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This article was published 29/1/2016 (1392 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
NASHVILLE — Heard around the NHL all-star weekend’s media day Friday at Bridgestone Arena:
• Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz, who will coach the Metropolitan Division team this weekend, on his connection with L.A. Kings (and Pacific Division) coach Darryl Sutter: "When my son was born, Darryl’s trainer came over and said ‘Darryl wants to meet you.’ I went, ‘Did I say something wrong?’ So he told me, hey, congratulations and all that, and he told me that his son was special-needs (too) and he said it was the best thing ever.
"I think there’s a little connection. Every time I see him, he’s asking, ‘How’s your son doing?’ And I get a big smile on my face.
"I hope my son has as much fun as Chris (Sutter) does around the players and all that in the future. We have a little connection. Darryl’s really one of the first guys to go out his way, and I didn’t expect that. It threw me off, but every time I see him, it’s the first thing he asks. We could care less about our teams because we’ve got that little connection and we understand. I’d probably say to him that it keeps us grounded, that it’s the blessing of having a special-needs child. You probably look at life a little differently than everybody else.
"It really has been a blessing for our family, that’s for sure."
• Pacific Division captain John Scott, the subject of much controversy over his appearance here, on his chat Thursday night with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman: "Now that I’m here, it’s nice. I sat down with Gary and we had a little quick chat. He said, ‘We’re happy to have you here, and we’re going to have a good time and make the best of it and just have fun in Nashville. I think he was worried about me not feeling welcome here. It was nice to hear that coming from him. There was a time I wasn’t sure how the league felt. He put those thoughts to rest."
• Scott, on finally making his appearance: "It’s nice to get all the outside noise to go away and start focusing on playing in the all-star game."
• Scott, on the piece he penned that appeared Thursday on the Players Tribune website: "I wanted to get my voice heard."
• Scott, on what this all-star episode has taught him: "I learned to keep my mouth shut and go to work."
• Trotz, on how competitive the all-star game might be Sunday: "I can just speculate. These are the best players in the world, and one of the reasons they’re here is not only skill level, it’s that they’re competitive. And I do know when there’s something on the line, even at practice, the competitive level increases.
"It’s great the NHL didn’t run away from a perceived problem. They’ve tried to fix it. What they’re doing with the three-on-three format, and putting in an incentive for that, I think you’ll find it’s pretty competitive."
• Atlantic Division captain Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers, who turns 44 next month, on whether he’d lobby to go in the skills competition’s fastest skater race: "I don’t want to embarrass anybody out there. What if I win at my age?"
• Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on how serious the all-star game will be: "Guys will get their competitive juices out. You don’t want to get embarrassed on the ice. There’s nowhere to hide. I think guys will try."
• Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson, on the same question: "There still won’t be any hitting or battles in the corners or blocking shots but it’s going to be different than the normal (all-star) game, since it is three-on-three and you’ll get some money for it. It’s not going to get to the level that most people want... but hopefully it will spark a little more interest for guys. Hopefully we’ll play a little harder for it (the money). So yeah, a good decision."
• Karlsson on learning to like three-on-three hockey, which he criticized earlier this season: "If you look at people around, they love it, so as of right now I think it’s going to stick. I think it’s better than it was. It took some time to get accustomed to, but as of now, I have no issues. I think you figure it out, how you need to play it once the time comes, like four-on-four before. And we’ve been on the good side of it, too, so I’m going to have to say it’s been treating us well. That’s probably one of the factors (why) I like it more now."
• Karlsson who now loves country music, was at first forced to listen to it by his girlfriend: "It’s all I listen to pretty much now. Bradley Gilbert. I had a chance to meet him this summer. Super-nice guy. And ever since then I’ve started listening to more of his music. I think he’s a great writer and great artist."