On how/when he heard about the trade
I didn’t get the call. Kinda glad I didn’t… I wouldn’t have gotten much sleep. My wife got up at 6:30 to check on our son, and took a look at her phone and it was blowing up. And she told me it’s time to wake up. Not too many trades happen at night like that, I don’t think. It was a little bit of a shock to wake up to that news. It’s been a weird day, but it is what it is. I’ve enjoyed my time, and I’ve been so blessed and really thankful to be a Flyer, and I’m excited to move on and play with Tampa now.
On his daughter’s/family reaction
She didn’t know what to make of this morning a little bit. There was a mix of tears and excitement in my house. It was one of those weird things… she was a little confused about what was going on.
Is this a different type of start for you?
Well, Tampa’s been near the top of the East all year, and they’ve got a lot of great pieces… they’ve got great goaltending and really significantly skilled forwards, and I think their defense is really good too. They’ve got a lot of skill in place there. I’m excited to join that group. I think the team here is really good. Our play’s been improving, and there’s still games to win here. I really hope they can squeak in there.
What will you remember the most about your time here?
There’s lots of things. I was lucky to play with so many great teammates here in eight seasons with the Flyers. The times we had in the dressing room, out for dinners, and just the battles on the ice. I think when we made the playoffs in the last game of the season in the shootout with Boosh shutting the door, that was unbelievable, and playing in the Stanley Cup Final in Philadelphia, that was an unbelievable feeling as well.
What are your emotions having spent such a big part of your life with this team and now having to go somewhere else?
It’s tough. It’s tough to leave Philly, because this has been my home. I really love it here. My family loves it here… both my kids were born in Philadelphia, and I’m really proud of that, that they have that. We’ve made lots of friends and I feel like the Flyers have been family to me for most of my 20s. There’s a lot of good people here. By the same token, I understand it’s a business, and I’m going to a great organization in Tampa and I’ve heard nothing but great things. I’m excited to try to help them in any way I can.
On Matt Carle being in Tampa making for an easier transition
I think so. Anytime you go into a dressing room where you know some other players, it’s going to help for sure. Me and Matty were really close when he was with the Flyers here.
Have you talked to Kimmo?
Quick text this morning. I know he’s got a big game today… it’s the first game of the year for him. I just wished him good luck and he did the same.
What did Yzerman say?
We just kind of talked about the trade a little bit. He just said that they felt like they needed a guy like me on their defense, and that I could definitely help them out… he was excited to have me, and other little details and stuff like that. It was a good conversation, and I’m just excited to get down there.
Do you know who you’re playing with yet?
No… I talked to the coach briefly this morning and we just agreed to talk later. I’m sure I’ll find that out tomorrow or tonight or whenever we have that talk.
On roster turnover since 2011
Well, it’s hard to say. There’s a lot of things that go on in this league, especially with the cap. Rosters are going to turn over. It’s just the nature of the business. I’m sure if you look at different lineups throughout the league, it’s a similar story all over.
Was this a total shock, or maybe you expected it one of these years?
You know as a player it can always happen. But it was a little bit shocking for me. I really put those things on the back burner and try to focus on hockey. I think that’s the best way to do it. It’s still a surprise and still a little bit of a shock, but I understand it.
On whether his salary makes him more vulnerable to a trade
I don’t know. You need players to win games, and you’ve got to pay players money, I guess. I’ve never really paid attention to that kind of stuff. That’s part of the league, I guess… any sport really.
What do you think about what they got for you?
Honestly, I haven’t really thought about it too much. I guess maybe it’s more of a selfish thing, I’ve kind of just looked at myself and my situation. Honestly I haven’t had a chance to look at what other movement has happened today. It’s been a little bit of a selfish day thinking about me-me-me kind of thing, but it’s been busy with phone calls and making new acquaintances, and saying goodbye to some old ones.
Are you surprised at all at the direction Hextall has taken the team in building through the draft and getting younger?
I don’t know. I never really try to play GM. As a player I don’t think that’s a healthy thing to do. You just try to come in and do your part and make yourself as valuable as you can as a player, and help the team win hockey games. That’s really the bottom line. There’s so much stuff that can be analyzed, but really, when you’re a player, it’s really simple. You just focus on winning hockey games, and you do that with a great group of guys, which they definitely have here. This team is a great team, and I really wish them the best.
Do you feel fortunate that you were able to help a rebuilding process here?