Today, Barry Trotz was on XM Radio's Power Play with Jim Tatti and Gary Green.
It was a very interesting interview and here is a summary:
It opened with a Scottie Upshall clip saying how he loved to come to the rink everyday, whether it be in Nashville or in Milwaukee because the head coaches in both places teach him something new everyday, so it doesn't matter whether he is in Milwaukee or in Nashville....he is learning and loves it no matter where he is.
Trotz then came on and started talking about how he is going to be watching the Milwaukee games through the computer this weekend [ha, ha - like most of the rest of us] and he will be keeping a close eye on some of his guys. He mentioned how there are a number of players down in Milwaukee right now who are "winners" and he is looking to plug some holes up in Nashville next year with them. He said how proud he was of Tootoo, Weber, and Upshall how they have come down with great attitudes and have strongly contributed.
He said he was especially proud of Pekka Rinne.....how he will be a "special player"....extremely athletic....great attitude...and exceedingly calm under all conditions.
He also wants to particularly watch Klein and Zanon as he feels both are ready to play in the NHL.
He also said Radulov will not play in this series, it would have been nice, as he said he would have gotten on a plane to go watch, but he is not going to play.....he gave no specifics about why....but also didn't seem particularly angry or upset about it.
He was then asked about how close Rinne was to stepping into the NHL with all the uncertainty regarding Vokoun's return.........he said that Pekka's time in Nashville was very beneficial for him and them....he had tremendous growth in that short time...and he is closer than what they originally had thought.
He said they anticipate having a veteran backup for Vokoun initially, but if Pekka has a tremendous camp or during the year, they feel that he needs to have more NHL level games, then they will deal with that later, implying a potential trade of that veteran backup if necessary.
The questioning then went to Vokoun and his prognosis....he said that he had been to so many specialists from those in Nashville and even to the Mayo Clinic [my old stomping grounds].....he said that ALL indications point to him being ready for training camp at this point, but another evaluation will be needed over the summer to determine that [meaning, presumably another CT scan to compare the clots appearance to the original one, as we have discussed earlier] whether he needs to be on blood thinners the full 6 months......he then went on to talk about Tomas's burn as a kid to his abdomen, and how he had the indwelling catheter in the same veins in the pelvis and groin that were now clotted on the CT scan and that they may have been clotted for a long time....all the stuff we had prior heard mentioned....but they won't know for sure until he is re-evalutated.
He went on to talk about how "Tomas gives us our swagger"....he must have said it 4 times.....and how they downplayed the loss in the Playoffs, and Chris did a great job.....but Tomas gives us that edge and can win games all by himself, and he "really gives us our swagger"........
Questioning then went to "when do you know your prospect is ready for the NHL."
Trotz said he looks at "how they play the game, how they think about the game, and how willing they are to work on their weaknesses" as guidelines to when a prospect is "ready." All have different timetables, and with the new CBA rules and free agency some prospects will succeed in organizations that didn't originally draft them because of the new timetable for free agency.
Gary Green was commenting on how the "10 game rule" should be changed because some kids will come up and play lights out for 10 -15 games and then peter out...they were talking about theories for this.
Trotz said he has talked to Poile about maybe discussing with other GM's about new rules for the "tweener players" that are too good for juniors, but not yet developed enough for the NHL and would best fit in the AHL. He thought that each team should have once every 3 years or so, the option of putting a kid in the AHL before his time and being able to payoff the CHL team that he was taken from. He sights Radulov as an example, that he asked Quebec to "keep his level of play highly elevated" which they were able to do successfully with all the awards that he achieved this year, but not all juniors are able to do that, and for some, it becomes a "wasted year." He said that Radulov's timetable to reach the NHL "will be quicker than alot of other prospects."
Trotz then commented that what makes an NHL caliber player different from a minor league player is his ability to contribute every night not just in his usual area to contribute, but also contribute in other areas, whatever the situation dictates.
That was the end.....I thought you guys would like to hear a little Predator-specific hockey tidbits....I know I sure did......