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June 9, 2006

Cory Stillman

Cam Ward

Doug Weight


Q. Cam, can you just give me, if you don't mind, the significance of your two grandfathers' names on your helmet and also what you have on there and what it means to you and the family too?
CAM WARD: Well, obviously it means a lot to me. For people that don't know, last year in the American Hockey League during the playoffs my grandfather passed away and was definitely a big inspiration to me and probably my biggest fan. And I just know how much it would have meant to him to watch me finally conquer my dream of playing in the National Hockey League. I only found it fitting to put his name on my mask.

Q. Doug, returning here to Edmonton, and playing in a Stanley Cup Final your thoughts on being back in the building and performing at this level? After that, Cory, talk about playing in a building that's got the tradition and the history of playoff success?
DOUG WEIGHT: It's great to come back. I think it's funny, certainly being traded in 2000 to the West, you never thought you'd be in the Finals on an Eastern team in January this year or even being in the playoffs for me was a stretch. So to be here, to be in Carolina to have the success we have had as a team and to be playing against a team obviously I played nine years for, eight and a half years, and captain for a couple of years I am very proud of my time here.
It's an amazing couple of weeks for me. I am not going to let it pass by. I am going to enjoy it. Approach it as responsibly as I can and just try to take it all in and give everything I can, excited.
CORY STILLMAN: Doesn't take long to see the tradition of winning that they have in this building. We skated on the ice today, you could see all the banners from the Cups and year after year after year. So we know it is going to be important to come back out here, play hard. Obviously they have great fan support. On the way to the rink today, I don't know if they were having a parade or something, we passed all the vehicles and a police escort on the way to the rink. It was fun, it is exciting. Hopefully we can spoil that parade.

Q. Cam, what about your focus as far as maybe the off-ice distractions, if you want to call it that? A lot of family and friends, you being from here, is that something that you got to work a little bit hard on not taking you off your game at all?
CAM WARD: It's whether or not you let it affect you, and as tough as it may seem, I am trying to treat it like any other road game, stick with the same routine. Obviously there are a lot of familiar faces with family and friends and those are people I will meet with after the games are over. My focus is on hockey and trying to finish the job here.

Q. When you talk to certain players that you have played against each other then they become teammates, do you talk about, remember that time you he elbowed me in Buffalo or something like that. When you guys are playing against each other, Doug and Cory, was there a moment when you were in the battle here that you said, that you stuck, me or any stories like that?
DOUG WEIGHT: Yeah, it's funny.
CORY STILLMAN: Not all at all is there Doug? (Laughs)
DOUG WEIGHT: It's funny, I was walking back to the room today we were warming up a little bit, and a guy gave me a picture of me and Stillie had fighting in center ice here in '95 or '96. We were reminiscing.
We played a lot. Obviously him being in Calgary we saw a lot of him he played a lot with Iggy and I don't remember the other linemate. We saw a lot of each other, and fortunately we got to play together in St. Louis on the same line, so it is funny. It is ironic. It's ironic the situation I am in now playing against seven or eight guys that I have been to the playoffs with, shared a lot with and it's strange, but I think we have gotten by the -- he thinks he won the fight. I know I won the fight. So it's good. (Laughs).
CORY STILLMAN: I have a different picture than what he received today, that's for sure.

Q. Cam, it seems kind of funny being in the Stanley Cup Finals to be talking about junior hockey. You, of course, went on some long runs with the Rebels. Is there something you take from those runs now because you are fairly new?
CAM WARD: For sure. Obviously I was very fortunate to be part of first class organization in Red Deer. Still to this day I tell a lot of people if it wasn't for the Red Deer Rebels and my time down there, I wouldn't be where I am today. I was fortunate to play a lot of playoff games down in Red Deer and I know this is a whole new level, but it's an experience that you try to carry over with you.

Q. You built an identity here as a player. Talk about becoming attached to new teammates and getting rid of old identities and building a new one with Carolina?
DOUG WEIGHT: I think it's been amazing, been real easy. The guys in there, I feel like I have been there for two, three years to be honest with you. They have made me feel completely comfortable on and off the ice, welcomed me with open arms and I was nervous. I wanted to make sure that they knew that certainly I was coming to a first place team. I wasn't there to disrupt or to demand anything. I just wanted to fit in and not disrupt what they had going. From our leadership, from Rod, Cory, Kevin, Glen, and to the young guys, it's a great room. It's tight. I feel lucky to be there, and I don't feel like I got there in January, and it's an amazing feeling to be where we are and a lot of it is due to our, obviously, the talent of our team, but the fact of the sacrifice and how close the room is, it's very important.

Q. Doug, I know you already addressed this, just coming back to Edmonton, and feeling this building and the people here again?
DOUG WEIGHT: It's always exciting. I think Cam discussed the family. It's a time where it's great to be back, but I am treating it like a road game, just a normal road game. I think the great thing about the playoffs in Carolina, the families got to know each other. They are off doing their thing and supporting us. Tickets are already left, everybody is already having a good time and we're going to go back and get some rest, put our feet up and be prepared 100% for the drop of the puck tomorrow. It's great to be back and things I thought about when there was four teams left, when there was eight teams left, you can't help but look ahead and square those teams off and imagine playing in your first Stanley Cup Final and against a team I spent so many years with.
But you know, it's another team, and we're up 2-zip, and they are going to come out flying, the building is going to be crazy. We have to be at our best. Biggest game of the series right now and really, it's great to be back here but it's the last thing on my mind.

Q. Cory, compare the Stanley Cup experience this year to the one in Tampa, when you were trying to play hurt. I am assuming you are much healthier this time around.
CORY STILLMAN: They are two different experiences. One, you are battling as hard as you can, you want to play, you are trying to play every shift. I said once before, the speed of the game keeps getting faster, and when you have an injury it's hard to play with, but going back on that experience would I do it again in order to be a Stanley Cup champion? For sure, I would.
But this year, things have changed. I get to play all the time, play on a great line, had opportunities to score goals, have scored goals, and feel like I am a big part of this team, like everyone else has here.

Q. After having moved around a number of times last few years, do you feel like you found a home now with Carolina?
CORY STILLMAN: I think I have. It's the first time I have had a longer term deal, too, which was one of the reasons why I came here to Carolina. I had some, you know, you can say whatever, I go to St. Louis, I sign a one-year deal, get traded because they have -- I have an arbitration right. Get to Tampa, I thought I had a reasonably good year, my deal is up. They have to sign other guys, get traded again. So this was the team that said, "We want you for three years. We want you to come in. We are going to give you a letter. We want you to play with Eric Staal to help him out the best you can."
I am excited to be here. I want to stay here.

Q. Cam, you present yourself as such a seasoned veteran yet you are so new at this. Where does the calmness and the confidence come from? You have a lot going on off the ice with the wedding and everything like that. Have you been able to help out with that or has that been Cody's situation?
CAM WARD: Well, I guess for the confidence, I guess that goes back to the way that I was raised by my family. I feel it's very important to the way that you conduct yourself on and off the ice. We have said all along that the more fun you have, the better you do. We strongly believe that. That's something my dad expressed to me at a young age. I still carry it over to this day. No matter how much success I am going to have, I feel it's important to keep a level head and stay humble at the same time.
As for the wedding, Cody has obviously done extremely good job of doing most of the planning while we have been on this run, but it's coming up to be probably going to be the best summer of my life.

Q. Take us back to those years trying out for the World Juniors and your thoughts about when you look back at the kid back then and I don't know if it was the sting or for some reason they didn't bring you in there, does that still go through your mind as of now. Can we just clear up about your religion, it was printed that you are a Baptist?
CAM WARD: Christian non-denomination to get that clear.
As for the World Juniors, I mean obviously it was disappointing. You obviously want to at some point represent your country. It kind of ended in disappointment but at the same time you've got to remind yourself that you were one of the top four invited to the camp from Canada and I mean, I don't hold any grudges. I was very thankful for the opportunity and unfortunately it didn't pan out, but you use that as motivation to keep going and try to better yourself.

Q. Cory, if you could comment on any on-ice banter through the course of the season between yourself and Mike Commodore, any needling where you had to deny him a Cup the last time out and now maybe dragging him along to win --
CORY STILLMAN: Not at all. Not at all. We came here, we did another interview earlier today about how disappointing it was for him. It's funny, when you get to this series you are either happy as can be or disappointed. There is no in between. Maybe at the start guys want to see things and talk about it and Mike just passed it on. He didn't want -- he remembers some little things about it, but is looking for bigger and better things right now.

Q. Peter was talking yesterday about how he didn't want to change any of the routines from the regular season, kids in the dressing room, dads around practice times the whole thing. I wonder, talk about maybe different experiences with other things in the playoffs, where the routine did change or whether you like it this way and whether you find a comfort not having been through this that the routines are the same?
CORY STILLMAN: I have been in different situations. Peter here is, you know, you stay at home, we practice at 11 o'clock every morning. Two years ago in Tampa Bay we practiced at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. You went, you stayed in the hotel the night before the game. Dressing room was completely shut off. So you have -- you know, two different theories of it. One was successful, hopefully this one is. It's exciting. The parents, like our fathers, have made a trip that we talked about once before they came on our plane, they get to go in the dressing room after the games, they come for coffee. I think the fathers are getting a kick out of it too, being able to be there, watching practice in the dressing room.
As far as the kids, they can't wait until the game ends, I think, so they can get down in the dressing room. We have tried to keep a hold on them, probably a lot of you guys have seen them. They all have their jerseys on, they all have sticks, they want to play hockey. They can't honestly wait for you guys to get out of dressing room so they can play. They are having a lot of fun. They are a big reason. You know what, we're here every day. We go to work and they want to come with us?
DOUG WEIGHT: I'll be short. I think frankly the way Pete is doing it is the way to go. It's different on other teams, everyone closes the rooms, changes things. Certainly playoff time needs to be more focused, but frankly the reason you are here is your family, and why you want to win is your family. They are around you and your teammates become your family. To share it with them and have my father there, have him come in my room, have my boy in there playing with all the other boys after the game, playing with hockey with the jerseys on if you win, it's great sharing it with them. You need great support from your wife and your grandparents and everybody that visits because we're up in bed resting most of time and they are taking care of everything. It's been wonderful to share that to this point with them.
CAM WARD: I guess there's not much more you can add to that. You remind yourself that you wouldn't be here if it wasn't for your parents. You know, it's exciting that they can come in and share it with the players and experience what it's like to go through this experience.
DOUG WEIGHT: Mind you Mr. Ward each shot on net that he doesn't look good on, he changes seats and changes box, this guy is dead tired after the game when he comes down. It's been great. (LAUGHTER)

Q. With the game tomorrow, obviously you have to expect the best effort from the Oilers. You seem to maybe even though you won Game 1 that the pressure might have been on your team because you felt you got away with the victory, you wanted it to solidify it in Game 2. Clearly all the pressure is on that team. How do you guys respond to that? Just trying the usual get through the first ten minutes or how do you look at Game 3 where there is a possibility to really bury them?
DOUG WEIGHT: Pressure is on both teams, man. We worked our butts off to get here and we're the last two standing. We need to win this game. That's how we're focusing on it. We know they are going to come out and have their best game. We know there's no quitting in that room across the way, that's why they made it this far.
So we have to play our best game of the series Saturday. We're not looking forward to Monday or Wednesday or whatever the heck we are playing next. It's a one-game series, the first five minutes are absolutely crucial. Especially in a building like this, they are going to try to feed off that and change the momentum of the series and we have to come out and have our best game.
We don't care if the pressure is on them, the pressure is on us. We have to win four games to win this thing, we're halfway there. That means nothing. We focus on this game as the last game of the series.

Q. Talk about the fact when you jumped on the ice here for the first time, what did you think about how did you feel?
CAM WARD: Obviously extremely excited. I guess one of the first things I looked at was section 102, where I used to watch a lot of hockey games, to this guy on my left. It's just it's a first for me.
DOUG WEIGHT: Don't mention how old you are, think it's great.
CAM WARD: But, you know, with that being said, you are in the stands watching the Oilers thinking what it would be like some day to have the opportunity to play on the ice, let alone be in the Stanley Cup Finals. It put a smile on my face. It's a moment that you want to embrace and have fun with it.

Q. Cam, we heard about your dad changing positions. Do you have any of the goalie quirks that we all hear about? Everybody says how normal you are.
CAM WARD: I am pretty laid back. I don't try to get caught up in the superstition game. I find that any time I overthink or overanalyze things, that's when you start getting tense. I just try to keep an open mind and just go play the game.

End of FastScripts...

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