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June 22, 2011

Mike Gillis



Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: Well, I think we are recognized in the league in terms of skill and speed. There were players here before I arrived that we managed to get signed and bring into the total team concept and the guys that we brought in fit with them perfectly. One of the biggest criteria is character and how they are in that regard.
Anybody that doesn't fit is going to move on and that's our policy to make sure we keep moving ahead. We're lucky to get guys like Ballard, Manny, others that fit in. If you can complement your core players that's great.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: I think it's great. Ryan has taken another step as a player to be recognized. I think that's the elite of the elite winning an award like that. For him to be recognized I think is -- he's well worth the award.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: Did he? Well, great. You know, when the players vote, they know, and they know what happens on the ice and when you get that award it's very, very special in my mind. I remember when Marcus got it, you know, I was there when he received the award and it was a real honor for him. I'm thrilled to hear that.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: It's an honor to win this award, but I wouldn't trade it in a minute for a Stanley Cup, and I don't think any of us are fully decompressed from what happened and understand it but it's great.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: We have to get back to the final round. You know, there is so much success built on failure and understanding what it takes to get that little bit and as an organization, we're given a lot of books, read a lot of books and there is a ton of material out there about how you have to fail before you succeed and I'm hopeful we can keep our players together and have another opportunity to push through the end and get to the Stanley Cup, but, you know, it may be good, it may be bad, I don't know.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: We need to keep our players and we need to have some younger players have an opportunity, get the opportunity, I think there are some areas that we're going to try and focus on this summer. We'll change the role of certain players that we need to focus on but get through the next week and get to July 1st and see where we're at. We have a couple of ideas. I'm happy with this group, I don't think you can argue with the results for the most part and to try and now address one thing that happened, I don't think is realistic. I think we need to keep getting better as a group and if we do we will have an opportunity to go far.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: Well, there is also an opportunity, we saw Chris Higgins come in and play great for us and Raffi and Maxim Lapierre and we have a great opportunity with those guys to look at changing our bottom 6. They proved they can play in the playoffs, they're good people, we know them much better today than when we got them.
We have an opportunity, if we can keep everybody to improve internally.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: It just means we're going to spend more money. But when you have the year we had people are deserving of more money so we have to keep our players first and then hopefully we can try some other players -- attract some other players that we think can help us but the first priority is to keep our guys.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: Uh-huh. Well, Henrik had an injury that occurred and he had to battle through that. When you play top defensive pairs over a two-month period game after game after game it's tiring and it's tough.
It's tough to play through it and I think that they ran into a goalie who was outstanding in the final a defensive pair that played them very hard and very tight and our power play wasn't working. They were main contributors on our power play and I know they will be better next time around.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: There are but they have to come and earn a spot in our team and our policy has been if you make our team our on your team. So we don't want to push them too quickly, but we know they're going to come into a good environment. I'm excited about a couple of them, I don't want to talk about it too much, I want to give them an opportunity to fight for their spot and see where things end up.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: Yeah, we've been talking to -- I've talked to all of them personally. We're talking to the regents, we have a list of priorities that will dictate some of the other things that we have to do. Even though the cap has gone up, there are players that deserve more money and they will get more money and so we have to get through with them first and then the course of things that we will go through over the course of the next nine days and hopefully we'll get it all done.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: Just how we build our salary cap you have to do certain things first and then you can get through those but they've been assured we are going to try and keep them and, you know, it's going to be a question of fitting them into this puzzle.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: Well, I don't know. It's great, I guess. Like I said earlier, it's nice, I appreciate it but I would trade it in anytime for a Stanley Cup.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: I don't know, what is it called?

Q. It's called the again Manager of the Year Award.
MIKE GILLIS: Maybe Stan Pollack would be a good choice.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE GILLIS: It was? He let me know that he -- I'm not even allowed to Tweet, they Tweet for me because if I Tweetd on my own we would have a real hornet's nest, wouldn't we! I never touch it! Thank you very much.

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