February 26, 2013 4:13 pm

Audio of Dean Lombardi’s conference call

I’ll also post interesting quotes as I continue to transcribe them.

Dean Lombardi, on the Simon Gagne trade:
“I think there were just a number of things. Obviously you have a veteran player whose game is clearly defined and is a very good player. [He] wasn’t fitting in, so to speak. That said, this is an NHL player that’s proven to play on a good team, so you don’t do this unless you feel fairly comfortable in what you have coming through the minors. It’s not the same thing, but it’s similar like when you move Jack Johnson for Carter. Well, you don’t do that unless [you have] Voynov coming through. We feel pretty good about our depth up front in the system, so that opens up a roster spot.”

Lombardi, on the trade:
“I’m not denying that this is a good player that I’ve known a long time, and I know that if he wanted to go anywhere, that would be the place he’d want to go. The worth was probably around a third or something if I wanted to do it at the deadline. We kind of did it in a way that’s got a contingency, a fourth to a third. So I was satisfied with that and being able to put him where I know he’d be happy. And this is a player that came to us as a free agent, and so he chose us at the time, so given that we had to do this if I can, I will certainly put him somewhere I know he’ll be happy. Judging from when I talked to him today, he was very pleased with it and actually had mentioned that if he had sat out much longer, he was probably going to come and see me. For a guy that’s had a storied career and started there, there’s an intangible here that hopefully works for both of us.”

Lombardi, on injury updates:
“Martinez is certainly on schedule. I don’t know if I can put a number on it, but I think originally we were looking at two to four weeks, and I still think that’s in the ballpark here. So it’s safe to say that the original prognosis still holds. Greener might be a little ahead of schedule, but that’s still a ways off given the gravity of the injury. Willie – I guess it’s fair to say that the one good thing that happened here in the last couple of days is he did say something failry positive to our trainer in terms of possibly coming back. He had another procedure done on him today that he thought helped him the last time. I don’t want to get into medical terminology, and no, it’s not steroids or anything, but it’s something he wanted to try. Apparently he did this a couple of weeks ago, and it helped him. He’s doing it again now, and again, we’re still kind of in that same holding pattern overall. That’s the frustrating thing, that you can say that there’s a timetable on Marty and a timetable on Greener, but there’s really no timetable here. It is what it is.”

Lombardi, on whether cash considerations motivated the trade:
“This was not, in any way, motivated by cash space per se. Heck, we have plenty of space. I mean, for this year, we have seven million in space.”

Lombardi, on Jake Muzzin:
“His game last night was pretty special for a young player breaking in. But the learning curve, as we all know, never goes straight up. But to see him fitting in and doing some of the things he’s doing is certainly a good sign.”

Lombardi, on Keaton Ellerby:
“We knew all the work that was done as far as before we traded for him and knowing where his game was – the key for him is because he hasn’t been in our system and comfortable in our development program, there’s a little bit of going back to basics and getting a foundation. And that’s what you’re starting to see now. Be hard to play against. Keep your gaps tight. Keep your stick in the lanes and start there. And instead of like when he broke into the league as a young player, a high draft pick and come in and save a franchise – and we’re already seeing improvement in that.”

Lombardi, on Davis Drewiske:
“You guys all know Drewiske never stops as far as the type of kid he is. He’s just a dog out there. I don’t mean ‘dog’ in a bad sense. I mean a ‘dog’ as in ‘just never quits’.”

Lombardi, on whether he’s looking to add another left wing, or whether Trevor Lewis’ contributions have changed his assessment:
“We still have Brad Richardson, who can play all of the positions. That’s one thing that’s good about Brad. He’s a guy that can play every position – center, left wing, right wing. He can go play on your top lines as well as play a checking line. So he’s still a part of this group. As I said earlier, I think the only reason we do this is not thinking I’ve got a trade coming…This isn’t a case where OK, I’m going to use this pick and go replace Gagne. The focal poinbt here is get the roster spot and if we need a player, we feel fairly comfortable that at least those kids in the minors – are they going to be Gagne? Well, maybe some day. But at least we felt that they were kind of at the stage where maybe Nolan and King were last year, where ‘OK, if we’ve got to use them, we’re comfortable with that.’ With that said, if in fact, a player comes up that can really help us, well, we’ve got the cash and we’ve got the cap space. But the intent of this at this stage is not to go in the market place and fill that right now. But then again, you never know in this thing when you’re on the phone all the time. If something hits me, we’re prepared to do it.

On the talented forwards in Manchester:
“There are different stages of “ready”. Ready for a shot, ready to make an impact, ready to fit in…They’re as good of forwards as we’ve had come through the system. And I mean ‘through the system’ in how I feel about this – Kopitar and Brownie and those kids who come in and Drew, I don’t consider that technically ‘coming through your development program’ and paying your dues in the minors. But when you look at what their game is and what they’re able to do, they’re good hockey players.”

On whether negotiations have started on a contract extension for Rob Scuderi:
“I think that it’s fair to say that we’ve had some informal discussions. I wouldn’t say we’ve gotten to the meat of it, but it’s fair to say that we’ve had some informal ones.”

On whether it’s important to determine his future with the club before looking outside the club to improve the blue line:
“Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something we’ll continue to look at. You’re probably right in the sense that it would make a lot of sense to tighten this before the trading deadline and before the season ends, that’s for sure.”

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