the interview is up on 1270sports.com
On the Dallas Drake signing: Gritty player, a leader who will provide depth......yada yada yada. He should get roughly 8-10 mins of icetime.
On why we didn't re-sign Bert: we were right there money-wise (mid 3s - 4) Not comfortable offering him the 2nd yr. With Nick, Draper, Cleary and some other RFAs (filpulla, quincey, howard, etc) next year, didn't want to take that risk on the unknown of how far he can bring his game back.
On whether dom was their #1 choice or did they consider someone else: $2.05 base + upto 2 mil more in playoff bonuses. Looking at the open market there weren't any other legit alternatives.
On How far off is Howard: Its really hard to know if he's the real deal right now, but he needs to play well down in GR, and the plan is bring him up next year.
On dom's performance in the playoffs/whether he can still win games singlehandedly: There are guys like Brodeur, Kipper, Luongo, and you have to look at the list after that. Dom's a guy you can win with. We're bringin him back because he gives us the best chance for a long playoff run.
On the schedule (should there be more balance?): Commish knows we want to be in the east. If we remain in the west, we would like 6 games in the division and basically revert back to the pre-lockout schedule with 18 games vs. east (10 games under the current format). Its gonna be brought up at some point in the winter during the BOG meetings and we're gonna lobby hard for the scheduling change.
Are you being punished for being a marquee team (esp. teams in the west with low attendance, but sell out vs. detroit): Kind of. Gotta convince the others to agree with the changes, but we have some good rivalries in the west, avs didn't make the playoffs, but could be a power house team again after the moves they made. We were in the process of developing a good rivalry with nashville, unfortunately they've let a number of players go. But we'd prefer to be out east and have rivalries with tor, mon, bos.
On the whole Nashville situation: There a number of people stepped up from different places, not really sure whats gonna happen to them. Hopefully they stay there and we continue to build on that rivalry.
On what other canadian cities could the NHL work in: In canada hockey is a real passion, Winnipeg's building was electric when we saw them in the playoffs in 1996. If you can get a building of good size and a big enough population, there will be support for that team. Its important for a market to have stability and develop some rivalries over time. Its also important for the other cities, like us when we have a good rivalry with Nas, so hopefully all 30 markets are stable.
On when the talks regardling Hank will begin: We can't sign him until 7/1/08, but we can begin negotiations before then. At some point in time at the end of this season, we want to sit down and have him extended just like pavel.