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Holmgren on Grossman

Thursday, 02.16.2012 / 7:24 PM / News
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Holmgren on Grossman
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren held media availability just prior to the game vs. Buffalo to discuss the trade for Dallas Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossman. Below is the full transcript...
Q: How does Nick Grossman help your team now?
 
"He is experienced, he is a bigger body and he is a good solid defensive defenseman. He can kill penalties for us and play regular shifts. He can chew up minutes. Like I said, he is a big body."
 
Q: He had the third highest special teams minutes in Dallas. Is that a factor too?
 
"Well, we have struggled in a lot of areas here lately, penalty killing is certainly one of them. Nick has been around and has developed over time in Dallas. He is still a good young player and we are excited to have him. I think he is going to give us a boost here in our own zone and get us out of our end quickly because he makes a good first pass. He is not a guy that is going to put up a lot of points, but he is a good all around defenseman."
 
Q: Is he a guy that you would consider resigning?
 
"I think that kind of goes both ways. Nick has to see if he likes it here, too. We certainly like him. He has been a guy that we talked about over the past few weeks. We talked to Dallas about him, but they weren't prepared to move him until just recently. Like I said, we are happy to have him. We will see where it goes from here."
 
Q:Why today? Why not a week from now?
 
"Well, it gets a little hectic around that time.We took a shot today with an offer and talked today for a little while. We ended up being able to make a deal."
 
Q: Is he going to be here for Saturday?
 
"We are trying to get him out tonight. Hopefully he can catch a flight that gets in here later tonight so he can practice with our guys tomorrow."
 
Q: Is this a move where you say you might have something else cooking also?
 
"This is a crazy time. There are a lot of conversations going on and you never know what might come up."
 
Q: There is a lot of talk that you guys might make a move for a star player. Is that something that is unlikely?
 
"I dont' know. I don't know if I would use that word [unlikely]. Probably not. Its not something we are talking about at length. I like our team, I still do. We have struggled here of late, we are trying to get it figured out. Having Nick today can help us. We will see what the next ten days or two weeks will bring."
 
Q: Is getting Grossman today more of an injury replacement?
 
"It is just adding to the depth. None of those things are long term. So, it was more of adding experience, bigger body and depth."
 
Q: It is tough going forward with so many rookies. You guys were playing two rookie defensemen every night.
 
"Those kids have done really well. It is hard to pin this on them. Marc-Andre Bourdon has been tremendous and Erik Gustafsson has been pretty good too, but not as big of a role as Marc-Andre [Bourdon]. This has nothing to do with them. We are happy with their progress and development. They have certainly made themselves part of the mix."
 
Q: Can you update Jaromir Jagr?
 
"He is feeling better. Obviously he is not playing tonight but we hope he can practice tomorrow. We will see how he is. This is the thing that Ilya [Bryzgalov] had the same. It just kind of knocks them down for a day or two."
 
Q: Is [James van Riemsdyk] getting close?
 
"I think he is getting close. I hate to put any kind of a time frame on it because that particular injury is perplexing. I think he looks good.  I think now it just comes down to how James is feeling and when he feels ready."
 
Q: Have you been surprised at how you have been pushed around in you defensive zone recently?
 
"Well, I think the game, since the lockout, has changed. For a defenseman, it becomes very difficult to defend in front of your net. If you do knock a guy down, you are going to the box. I would say a lot of our guys are more of containment type of defensemen. They have never really been Chris Pronger-ish, where they whack somebody. I don't think Nick [Grossman] is a mean player, but he is a physical competitive player that will help us in that area."

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