Tim Murray Speaks: Ceci, Mika, Trades? & More

Yes we are getting tired of transcribing stuff, but Tim Murray is a great interview dammit!

The Assistant GM's full In The Box appearance can be heard here,or via streaming the embedded audio below.

My thoughts in bold.

On Cody Ceci being invited to camp…

Yeah, I think what we want to do here with Cody is reset him, reset his season. This certainly is no disreprect to the 67's, they've had a tough year…he's part of it. He's gonna move on now to a better team, obviously when you get traded from a low team to a higher team. He's gonna be counted on there heavily, and he's gotta be ready for that. And I think by coming in here, and getting a little bit of coaching from our guys on what we expect in the second half from him – it's a different situation so expectations are different. Put a lot of the onus on him to step up his game, and I think by starting him here with good players here it gives him a chance to just walk in there and you know have no issues on changing teams.

Can't say the Senators haven't been pro-active with Ceci's development. Back in December, Tim Murray confirmed they'd had Jason Smith working with him one-on-one.

On how realistic Ceci's chances are to make the team…

We're not telling him he can't make the team, and if he comes in here and if he's the best defenseman he can make the team. But, in saying that he should understand there's some pretty good defenseman here, there's some pretty good defenseman in Binghamton, and right now in the depth chart they're ahead of him. Can he move ahead of them? We'll see. All these kids know where they stand, they know the depth chart, they know where they stand, they all think they're ready to play. But, you know being realistic he's gonna come in here and try his best, and probably move on.

As a fan, this will at least be a good gauge to see how far Ceci is from being "NHL-ready".

On Stefan Noesen being in camp…

We're leaning towards bringing him. For the simple fact he's had a ten game suspension, he's not eligible til Friday with his team I believe. So we're thinking same thing, he's been out a long time, get him in here, see where he is in his development's number one for us. I mean, we've watched him play a lot in junior, but NHL camp is not junior. Maybe if he has to go back…maybe the camp here being around the pros, the high-tempo, he hasn't played in awhile. Plymouth might be extremely happy that we do that, and he hits the ice for them, and is ready to go, and hopefully it'd be like he hasn't missed a game.

Good carrot to hand the player, watching the USA convingingly take the gold in Ufa would of been bittersweet…and probably slightly more bitter than sweet.

On Zibanejad's status…

Well he's on the ice everyday. He's been monitored everyday. When you're working out in the gym and then when you're skating on the ice that can all go very well, and than it's how you feel after. Since Tueday he's had no issues, and felt very good after. Luke feels he's getting in better shape….we feel he could play this weekend.

Good news. Still be a little surprised to see him in camp, considering he hasn't played in six weeks, of course there will be at least of few of those in camp anyway. Wait and see I guess.

On if the concussions Mika suffered last year are why they're being so cautious…

Well there are a lot of factors. One, he's a high pick and he's a young guy. Two is, in Binghamton we're winning every night. So you don't have to do in quotations 'stupid things', and we didn't have to. So I just said to Luke here, we just have to shut him down, and I talked to Randy Lee about, let's just shut him down, let's just get him right. Fortunately we were in a position, where we didn't have to rush him, we were still winning. I think when you you're winning great things happen, byproduct of winning are many things, but in one of them you don't have to rush a guy back, you can take your time, you can sure that you don't make a mistake with them. Glen down there has done a great job with him, he came up to Ottawa and worked with our people up here a little bit and did a great job with him. I think now actually he's been out so long that he felt he could play before we allowed him to play, so I think that's a good situation.

Applauding the organization taking the conservative longview here.

On the possibility of bringing in another defenseman via trade or free agency…

Yeah, we've been working the phones, I was on the phone a lot yesterday at home, and Bryan here in the office. Certainly agents are calling us for the lesser guys, you know "my guy's ready, he's available he's in great shape" that's the message you get from them all. And some of those guys wouldn't be your first choice, but that's not to say they wouldn't be useful defenceman. I think that the phones with the other GM's are heating up, so Bryan is certainly…we're gonna find out what's available, what the price is , and then that's the decision you have to make. Would I be surprised if we traded for one defenseman? No. Obviously you guys can see it, everybody in the league can see it, when you look at our depth chart that's where we're a litlte bit short right now because of injuries. But in saying that you do have to give your kids a chance at some point too, to find out if they're ready. You know, we've seen these kids for three years, none of them are first year players; Benoit's a veteran, I would call Patrick a veteran in the AHL, I'd call Gryba a veteran in the AHL, I'd call Borowiecki a veteran in the AHL. They're inexperienced NHL players, but everybody was at one time. So, we'll work the phones and if can get better than them then we will, but I think we're pretty confident that one or two out of this group of four will do a tremendous job for us.

Could be wrong, but it looks like the brass is going to give this Bingo grouping at least some time to see if they can hack it before they'd pull the trigger on a trade.

On the organization's goaltending depth…

It's a position that takes time. You can draft four or five goalies over a four, five, or six year period and come out with nothing. And that is no disrepct to your scouting staff, it's attrition. We've seen lots of goalies picked very high that didn't turn out, and we've seen goalies picked in the mid-rounds that now are players. Robin's in his third year, he's had a tremendous year, we know he's a #1 goalie in the league…eventually, and we're quite confident him. And you trade a second for Bishop, and what he's done. They're probably the biggest twosome or tandem in hockey as far as that goes, they've both played great down there. Everybody saw what Anderson did here last year, he got us to the playoffs, he was great against the Rangers. So we're quite confident in our goaltending. And uh, the two guys we drafted last year are farther along the line but now we have depth here, we got guys coming, and I think that's the kind of progression you want.

This sounds like a guy loathe to take a goalie in the first-round.

On if Lehner's two-way contract and Bishop's one-way will affect the organization's mindset in camp…

Not for me. If Paul tells us that Lehner should be his guy, then we'll listen. But the way the other two guys can play the game…we're confident in those two guys in the net too, so if it's Bishop and Anderson or Anderson and Bishop, that's what it was last year or for part of last year and we were a playoff team. Anderson played great so if he comes in here and gets going right off the bat…and the other two guys have been playing. I don't know if I'm answering your question, but I"m confident in all three guys. I mean if you told me Robin Lehner was our starter tomorrow, I'd be happy with that. If you told me Bishop and Anderson would be the two guys, I'm happy with that. I think they're all quite capable of being top ten or so goalies in the league…and um, the contract may come into play.

Last six words hold a great deal of the truth.

 

Tim Murray Speaks

Assistant GM Tim Murray made an appearance on The Drive yesterday afternoon, the bulk of which is transcribed below. The big news of Zibanejad staying in Bingo (rather than playing in the WJC) was explained from the organization's perspective. Among other topics hit on were Lehner's hot start, the job Luke Richardson has done, and if Tim would like to see Cody Ceci moved to a contender.

As always, my thoughts are in bold.

On what he is doing to keep himself busy these days…

“Lots of different things – the AHL, this weekend I’m going to do some college free agents finally. I’ve been through the OHL and seen the Super Series and the under-18s. (I’ve been) talking to lots of different people – agents and that so you always find a way to put in your day.”

If only there was another Justin Schutz to pluck, amirite? Dude is killing it … *shakes fist in Edmonton's direction*

On Mika Zibanejad not playing in the WJC, and playing in the AHL being the best road to take for his development…

“Yep, it is… Without going into our internal stuff too much, that’s a big part of it, the been there done that kind of thing. I think the keys to becoming a real good pro are focus and preparation and I think that is what we’re trying to do with all our young kids down there. I think we’re the youngest team in the league down there and we’re having some success in low scoring, tight games. To take him out of that to go back to being a wheel and getting his bum patted every second and minute in Sweden when he has already been through that. We’re trying to instill different things in him that aren’t instilled at that level and we just basically, it comes down to it, we don’t see that helping his progression to become a good pro.”

Who am I to argue if they think this is what's best for Mika's development? The Senators are in a position to control his playing environment. As opposed to last year, which is something Tim didn't shy away from criticising in August with regards to Djurgarden“Unless you’re there every day you don’t know, but I can say there were times they didn’t (put him in the role they promised). Consistently, they didn’t. There were probably times we didn’t see them play that they did. Overall, no, it wasn’t a great experience, that’s for sure. … Nothing is ever a waste of time so it wasn’t a waste of time, but it was close to that I guess."

On being worried about Swedish backlash…

“Yeah, we’re not worried about that. We have to do what’s best for the kid. We have to do what’s best for the Ottawa Senators organization. Obviously he was consulted on this. His agent, Craig (Oster) and I had many conversations over the last two weeks about it and you want to make sure that you’re doing the right thing. And that means that they have to be on board, certainly. They know what we believe but they have to be on board and I think we are all on the same page and we came to the same conclusion that if he’s going to be a good NHL player, either this year or next year, being away from pro hockey for a month and away from Luke (Richardson) down there is not what we think is the best thing.”

SteffeG had a post on this yesterday…but at the risk of sounding like a jilted Swede myself, I do think there is some truth to the argument that if the Senators had a top Canadian prospect who had scored the OT winning WJC goal last year, they'd be less prone to draw a firm line and keep him in the AHL

Suspect a lot of this comes down to the distance involved in travelling to Ufa, Russia and playing on international ice. If this year's WJC was in North Dakota (on NA ice) like it was during the 04-05 lockout, the Sens brass might have felt differently.

On there being any disappointment from Mika…

“No, basically Craig called me and said, ‘Have you been in touch with the Swedish federation and what are our thoughts on Mika going back to the WJC?’ and I said, ‘Whatever Mika wants to do,’ and he said, ‘Well, I’ve talked to him and here are my thoughts, what do you think?’ and I said, ‘In a perfect world, this is what we do.’ So that initial thought came from their side and I thought it was exactly what we want to do and certainly, I consulted with Bryan (Murray) and he thought the same thing. The closer we get to (the WJC) and if Sweden is struggling, will opinions change on it, who knows? But, I know on our side, we’re all on the same page. I think it’s the right thing to do. If he had been a fourth line bit player last year, I think that would have come into the equation and we might have made a different decision but all those things were taken into the plan, and this is what we’ve come up with.”

Will be interesting to hear Zibanejad's take on how all this went down. His Swedish agent commented Thursday that Ottawa's unwillingness to grant Mika's release was due to their belief the NHL could be playing again soon (a strain of optimism that looks to be shared by no other organizations, to say nothing of Alfie making plans to leave for Europe).

Still, Zibanejad scored an overtime championship winner to end a 30-year drought for his country; understatement to say a lot of players would take that.

As a fan though, it's a bit unfortunate, we all wanted to see Ziba play in this tourney, even if any benefit to his development would be marginal at best. For 99% of the fanbase, watching crystal clear HD broadcasts during the holidays is preferable to watching a blurry online stream of Bingo @ Albany. At least we have burgeoning scoring star Mikael Wikstrand to look forward to!

Who has stood out in your mind on Binghamton…

“Our goaltending has been outstanding, so you have the two guys there obviously who have been basically, really good every single game. So, they keep you in games. Our blue line has been basically been really good every single game. Our forwards are playing well and I mean, I keep hearing this negativity that we don’t score, but who cares? I don’t care. I mean, the idea is to win. They’ve all bought into the system and like I say, we’ve been playing some very hard, physical games and I think that can only help (the prospects) development and prepare them for the next level.”

WE WANT GOALZ!!!!!1

On Robin Lehner being the MVP of the team thus far…

“Yeah, great numbers and again, great attitude. He has really learned a lot in two years. The talent has always been there and I think, when these players get to the American (Hockey) League and the National Hockey League, the talent has got them so far. But it’s preparation, it’s execution and it is focus and these are things that young guys have to learn and some learn them quicker than others. He has come in with a great mindset this year. He knew that he had made some mistakes in the past and owned up to them, finally and I think it has made him a better goaltender and a better person.”

Also a great hair-do that's obviously been the source of Lehner's resurgence.

On Silfverberg trending in the right direction…

“Yeah, for sure. He’s been playing with different linemates and he is certainly getting his power play time and killing some penalties. But he himself has stated that it has been a struggle at times in certain games. Against Toronto he (had a goal and an assist) on Thursday night and then (against) Syracuse, see the tape, right from puck drop, he is being hit, sticked, spit on, whatever… He is the focus of their game plan that night and he doesn’t get a point. But what he did was he took a lot of their attention and then other guys step up and we win a game against arguably, the best team in the league. Again, there has been a learning curve but he has taken it all in stride. I just think that you will see a lot of these guys, including him, in the second half, be more comfortable and start to produce on the scoreboard a little more than they are now.”

One of the best things about offensive depth is skilled guys on the PK. Loved that about the Martin-coached teams.

On the job that Luke Richardson has done…

“Well, yeah certainly, if you haven’t seen them play, that is what you look at — the standings and goals against. Different people (are) stepping up every night, so he’s done a great job. And even beyond that, if you go and watch (Binghamton) play, we play the game right. We don’t have a tough guy but we have team toughness. Different guys step up when they have to and we don’t fight for the staged fight. We play the game right. We check hard. We track the puck hard. We always have a man high. We pinch our D. We do a lot of good things that you want to see your NHL teams do. We play an aggressive brand of hockey and again, I’m not too worried about how many goals we score. I think that is going to bode well for the young guys coming up and I think there are quite a few guys down there that can step up. Whether it’s to have a long career or just play games, I think they are really learning a lot (from) Luke about what it takes to get to the next level and then how you stay at the next level.”

10-4-2 a decent way to start your AHL coaching career. Have to think the goaltending will regress a little at some point, likewise on some of the roster's low shooting percentages. Could be a wash.

On Mark Borowiecki, the injury to Jared Cowen, and the door being open to him…

“Yeah, I don’t know how many guys Shawn (Simpson) has had like this in his career, I’ve maybe had one other one. They are just guys that you do not find. Huge heart. Whatever. Every kid tells you at the draft that they will do whatever it takes (to be an NHLer) and most of it is bull. This guy, it is that. It is whatever. He goes to the wall every night for you and for his teammates. He is the most courageous guy that I have ever been around. And it’s not just his play, it’s the way he practices. Nobody wants to practice against him in battle drills, well you’re going to, so you better practice a little harder. You better battle a little harder. He just makes everyone around him better. He certainly makes our scouting staff (look) better. A fifth round pick and a North American defenceman at that, that doesn’t usually happen after two rounds or so, that is going to play in the National Hockey League and is going to be hard to play against. He has his limitations for sure, but he is just a guy that nobody really wants to dump the puck in his corner anymore. Everything is a battle against this guy, and we love him.”

I kind of worry the org and media's campaign to build up Boro as a super-competitive monster who drinks the blood of his enemies may be detrimental. Not that he isn't competitive and mean on the ice, and not that those things are bad. Just that the hype has placed him in a box, and It seems every minute he's on the ice (this season) he's made a point to justify it — 71 PIM's in 16GP seem excessive to anyone else? Not hating, but it might not hurt the guy to hear a few other parts of his game praised every once in awhile.

On Andre Benoit and whether he needs to clear waivers before the start of the season and whether he needs to clear waivers before going back to Bingo…

“Well, that depends on the new CBA. I don’t know. We were talking about that yesterday, so I don’t know what is going to happen.”

In a story last week from Kevin McGran about things the NHL and NHLPA had "more or less agreed to"; one of the listed items was "Eliminate re-entry waivers". Time will tell.

On Cody Ceci and whether he would like to see him get moved to a contender…

“Well, we have got a pretty good relationship with them. If they come to us and say that is what they feel is best for their organization, we certainly wouldn’t say no. There is a good chance that he is not back in junior next year and that he turns pro. I think it works for both sides. They are in our building and they are a local team that we like, obviously. If they can move him and that helps their future and it helps our guy salvage his season and have two good months of hockey, we’d be all for it." 

The 67's are bad, not Raptor-bad…but pretty damn bad. Jeff Hunt can see the forest for the tree's, and indicated two weeks ago they'd be looking at trading veterans if the team's situation didn't improve. Well it hasn't, they're 1-9 in their last 10.

Ceci currently sits third in defenseman scoring in the CHL, he should bring a sizable return.

Tim Murray Speaks

A little late on this since the interview was conducted on Wednesday but fuck it, it's the lockout bitches! 

You can listen to the actual interview via the Team 1200's Facebook page

My comments in bold, as always. 

Q: Do you have the whole staff and all the scouts down in Bingo?

A: No, just a couple of guys. Pierre, obviously and Randy. Chris Schwarz is here to help out with training camp and he’s still here. I think he leaves after the game tonight. Rob Murphy, one of our pro scouts, is here. Bryan (Murray) drove down a day or two ago and he’s going to watch the first game also and a couple of us will stay down here until it’s all said and done.

Bryan Murray drove down instead of relying upon the infamous chartered limousine that shuttles players between Ottawa and Binghamton? That is quite the cost-saving strategy. I bet there's a former employee somewhere who feels better knowing it was not just the lowest employees on the organization's proverbial totem pole who were negatively affected by the lockout.

Q: What are the marching orders going forward for the scouting staff?

A: There is a little regional stuff to begin with in the amateur. The pro guys right now are full steam ahead – get through the American (Hockey) League and it’s a good chance to get through that and see all the times. And that’s all there is, so we should get a good book on that by Christmas, I would think. Up until November, we’re always regional anyways. We want each guy to come out with an ‘A & B list’ from their respective leagues before we cross over anyways, so at this moment, it’s close to business as usual but we’re just being a little careful.

Well, I suppose if I won't be able to cheer on the Senators this season, I can always cheer on their scouts like 6th Sens favorite, Bob Lowes!

Q: If this lockout continues, is there going to be some consideration in bringing up some of the Binghamton Senators games to Ottawa?

A: We haven’t talked about it, to be very honest. Even the one game that we have had there in the past we have brought back here, so I think on our schedule, the regular home-and-home with Montreal between Hamilton, Montreal and Ottawa – we are doing the game in Montreal but the back home part of that is in Binghamton. So as of right now, there are no plans, as of this moment, to play games (in Ottawa).

Having been to the past two Binghamton games that have been played in Ottawa, the only thing more scarce than the discernable lack of talent on Binghamton's roster last season were the lack of fans in attendance. 

Q: How is Luke Richardson doing down there?

A: Yeah, I have watched a couple of our scrimmages. I went to our pre-game skate this morning and went our practice this morning. We had two ice-times for the guys who are playing and aren’t playing split up. He has taken control. He is over at the board. We were joking, Bryan (Murray) said, “That’s the most that we’ve seen Luke talk at one time, is over by the whiteboard.” He’s trying to teach. He has delegated. Steve Stirling, one of his assistants here, has had lots to say in practice and there is tons of communication and just a lot of good stuff that we want for our young guys. There are a lot of guys down here; it’s their first chance to be down here. It’s not old hat for everybody; there are some new kids here. So far, so good but as I’ve said to Luke, when you’re on the bench and (the score) is 2-1 and there are three minutes to go, and that’s when you are a first-time head coach and you learn a lot. Some mistakes will be made, but he’s a really smart guy and I think that he’ll learn from them.

Thanks to the support from management down to an assistant coach like Sterling, my confidence in the first-time head coach is higher than it probably should be.

That is not meant as a slight to Richardson; it's just the reality of the situation. Already tasked with learning the ropes and cutting his teeth in a league that last week's podcast guest, Kurt Kleinendorst, described as the toughest hockey league in the world to coach in, Richardson will also be responsible for the development of the organization's best prospects. (Note: Thanks to the lockout, Binghamton's roster will feature Robin Lehner and seven of the team's top ten prospects – as rated by Hockey Prospectus.) 

It's a tall order and one hopes that Luke is up for it.

The hiring of a rookie head coach may eventually open the organization up to criticism, but should one or more prospects have their development stagnate, or the team suffers in the standings, Luke will probably be the one to face the brunt of the blame.

Q: Luke gets to cut his teeth as a head coach during this exhibition schedule.

A: Absolutely, you can only imagine what is going through his head. It’s his first head coaching job and he gets a chance to run a team that we think is pretty good. That is yet to be seen obviously but we think it’s pretty good. We have got a lot of young talent, we believe, down here and so, I can only imagine that he’s been thinking at 110 mph and couldn’t wait for this time to come. And certainly, when he gets on the bench for his first exhibition game, and then after that, his first regular season game, that maybe Steve (Stirling) would come in handy; reminding him of something because he is excited and thinking about things a lot. Everything is a first-time thing for him here, so I expect that he is going to do a great job but to have Steve here is going to be a tremendous for him.

Noted, Luke Richardson is one of the few retired professional hockey players who is still capable of thinking at a 110 mph rate. 

Q: Will the lockout provide a bit of a silver lining for developing some of your prospects?

A: Sure, the NHL is the best league in the world, so if you’re a European coming over and you haven’t played in the American (Hockey) League and this is your first crack at it, (the AHL) is a tough league to learn in. And as much success as (Silfverberg) has had in Europe, we all know that there are going to be some nights that are going to be tough. I think to be able to do it down here, maybe a little bit out of the spotlight, certainly in a little lesser calibre of league – mistakes aren’t quite as magnified and aren’t quite as dissected the next day on TV and radio. I think it’s a great chance for him and Fredrik Claesson and all our Swedes to come down here and hopefully play without a lot of pressure but play hard because they know we’re watching and other teams are watching. But to your point, I think it’s a little easier making mistakes down here than it is certainly in the National Hockey League.

At the risk of sounding like Don Brennan and coining a number of nicknames and slogans, Silfver Linings should be adopted as Binghamton's 2012/13 slogan. 

Q: Blah, blah, blah, depth, blah blah blaargh. 

A: Yeah, and you know what, we were going through our lines as I’m sure every other team is, and the first thing that you notice about the league is that maybe some of the one-dimensional players are going to be eliminated a little bit because you have to get your kids and your good prospects in the lineup and your good players in the lineup. The whole lineup from top to bottom is quite a bit better, I believe. I believe your fourth line is a regular third line or even a little better in any other given year beside a lockout year. So I think the hockey is going to be a little more normal hockey, a little more NHL-style hockey. I think carrying that one-dimensional guy is going to be tough, early especially. We certainly want toughness in the lineup though, we don’t want to stray away from that. I think our top three lines are going to be offensive lines and then our fourth line is going to be somewhat of a checking line that can chip in offensively. It is a different looking team than even the year that we won it a couple of years ago, talent-wise. The talent is much higher, but that doesn’t make it a better team obviously but there is a lot of talent.

Amen to that. Hopefully we never see another cro-magnon player like Francis Lessard in a Senators jersey ever again. 

Q: Is there going to be room for everyone? What are you going to do?

A: Saturday night (cut day), is going to be a hard night because you’re going to have one goalie going down for sure. You’re going to have two or three defencemen going down and up to six forwards. That’s in a perfect world with no injuries. We do have some injuries, so that D-day for some of these kids, or E-day, for East Coast (Hockey) League, is going to be delayed a little bit. That’s the hard part. These guys are down here and some of them think they are NHL players but have to play here. And certainly, most of them believe that they are at least American (Hockey) League players, so to be demoted to the East Coast (Hockey) League, it’s going to be hard on a couple of them. We just have to explain that it’s part of what we’re going through with the lockout and on the flip side of that, they have to go down there and you hope (they) have a good attitude because we’ll be watching and you know we’re going to have injuries and call-ups on a daily basis; especially with Elmira only being 40 minutes from here. It’s going to be a tough day on some kids, there’s no question for some kids who have never been through a demotion like that.

Watch out prospects! The "Big Brother" Ottawa Senators are keeping tabs on you. 

Q: Is Robin Lehner starting to get it?

A: Well, it looks like it. I guess, the negative part of me would say, “Wait until something bad happens and (see) how he responds.” Obviously he’s in great shape. He stopped every puck. He made a save today that he (made going) post-to-post and reaching back with his glove that guys don’t have to do in practice and don’t normally do during practice. But, he’s in shape and he can do that now. At 235 or 240 pounds, I’m not sure that he could go hard in practice or go hard three games in three nights down here. And I think that that part of his game has improved a lot, so from that point of view, he can get in the net most nights. I don’t think we took the quotes out of him. I think he had so many good quotes in the short time here that there are none left. Thank god. He still has got a big personality and he has got a big desire to be a NHL player and we love that about him. But as you know especially, it’s how you go about it. You go about it in a way that your teammates want to play hard for you and respect you, and I think all this hunting season and all that stuff is over, I hope. He can internally think that, but it’s not what anybody wants to hear.

This is the first acknowledgement from the organization, at least to my recollection, that they were disappointed in Lehner's comments about wanting to hunt Craig Anderson down

Q: Doni Brennan is looking to fill his Konopka’s Korner column filler, maybe Lehner can be that guy?

A: Doni Brennan on a Swede? Really? That would amaze me that he’d like a Swede or any other type of Euro.

Filip Kuba concurs. 

Q: Any timetable on bringing Ben Bishop to Bingo?

A: I’m just trying to stall him as long as I can, that’s all. And it is. I’ve asked him to let us get through training camp here. It might take care of itself with an injury and it may not. We have to decide what we want to do. There are two decisions: it’s what’s best for the organization and I think what’s best for the organization is him playing. And then it’s what’s best for Robin, and we haven’t really sat down and had that conversation yet. (Bishop’s) agent says he wants to play here but we haven’t talked money or anything. I mean, we may be in the ballpark and have him here next week, but when we get into the brass tax about money and about is he the starter? Or is he one of three? Or is he one of two? Those details, when we get talking to his people about that, it may not be to their liking at all. But, I don’t know that and just generally, it looks like he wants to come down here, and we’ll just have to make it work.

Poor, poor, Nathan Lawson. That is all. 

Q: Were you surprised that Erik Karlsson headed over to Finland that quickly?

A: No, I wasn’t surprised, but I didn’t talk to him about that. It was just one day at the rink, “Hello. How are you? How was your summer? Congratulations.” That’s it. I don’t know what the desire is for each individual, why certain guys go early and then other guys wait as long as they can; they would have to answer that. For some of them, I guess it’s financial and others, it’s just to play games and not have to practice, maybe. And I don’t mean that negatively, but to play games. (Karlsson’s) a young guy and I’m sure he’s chomping at the bit and wants to play, so I can’t certainly fault him for going.

Zzzzzzzzzzz

Q: Has Milan Michalek been cleared to play?

A: Yeah, I believe that he’s close. I’m not sure but I think he’s quite close to signing off. When I say close, I’m talking within days but I’m not sure of the exact day.

Milan Michalek, coming overseas to a Czech league team near you. 

Q: What do you think of Cody Ceci’s play thus far?

A: I thought that the one game that I saw, the team was a little bit sloppy defensively. It’s early, I’m sure they are going to work on that.  That is not a talent thing… well, it is a bit of a talent thing but it’s a bit more of a systems thing. The coach can put in a different system or just tighten up his system, so that part, was average. I thought he was great in the four point game. He made plays that we know he can make. Obviously he shoots the puck like a top pro, but he made passes that night. Going forward, offensively with the puck and in the offensive zone, (he was) very positive.

I'm not even sure great seasons from Ceci and Monahan can mask all the holes in the 67's roster.

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