June 14, 1999
BUFFALO, NEW YORK: Practice Day
BRETT HULL: We are going to take it day by day to see how it feels today, tonight, tomorrow morning; see if I can go tomorrow. If not, we will just keep going day by day. That is about all there is to it.
Q. How does it feel skating?
BRETT HULL: I don't know. I have never skated.
Q. You had a couple of problems this year. There was one where you came back in a day, one where you needed a few more. Is it comparable to either?
BRETT HULL: No, just one of those things, it's has been a long year. I think it is June 14th already and you kind of wear out a little bit. I am not that young and I think with the ice conditions all over the League and whatnot, I think you are going see a little more of that, I think. It is just one of those things that happened.
Q. Did it happen and was it on the hit or just before the hit or --
BRETT HULL: No, it has been something that has been bothering me for a little while and it is just one of those things that kind of caught up with me. I think it wasn't just one little instance that created it.
Q. If this was Game 7 would you be going?
BRETT HULL: Well, I don't know. Hindsight is 20/20. You have no idea because it is not. So I mean, you can't -- I can't say because it is only Game 4.
Q. Your coach yesterday and again this morning, he determined you to be doubtful for tomorrow night presumably in discussions with you?
BRETT HULL: There has been no discussions with the coach.
Q. Is that upgraded?
BRETT HULL: No, there has been no -- I haven't talked to the coach. I think he just comes by everyday and says how are you feeling. I say, well, just take it day by day. So we don't know if I am in or out.
Q. New to put a percentage on it, what do you think it would be, at this point, really?
BRETT HULL: I honestly have no idea. It is just one of those things. It is not something that, you know, is bad enough where you know it hurts to walk and that it doesn't. It is just one of those things to wait and see how it feels when you test it with our strength guy and our trainer. It is minute by minute.
Q. Brett, when you were sitting on the bench there for about the ten minutes or so, what was going through your mind and how hard is it to deal with an injury at this point when you have worked so hard to get to point?
BRETT HULL: Like I said, that was the funnest practice I had all year. (laughs). But it is hard. You want to be out there. You want to be contributing but you also know that things like that are a part of the game. Whether it is a guy who got hurt early or it is a guy who gets hurt late, you have done what you can do to get the team this far and you want to get back as soon as you can to continue helping. It is not discouraging as much as it is, you know, you are just chomping at the bit to get back there. Sometimes you can't do anything about it.
Q. What is your next step tomorrow and what are you thinking in terms of tomorrow as far as you do get out tomorrow and test it, do you go from there, or do you wait right before the game; how do you --
BRETT HULL: There is a lot of things I think you got to talk to the trainers and JJ, our strength guy, to see what they have planned. I don't know if whether they want me to go on the ice tomorrow morning and try it or not. It is all up to them.
Q. What do you think about Sydor taking your spot on that line?
BRETT HULL: Well, that is about the next best thing to that defensive right-winger as you can put, a defenseman; don't you think? (LAUGHTER). I don't know. He is a great -- that is the good thing about Darryl, he has got that ability to play forward and defense. I think that us a part of this team that people underestimate is the depth and the ability of a lot of these players to adapt to positions and situations.
Q. What was the reason you didn't work out today? Was that a decision you made or the trainers made? Did you want to try and test it?
BRETT HULL: No, not today. There is no reason to go out there this morning and have a little half hour practice, give it a little more rest and that is it.
Q. Do you have a theory for why there are so many grueling injuries in the League?
BRETT HULL: Yeah, because the ice is terrible and the players are bigger, faster and stronger.
Q. Grabbing and all the rest of that?
BRETT HULL: I don't know, I don't -- you know, this whole Playoff I thought has been really great for -- I heard a whole bunch of stuff that this is Bettman's nightmare about having these two teams in the Finals because of the hooking and clutching. I don't think there is a lot of that. I think it is good, hard checking hockey, but I don't see a lot of clutching and grabbing, hooking and holding. I don't see a lot of it which is nice because you can still play a good exciting game, tight checking as long as you don't have that kind of stuff.
Q. How is the ice?
BRETT HULL: I mean, it is terrible, to say the least. They say ours is bad in Dallas. It's, if not, worse here.
Q. You played against Mike Modano for years. The other day Holzinger went at him pretty good; he gave him a pretty serious whack. Was there a time that he wouldn't have done that and can you talk about being a star player and you need to have some retribution for guys that are running you all the time?
BRETT HULL: I don't know, especially a guy like Mike he has the realization that that is going to happen, you know, there is people that are told to do it. There are people that can't play in the games unless they do things likes that because otherwise they can't play. So that is their usefulness. I am certainly not saying that about Brian, that is for sure. But there are people on each team that go out of their way to do those things because otherwise they won't be even be noticed out there. Like I said guys, like the Mike and Jagr, people like that, that are so skilled and so good, they expect it. But I think the refs out there - and I said it before I went out of the game - you can see in the two minutes I played five different times blatant attempt to hit Mike around the hands area or the wrist area, and you tell the refs and they see it, but if you call it early, they won't be able to do things like that. If you want to take him out and hit him, play hard, that is one thing. But to -- the cheap shots, where you are attempting to hurt a person or he is already hurt, is certainly not part of any game that I think of.
Q. I was wondering, from watching that hit, did you get your bell rung as well as on that play and if so --
BRETT HULL: No.
Q. -- Have you had repercussions from that?
BRETT HULL: No, you couldn't hurt this head. (laughter). But, no, he kind of got me, you know, lower. It wasn't up at my head at all.
End of FastScripts....