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July 30, 2005

John Muckler


Q. John, can you talk what you like about Brian?
JOHN MUCKLER: We like his size. We also like the skill level that he has, obviously. He's kind of I guess an all-around player who moves the puck pretty well, good skater, knows the defensive part of the game.
I guess if you're going to compare him with anybody, his type of play, it would be a guy like Redden type of hockey player.
Q. Brian is going to go to the University of North Dakota. Is this a long-term project? You see him stepping in a few years down the road?
JOHN MUCKLER: Yeah. He's going the college route. You really don't know how he's going to progress. I think he's going to progress quicker than maybe he anticipates himself. But that's a great experience for him. We're happy that he's going there because the college-level play and the competition he'll play against there is as good as any in the world.
Q. John, if you look at what you have in the organization as far as defensemen go, do you feel like you could afford to wait, like you could take a guy you could afford to wait on?
JOHN MUCKLER: Well, I don't know how long we can afford to wait with the unrestricted free agency now. The age is 25, 26, 27, up the line. I don't think you'll ever have enough.
One thing about this system is, you got to get used to the fact that you're going to lose players. You're not going to keep all your players that you have presently today, so you have to prepare yourself for somebody coming out of the draft, into college, then filter into either the American League or our hockey clubs. You want to get that steady filter going.
I think this is a step in the right direction under the system we're playing under.
Q. When would he be free? He's a guy who wouldn't be free till he's 28.
JOHN MUCKLER: I'm not talking about the player. I'm talking about players on our team.
Q. Was Brian Lee the guy you were going to take all along or was that something that developed?
JOHN MUCKLER: He was the player we wanted, yes. We had Brian Lee rated very high on our list, yeah, higher than where we got him.
Q. Why were you so high on him? He was 15th in North America. You had him top 10.
JOHN MUCKLER: He's the type of player that we're looking for. Everybody looks for players who can play in their system, what their system is all about. When we looked at Brian, the first thing is, he's a good skater, he's an excellent skater. He handles the puck very well. His first outlet passes are good. He has size, which we like. Those were all the good things we liked.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, John.

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