David Quinn met with the media following practice on Friday and said (NYR):
On Brett Howden, "I thought he had a really good camp, plays a 200ft game, great mind, plays fast, energetic and he earned a spot on the team. Right from the get go I thought he was our best forward in Traverse City and thought he built on that in training camp. Ever since I've been watching him he's been good."
On Howden's role, "We feel he has earned that and will be given that opportunity and what he does with it is up to him. He is a guy that we feel can help us now and has earned that chance."
On Lias Andersson, "Lias had a good camp. This sport is so different from basketball and football where you draft a kid high and you draft them for now, this is different. Lias had a good camp and could have made this team for sure. Having him play 20 minutes a night in Hartford is the best for right now is the best thing for him."
On Chytil at center, "that is where he will start. I don't see him at wing, long-term for sure, at times we may move him there but he is a center."
On Lettieri, "He has had a last really good 8-9 days of camp. Not that he wasn't good before that but he elevated his game and did the things we are looking for for him to be a contributor night in and night out."
On Brendan Smith, "I've really liked Smitty's game and his last two games were really good. He looked like the guy that we acquired two-years ago, decisive, fast, playing free of mind. I've liked his game."
On trying to recruit Smith to BU, "through the process you have a little bit of a connection. Irish family from Toronto and he has that personality, he's a friendly guy. When he was in Grand Rapids and I was in Lake Erie, we played them eight times a year and we would always find each other and say hello. We've had a relationship for a long time even though I haven't coached him before."
On Georgiev, "I'd heard about him a lot and boy did he open my eyes in development camp. He is the real deal and I felt that way from the moment I watched him and how competitive and composed that he is. He's built on that. He's a competitor, has an incredible demeanor about him, mentally tough and very athletic. He has earned the spot."
On Expectations, "a lot has been made about the different direction we are in, we want to win every game. I don't think about it any other way, coming in here every day to become the best team we can be. Making every guy a better player, making us a better team collectively and playing the way we want to play. The winning and losing will take care of itself and we feel we have enough good NHL players here to give us a chance night in and night out. Not just a lucky chance to hang on, I think last year we had a bunch of guys that didn't have great years at the same time. Every year is not going to be a great year in your career and I think what happened last year was we had a bunch of guys not have great years at the same time. Now you are seeing some guys rebound from years they werne't happy with and are mentally and physically in a position to have good years."
On Jimmy Vesey, "Jimmy is in incredible shape, some guys it takes some time. I was talking about Jeff and Chris about training camp for guys who are 2nd or 3rd year pros and sometimes guys don't have great camps but can have a great season. I think Jimmy has gotten better and better and last night was his best night and he was involved a lot more. We need him and you gotta help people through tough times and that is our jobs. If a guy is lazy or not working hard that is one thing, sometimes you gotta stick with someone to get through a tough time. I don't think it was laziness, or a work ethic issue. With Jimmy it's more the mental piece of it and feeling that he can be a real good player at this level. You gotta produce too, this is a get it done league."
On Namestnikov, "both of those guys, I thought, were better the last two games for sure."