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Chuck Fletcher on Brent Burns trade

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  • June 24, 2011 - 11:26 PM

Here's a transcript of Fletcher presser. Obviously could be some typos as we're under the gun, but I wanted to you to be able to read his quotes:

 

(Talk about the decision to trade Burns) “We weren’t looking to trade Brett Burns but it came together quickly and, of course, discussing things quite recently with Doug Wilson, the pieces came together and it made sense for us.”

(Was that why they signed Devin?) “I don’t think so. Again, this deal came together quickly so I certainly didn’t have …

(Gut wrenching to trade Burns?) “It was very difficult. First of all, I’d like to thank [him] for six, seven years he gave the organization. He was a tireless worker in the community, obviously, with military families, the National Guard, different organizations. But he was a very hockey player for us. I just look at our team right now and we really need to aggressively add young players. The last two years have been disappointing. We’ve obviously talked about that. But in order to compete with the top teams in this league we have to have more talent. I think today you look at it, we added the equivalent of four first-round picks. We gave up a very good piece in Brent Burns and a very good human being in Brent. I think our time frame needs to be stretched back a bit, we need to add more young players. We very quickly assembled a lot of good young talent. Obviously, we need to work in some pieces, we need to try to fine-tune our roster for next season. We created some holes and created some opportunities but that will be the work for the rest of the summer. I can’t state how important we felt and I felt that we needed to add talent. I think we did that today.”

(The wrap on Devin?) “He’s 24 and he scored 70-odd goals the last three seasons and playing 18 minutes a night on a very, very good San Jose team. He was on the second power play and I believe we were the worst shooting team in the league last year. We certainly didn’t shoot the puck a whole bunch and when we did shoot it, we didn’t shoot it particularly well. So, Devin is a very good skater, he’s a shooter and he’s a goal scorer. He always has been and is a right shot, which is an added bonus, and I think he fits very well into our group of young forwards.”

(How about Coyle?) “I know Charlie a little bit and San Jose drafted [him] 28th overall last year. There is no way this deal gets done if Charlie Coyle’s not in it. We feel he’s one of the top young power forwards in the game. He can play center, he can play wing, he can first line to third line. He adds a lot of versatility, a lot of size, a lot of character, tireless worker on the ice. Coming off a strong season at BU and a very good performance at the World Junior Championship. I think that size and that versatility and that character is very, very important for our team as we continue to fill out our forward group. You get the scorer in Setoguchi, the power forward in Coyle and then we got just a terrific offensive talent in Zack Phillips.”

(Coyle coming?) “It remains to be seen. He just played his freshman year at BU. I think you know by now I don’t really want to rush players. I would like everybody to be able to play tomorrow. Believe me. But I feel very, very good about our path and our direction. We have some decisions to make. We moved a very good player in Brent Burns, I can’t overstate that. But to move one to get four, or to add four today in total I think is a really good break for our organization. I think Coyle, maybe it’s a year, maybe it’s two years. It will be up to him. But he’s a big guy, he’s physically strong and he’s mature. Maybe he’s a faster track type of kid.”

(Want him to stay in college?) “I haven’t even spoken to him yet. I just left a message. I’m not a big believer in pulling kids out of college. It’s really up to the young man and his family to make that decision. We’ll certainly sit down and speak to him and I’ll speak to Jack Parker and we’ll try to go through the process of assessing exactly where he’s at and be up front. The goal in trading [for] him was not necessarily to get him in uniform right away. It was to add another piece and hopefully over the next one to two to three seasons he’ll have a very positive impact on our franchise and give us a big forward we can use to match up against some of the big forwards in the Western Conference.”

(Feel like have to replace Burns?) “We have some pretty good defensemen still. Obviously, Marek Zidlicky is a very talented player and Jared Spurgeon took some strides this year and we have some quality vets in Nick Schultz and Greg Zanon and an emerging physical player in Clayton Stoner. We’re high on Marco Scandella, we’re high on Tyler Cuma, Nate Prosser is right there, Justin Falk’s right there. But you look at our first-round pick today. But Brodin’s mobility and puck skills are elite. He needs to fill out, he needs to gain experience and mature like every 18-year-old kid but we added a player that can really have a big impact with respect to the puck moving part of the game.”


We felt as the morning moved to the afternoon and this deal came together, we realized we were moving a good hockey player – a very good hockey player. But the opportunity to add four first rounders – for lack of a better term – was too appealing. We need to gain ground on people and drafting one first rounder every year and waiting three years – to me I’m getting a little impatient. I’d like to add a whole bunch of young talent and it’s not going to happen overnight. But I think our path is very clearly defined and not every kid you draft or trade for is going to ne an NHL player, but we think we have a whole bunch of them coming now.

(Setoguchi?) Works hard. He’s strong, a good skater. Shoots the puck a ton and had a good work ethic. Coming off a strong season in San Jose in the playoffs. He’s 24 years old and I don’t have the exact number but he’s scored 70-odd goals the last three seasons playing in a secondary offensive role. In some respects, anytime you have Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley and Ryan Clowe – that’s a lot of great forwards and speaks again to why we made this move today. We’re going to try aggressively to gain ground. We’ll take some swings here and try to get better.
He was shocked, excited. He recognizes he’s leaving a very good hockey team in San Jose that’s been to the final four the loast two years. But he also senses an opportunity to play with some very good players. Mike Yeo will make the coaching decisions, but with Mikko Koivu and Granlund coming, we obviously have some quality players any goal-scoring winger would love to play with.

I think he senses an opportunity to expand his role and take another step in his career. We didn’t shoot the puck enough or well enough last year. We have some pass-first players and there’s nothing wring with that as long as you have some players who are willing to shoot and I’m hoping Setoguchi is a the first step in that. Maybe a player like Clutterbuck can take a step this year. And Latendresse coming back and all of a sudden we have a few guys that can put the puck in the net with some regularity.

(Trade) It came together very quickly. I was not soliciting calls. I received a lot of calls. I was not actively looking to trade him. Next thing you know - San Jose’s trying to win the Stanley Cup next year and not that we’re not, but we need assets to compete with these teams. I think it’s a classic example of two teams getting what they need. And again, we’re very happy with it. We have some more work to do this summer. We’ll see how it shapes out. I just look a the last two drafts in particular. We’ve added some very good players. That’s very exciting to me.
It’s not an easy decision to trade Brent Burns and I told him that when I spoke to him. It’s not something I set out to do, I can assure you that. I did set out to try to add a lot of assets to our organization and to give our fans and ownership and players the type of team that can compete ata higher level than we’re competing now. For two years we’ve been stuck in same place and we’ll see what this year means. I see the path now and I believe our fans see the path now and we’re going down it aggressively and quickly.

 

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