EM: I think they’re doing fantastic! You’re talking about the St. Mike’s Majors, right? Oh, you mean Ottawa? Okay. I thought we were going to spend the time talking about the Majors and the Memorial Cup.
Q: Did you have a sense that perhaps that we did, that the time was approaching that it was time to repair this thing?
EM: No. We’re disappointed like everyone else at the team’s slow start. It’s not something that’s happened before. The year that we went to the Cup Finals, we started poorly as well. We’ve only played like 10-percent of the games and there’s a lot of hockey left. They have to get their act together and they know it because they’re professionals.
Q: Some of the criticisms of your team have been directed to you having some old players in key places. How do you feel about that?
EM: It seems like the the flavor changes every day. People complain that some teams are too young. It’s like asking someone to pick a poison. We have some seasoned talent and we have some young talent that’s getting guidance from the veterans. It’s tough to pinpoint what the problem is but if they all click together, they should be a competitive team. The Kuba and Spezza injuries haven’t helped. Before our interview, you guys were talking about the San Francisco Giants. Using them as an example, it’s all about peaking at the right time. You can’t win the Stanley Cup in October.
Q: You can’t win it but you can certainly lose it. You’re digging yourself a hole here.
EM: True. But they haven’t dug that deep of a hole yet. Fifteen games from now is a better sample size as to what kind of team we have.
Q: How often do you talk to Bryan Murray?
EM: Depending on how hectic it is, I’d say three or four times per week.
Q: Bryan Murray’s open to talking trade? Did you know that he’s in a position to make some moves?
EM: Bryan’s been around a long time. Whether it was done to motivate the guys or to make some moves, I’m not too sure. It’s not my place to get involved in those decisions.
Q: What do you think of Alexei Kovalev?
EM: He is an enigma but in a positive way. One day, he is just going to explode. When he has that puck, it’s phenomenal what he can do. What he does in practice is unbelievable. I know there are criticisms that he doesn’t show up in games but we still have faith in the guy.
Q: There must be nights though when you just want to scream at the guy.
EM: Look, he does things to the beat of his own drum. He’s too much of a veteran for us to sit down and tell him what to do. I think things will eventually click and when he does, he’ll be the straw who stirs the drink. We have to be careful here. Hee’s a veteran player and we just can’t get in his face and starting making demands. I am a firm believer that the GM has to make hockey decisions, the coach has to coach and the players have to play. I would have to be a serious situation for me to get involved in that level.