On getting down to 23 players in preparation of the season:
We don’t play ‘til Thursday, so the declaration of roster is not necessarily who’s out on the ice. I mean, we put a roster in, but we have injured guys too, so [if] we put guys on IR, then it opens some spots up again.
On whether there was an IR move today:
No. But we have guys – Dustin Brown has played one game, and whether he’s available on Thursday, we’ll see. So obviously that affects Jake Muzzin, who hasn’t played. So that obviously that impacts it.
On whether the players reassigned to Manchester did what he hoped they would:
Yep, absolutely. They’re all good young players. It wasn’t [just] the guys we sent yesterday. There’s six or seven of them that went, but as you go through camp and your games are spread out, you can only play 20 players, and there’s a point where you want your older guys playing more, quite honest, especially when you finish with back-to-backs. So that starts to eliminate the process or confirm the process as you go along. Those kids are all awesome players. Tanner Pearson, Linden Vey, Tyler Toffoli. It’s like telling veteran players her – just because they’re playing there, those are the rules. It wasn’t that long ago that those guys would still be here. It’s not like anybody here beat anybody out.
On the conversations with the young players that were reassigned:
I think those kids are all the very same. They’re all coming off a really good year in the American League, and they have things that they can work on. It’s not like they stood out or jumped out. They’re kids. That’s a fact. We’re a young team, but those guys are kids.
On Willie Mitchell’s status:
He passed his physical three weeks ago.
On how he plans on using Dustin Brown in his return from a hamstring injury:
We’ll see as the days go along. If we played tomorrow, he’d be a very rusty player. We’ll see as the next three days go along. It’s not about who you are or what you did, it’s about where you’re at now…[Reporter: He says he’s not dealing with any aches or pains. He’s just dealing with the natural hockey skills.] He pulled his hamstring the first day of training camp, so he’s not dealing with that now.
On what he’ll focus on over the next few days:
Our approach as a staff and as a group – trainers, players, coaches – was that our season started today, and yesterday was really when you go through the waiver process and the assignment process that is basically the beginning of the season. So your approach then is what you want to do for three days, and then you have to build your travel into it. What you want to accomplish in your three days is sort of a day-at-a-time. As long as the players know that the process you want to use in those three days, then tomorrow morning they set their dial again in terms of what we want to do. We’re glad that we had the…Sunday-to-Wednesday deal.
On whether players who were faced competition for their spots in the lineup did what they needed to do:
They have to understand their roles and accept their role. It’s very simple. That’s all it is, and that’s how it sorts out. You try and put guys into different situations in training camp and see how they respond…The thing about preseasons and training camps, is I’m playing against guys a lot of times that I don’t play against, meaning if I’m a premier player in training camp, basically you’re rolling four lines and using six D. Well the situations start to change as training camp goes along, and guys get exposed. So you talk about players like that – well, if you’re a fourth line player, and you’re playing against first line players and you can’t handle it, well it’s pretty clear for the coach where you’re going to play. Either you respond to it or you don’t. It’s what you talk about Dustin Brown. Well, Dustin Brown – he hasn’t played against first line guys since June of last year, so it’s pretty obvious where he’s going to be exposed on Thursday or Friday, because he hasn’t had the game situation for it.
On Jordan Nolan’s training camp, and his admission that he dropped weight:
He actually added some muscle. I think he was in the top four in terms of all the training. So now we see where he takes it.