Today, Bryan Murray talked to the local media about a number of pertinent topics. I've transcribed what he had to say below. Here it is:
On the Team Itself:
"I think that we're a good hockey team. A contending team in the East. I think that there are a number of good teams mind you. I suspect that we will be better than last year. I expect that. I think that some of our young players, in particular, will be better. I believe Nick Foligno, Peter Regin, Erik Karlsson and people of that nature have a chance to take a big step forward. I think that when you pair that with a number of the veterans coming back and continuing the play that they had and we should be a good hockey club."
On Expectations Placed Upon the Team:
"We're basically the same team. We've got Gonchar to add to our offensive ability. We've got a couple of younger guys who will get better. I've always hinged a lot on the youth on your team. Do they have the potential to get better? If that's true, and I believe it is, then your team should grow accordingly. We know that Alfie and Alex and people of that nature that are the more veteran group of the team will continue to play at a good level. If the younger guys improve as we expect that they will, then... well there are no guarantees and that doesn't always relate to a win over every single individual game. Over the course of a year it should pay strong dividends for you."
On Players Recovering From Injuries:
"We believe that everyone has recovered from the surgery. That each and everyone have skated to this point. I guess getting on the ice in competitive situations is a little bit different and they'll have to be tested going forward but it appears that they're all one-hundred percent. That everything was successful. They've had a good summer working out. They have skated. They are excited about coming back to camp. I think that it really speaks well for the type of team that we would possibly have moving forward.
The 6th Sens Note: It better speak well for the team if Michalek and Kovalev are healthy. No one's masochistic enough to want to endure another season in which Ryan Shannon gets top six minutes.
"I expect he's a good player. I believe that he's a good player. I thought he was a good player most of the time last year. I think that we look at Alex in maybe a different light than we should sometimes. He has a high level of skill. I think that we look at him as a guy who can take the puck and do whatever he wants when he wants to. The NHL is not that way. I thought that he played well most of the time for us in that the plays more of a complimentary role now. He helps other players play better hockey around than may maybe they ever have in the past. I think that there were some productive players because of him. We missed him a great deal in the playoffs. Him alone in that Pittsburgh series could have made a huge difference for us. I'm excited. I know he's happy. I know he loves playing here. I think playing with a couple of players that he played with last year in particular, he's really excited to see how they progress moving forward. I expect he'll be good."
The 6th Sens Note: You know what else would have made a huge difference in that series against Pittsburgh? A save or three by Brian Elliott. Just saying...
On Jared Cowen:
"He actually had been skating. He's down there. We just said hello to him on the way up. We think he's a real good prospect for sure and I don't think that the mono will set him back very much. It may be that we have to be a little careful in the first days of camp to make sure that his body reacts okay. But, for the next couple of months, he certainly should be an improving player."
On the Goaltending Situation:
"I hope Pascal is healthier. I think he will be. He looks terrific right now. He had a tough year last year from an injury point of view. I think that coming back late was a real good sign for us. He played, I thought, real decent in the playoffs. He needs a good year of play though. There's no doubt that he's a guy who really has to step up in training camp and really compete and try to earn a lot of games. I believe Brian Elliott will be better. He's another one of those young, growing players that we have and playing the number of games that he did, going through the cycles that he did, I think that the pressure at the end, going through that, knowing now as he steps back and looks at it, that he knows how to handle it differently. But, I really like Brian's chances at being a top goaltender in this league."
On the Rookie Camp and Tournament:
"I don't know if there's anybody out of that camp (who will help us). Usually there is. Again, we have a number of young guys that are going to be there. Patrick Wiercioch will really benefit from a rookie camp situation. Bobby Butler probably. I'm not even sure if we're even putting Bobby into the thing. Certainly Robin Lehner will benefit from it. Just to go through the experience of playing against pro players... What I found is that I go to these rookie tournaments and I look at all these kids playing every year and I'm saying they're going to be pretty good players in the future. Out of that camp, there's always half a dozen on different teams that end up playing so it's a very strong possibility that we'll have one at least."