up here in the training camp, near the end of it, to be a part of the team on opening night. I can’t get into names, but certainly there’s a position that we’re going to look to get some minutes out of, and that’s a great opportunity for somebody.”
Question: Do you need to say anything to the team, to address Doughty’s absence?
MURRAY: “I don’t think I need to say anything. It’s not my area of concern, really. I know I’m the coach of the team and I want Doughty here, but that’s the business side of it that everybody is very aware of. It’s been that way for years now. Players use the opportunity, I guess, to get as much money as they possibly can. I don’t begrudge anybody for that. I’m not going to be upset with Doughty when it finally gets settled. When he comes in, I’m going to be very happy that he’s here, and welcome him to the team, and let’s get going.”
Question: How did the players’ testing go? What kind of shape did Dustin Penner report in?
MURRAY: “Overall, conditioning, the results were good. We do the off-ice, on-ice testing, and most importantly for me, the actual hockey testing, the on-ice skating, was really good. The times, the heart-rate recovery, is what I look at as a primary number. I’m seeing a real good look from every player that came into the camp. Dustin Penner, it shows. He really did put a look of work into the summer time. There’s a recovery rate that’s going to allow me to get him back on the ice for another shift. And that’s what it’s all about, to get your best players on the ice as often as possible.”