Pierre Dorion took some time earlier today to chat with the media on a conference call. You can find his full availability in english on the first our of TSN's In the Box here.
On the end result of Mike Hoffman's new contract:
"Obviously we see Mike as a huge piece of our team going forward. For us, this was something that, we wanted to avoid arbitration. We wanted to do a contract that was fair for both sides, and I think both sides are extremely happy today. We just feel that Mike's productivity can only get better under Guy Boucher and getting him on a longer term contract, I think makes everyone happy right now."
On the process:
"I have to thank Rob Hooper. We both respected the cone of silence, which I know made a lot of you unhappy. Last week I think we just felt that we were getting closer. We met at the draft and I don't think we were really close at the draft. Last week we seemed to get closer on term and money. Monday I was a bit discouraged about how the call went and Monday evening, I reached out to Rob again, he let me know he was in Ottawa, so we met and had a very long breakfast yesterday and we seemed to be very close and we finally got it settled this morning."
On Cody Ceci's looming contract:
"JP and I exchanged text messages, he sent me something on Monday, if I'm not mistaken. I sent him something back yesterday. Not texts, emails. With Mike Hoffman, we had the obvious set date that we needed to have something done by. With this one, we don't really have a set date. The only date that matters is October 12. And I can assure you that Cody will be playing for us October 12."
On Hoffman's upcoming season:
"The thing that's exciting about Mike Hoffman is he's going to play for a coach that, without divulging too many secrets, simply adores him. He going to play for a coach where Mike has been productive. I know it was junior, but they have a history together. We're excited that they can grow together, that Mike just won't be, except scoring 30 goals, his game will be more rounded. We're excited about how Guy's told me he's going to use him on the power play, which can only be more fruitful for our team, he can be even more productive. So these are things that we're really excited about. We've invested in Mike Hoffman for all these years, and for us today, getting to sign him and buy three years of UFA, getting him in his prime, what we feel is a very good contract. I know Mike's happy about the contract. It's just a great day for the organization. I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I actually hugged Randy Lee today."
On if he's comfortable with the forward corps:
"I think we're set now. This is the group of forwards we said we would take to camp. From Day 1 that I've had this job, I've always said I'm very comfortable with our top six, top nine forwards. We feel if Clarke MacArthur is healthy, we can compete with all the teams in the league. Adding Chris Kelly to our group here was a very valuable asset to our penalty killing, to our leadership in the room. This is the group of forwards we're taking to camp. There's no doubt about that."
On if he's comfortable with the D corps:
"I think we might look to add a depth defenseman, whether it's through trade, maybe it's through waivers at camp, maybe it's a free agent signing. But it won't be a big splash. It's more along adding a depth guy, it might just be a two-way contract. At this point in time, obviously we've always loved our top four, having Borowiecki and Wideman as our five and six, our management group, our coaches feel really comfortable entering the season like that. If some of our kids challenge them or one of our depth defenseman beat those guys out, that just means that they slide down. We might look to add a depth defenseman, but it won't be a big splash, it'll just be adding another name."
On if he sees 40 goals from Hoffman:
"I hope, but I definitely see more than 29. So you can fill out the range. I see improvement. I definitely see someone who's going to step forward, take a bigger role on our team, not just score goals, but help us win games. I see someone who's been a good player in the NHL, but who can grow even further."
On Mike Hoffman and Dave Cameron's relationship:
"That's a good point. There was a bit of sensitivity..."
On how Boucher will utilize Hoffman:
"Through the interview process, to the interview with Guy, obviously we talked about how his power play was structured, how his penalty killing was structured. Once he got the job, we've have many meetings about how he's going to run the team, how he's going to use his personnel. It's always up to the coach; we don't tell the coach who to play. He'll decide that. We know that Hoff won't play on the fourth line. What excited me the most about Hoff was how he was going to use Hoff on the power play. It won't be totally different, but there will be some differences. I think that will only help Hoff's goal scoring ability, help our team score goals on the power play."
On if Guy Boucher said "If I can't get Hoffman going, no one can":
"No, he never said that. Mike Hoffman is a good player. He scored 29 and 27 goals in the last two years. I would just tell you that Guy's a good coach, I think he's going to get the maximum out of Mike Hoffman and that's more the message that we're trying to relay to our fans."
Are you happy with the Hoffman contract?