Thursday, July 05, 2012

Holmgren, Gervais talk on Day 5 of free agency

Q: On Fedotenko’s experience and how it can help the team

“Moving forward here, we’re still a pretty young group.  I think the opportunity to add Ruslan, and his ability to play a lot of different roles on a team… he can play any wing, he can probably play center if you need… the fact that he’s won a couple times, the fact that he’s been here before, both played into the decision to move forward with him. We’ve actually tried to sign Ruslan a couple times over the last few years and we’ve always missed out.  I like him, and I think he’s going to bring a lot to our team in terms of leadership, and I think he’s a winner, I really do.”

Q: On Bruno Gervais

“I think he’s going to fit nicely into our group of whether we carry 7 or 8 defensemen, we’ll see.  But he’s a right-hand shot, and that gives us two right-hand [defensemen] shots in Luke Schenn and Bruno, something we haven’t had since I can’t remember.  Probably goes back to Bob Dailey and Mike Busniuk.  Bruno’s a good kid, he works hard, he’s got over 350 games of experience in the league.  I know he’s bounced around a little bit, but he’s an unassuming, quiet, good player that’ll provide enthusiasm and experience, and I think he’s a really good fit on our team.”

Q: Did you get any input from Max Talbot about Bruno?

“I just know they’re good friends.  I think Max is actually Bruno’s best man, I think he’s getting married here in a few days.  Did that play a role… anytime you have players that know players, they can give you a little bit of an inside scoop on something about them that you don’t know.  But we’ve always liked Bruno, even back to his Islander days early on.  He’s just a quiet, steady player.”

Q: Will you still be looking to add more defensively?

“We’ll continue to look to see what’s out there and what we can do.  I really like our team, and I’m hesitant to look at anything where I’ve got to give up something to get something back.  We have a lot of good young players that have tremendous potential.  Quite frankly I’m happy with our team right now.  That doesn’t mean we won’t look and see what happens. As you know we took a couple swings for the fences early on in free agency, and those are adding players that you’re not taking away from your team.  We had to slide to Plan B, and we’re happy with the players we got in Plan B.

Q: How much did Dennis Wideman’s contract raise the market above what you were willing to pay Matt Carle?
“Well, we tried very hard to sign Matt Carle.  At the end of the day he decided to go elsewhere.  I’m happy for Matt.  I’ll say that before free agency started, during free agency, right up to the time he decided to go elsewhere, we tried hard to sign Matt.  It’s just one of those things.  I’m disappointed, but we’ll move on.  Like I said, I’m happy for Matt.  He was a good player for us, and it’s not like we didn’t try to sign him.  We just move on. “

Q: How disappointed were you not to sign Parise or Suter?

“Well, we took our shot.  They’re both elite players in our game.  We’re not the only team that took shots, and whether we had a chance or not, I don’t know.  But we took our shots. I found out late on the 3rd that we were out on Ryan and then early morning on the 4th found out that we were out on Zach, so we quickly moved forward onto our next phase.

Q: Can you talk about what happened with Jaromir Jagr?

“I spoke with Petr Svoboda all through the process.  I don’t know if he got antsy or what.  I got a call late on the 3rd that he was getting excited and wanted to make a move, and I wasn’t prepared to do anything at that time.  We still had offers out on the table that I wanted to wait on, and I wasn’t prepared to move on Jaromir at the time.  I said the other, day, Jaromir was really good for us.  I’m happy for him and we wish him well in Dallas.  I think it’s a great addition for Dallas.  It just got to the point where I needed to move, and he wasn’t ready to wait.”

Q: If you had to look at what you’ve lost versus what you’ve acquired, how do you compare things?

“I don’t know how to quantify that.  We still have the nucleus of our young team that we had at the end of last year.  I think we’re going to be better with all those guys having one year under their belts… Jakub and Wayne Simmonds and Couturier and Matt Read, and the other young guys that gave us things like Wellwood and Rinaldo.  We’ve added Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann we get to see and get full season out of.  You could argue that we lost a lot of good players and we did.  But the maturation process of our group and adding a solid guy like Ruslan to our forward mix and a steady guy like Bruno on our back end…  I think we’re still a good team that has a lot of potential.”

Q: On contract talks with Jakub Voracek

“That’s a process right now that we’re going through.  Jakub will be signed at some point… I don’t want to put a timeline on it.  But he’ll be signed at some point.”

Flyers defenseman Bruno Gervais

Q: On his relationship with Max Talbot

“We grew up together.  I’ve know max pretty much forever.  We played together when we were 10 years old back home, so I’ve known him my whole life.  We had a similar path.  We turned pro at the same time, we played against each other in junior, and kept in touch the whole time.  We used to be roommates this summer when we came back and trained together a lot, so just kind of grew up with him and followed the same path my whole life.”

Q: When is the wedding, and is he the best man? 

“He’s one of the best men.  I have my brother as the best man and three other guys I grew up with my whole life, and he’s one of them, so he’s really involved in the wedding.  And the wedding is July 14.  I still have time, nine days left, but it’s coming pretty fast.”

Q: Did Max influence your signing with the Flyers?

“Well, yeah, for sue, but the main thing was for me that I want to win and I want to be part of a team heading that way.  Last year, I was really happy going to Tampa Bay.  I did enjoy my year. It wasn’t the year that we expected as a team.  To make a little change right now, I’m really excited about that, and turning to a team with the quality of an organization like the Flyers, and such a great sports town – I’ve been there a few times already, and love the town and love the way the organization is heading. I just want to help the team any way I can to go further in the playoffs and having a chance to win.

Q: Could you describe how last season went for you?

“I was healthy the whole season.  I knew the situation going in.  The last year I had in New York was a tough one with injuries and was a really hard year for me.  [inaudible]… There was a ranking of all the D-men, there was a lot of traffic there.  I knew I was going to going to fight to get my chance.  Early on through the year there was a lot of bodies there, so I had to kind of wait for my time, but the second I got back in the lineup, things went really well.  They were really happy with me on and off the ice, I felt really good, and I got back to the hockey I know I can play.  From a confidence point of view, it really helped me that year and helped me get back on track. 
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