Howson was interviewed by Leafs Lunch yesterday. You can listen here. Skraut also has a great transcript of the interview here.
Here are a couple of questions and answers that caught my attention:
LL: And that's obviously the reason you had to do what you did. I look at your center ice, tell me who do you think the coach is going to use there with Brassard back and Umberger can play center there, and Peca, what's the gameplan, is Filatov going to be a consideration there? What can you tell me about what looks to be a very interesting center ice.
SH: Filatov won't play there, he's too young to do it and not comfortable there. He's strictly a winger for us at this point of his career. We're going to try Brassard with Nash and probably Huselius to start the year. Vermette will probably be our 2nd center with somebody like Umberger and Voracek or Filatov in there. And Pallsson will center the checking line. And then the 4th spot is wide open right now, we may end up moving a winger in like Derrick Dorsett, or Andrew Murray, or maybe Michael Blunden who we acquired from Chicago last year. These guys have never done it, so we may be in the market trying to sign a 4th line center, but I think we're going to give some of these guys an opportunity in camp anyways.
No surprise with Brass, Vermette and Pahlsson as centers but it does appear that Howson is leaving the door open to sign some 4th line help if he doesn't like what he sees in camp.
LL: And we've seen certainly some good young teams have success Pittsburgh and Chicago come to mind. Do you have enough depth on your Blue Line right now?
SH: Well that is the area we would like to improve we have 6 quality NHL defenseman (names them) But they're all similar, they're all defending defensemen. So we would like to add one more power play puck moving guy which aren't easy to find, but that's sort of what we're going to look for. But we may not do it before camp. We're going to be patient, we're going to maybe give some of our younger players a chance to get that 7th spot, and then we'll see as the season goes. I'm sure there's going to be opportunities to add to that mix as we move on.
There is that patience word again. Still can't see him going into the season without a move to bolster that blueline. I just think there are too many possibilities out there with teams either 1. up against the cap or 2. have too many dmen under contract.
Zubov close to signing with the KHL? If you believe this link then he is. To summarize in English (which I grabbed from HFBoards):
According to Sport-Express.ru, former Dallas Stars defenseman and free agent Sergei Zubov is close to signing with SKA St. Petersburg.
Was just sent a reminder (thanks Ted) that Nikolai Zherdev's arbitration hearing will be set for tomorrow. Word is his camp wants 4.5 mil a season while the Rangers want closer to his qualifying offer range of 3.5ish.
Personally I think no matter the outcome the Rangers cut the cord walk away from the award and allow Zherdev to become an unrestricted free agent. It will be very interesting to see where he lands - you know some GMs will be tempted with that skill regardless of the lack of motivation that drives it.