We had our annual postseason sitdown with Jack Parker last Thursday. Needless to say, there were a lot of topics discussed. My season review — which focuses on attitude, leadership, coaching and the power play — will run in Wednesday’s FreeP, as will Jake’s feature on recruiting and the challenges of getting players to stick around. Arielle’s working on a feature on Charlie Coyle that will run sometime in the next couple weeks. Even with those three articles, though, we still had nearly 1,700 words worth of interesting quotes leftover. Enjoy. And be sure to check back for those articles.
On David Warsofsky:
I think it was good for him to sign. I think he needed a challenge, something different. I don’t think he played up to where he would like to have played this year. I thought he had an OK year, but not a great year. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that he needs to be pushed a little bit and challenged a little bit. Otherwise he gets too comfortable. Really, his best year here was his freshman year. The best year I saw him have before that was the year he went to Ann Arbor [for the national development program] and had to prove himself there. So I think it’s good for him to get a new challenge.
I think he was probably thinking about that during the year this year, too. We didn’t want him back with one leg here and one leg somewhere else. He didn’t have anywhere near a bad year, but I thought he’d be an All-American defenseman and all that. He got injured, too, and that bothered him. In general, it was a pretty good move. I think it was the correct move for him. I wasn’t telling him, ‘Geez Dave, I think you’re making a big mistake.’ We would’ve loved to have had him back, but at the same time, it’s junior year, he’s moving on and he needs that challenge.
On other early departures:
There’s always a chance that somebody could leave. [Alex] Chiasson could leave or Charlie Coyle could leave or Kieran Millan could leave. You never know. We were banking on David leaving. Before the season started, we were pretty sure he was going to leave. So this is not a surprise. The most probable guy, because he’s a junior, is Kieran. But Charlie’s a prized prospect with good size and Chiasson had a real good year. So those things are possible, but not probable. I think we’re pretty sure we’ll have everybody back except David and Joe.
On Justin Courtnall:
I don’t think there’s any question he’s earned the chance to start off with an expanded role. He’s earned the chance to start off being an important guy not only ice time-wise, but an important guy in the dressing room because people respect how he came on the second half, especially the last 10 games. We need more Justin Courtnall type of players, too. So if we need more of that, we might as well make sure we keep him in the lineup.
On next year’s forward depth:
People are going to lose their jobs, there’s no question about that. There’s at least two guys and maybe three guys who played a lot this year that will not be playing next year. I believe the two incoming freshmen [Cason Hohmann and Evan Rodrigues] will be able to step in and help us out, at least on the third or fourth line. And I’m pretty sure that if [Yasin] Cisse’s healthy, he’s going to be a real important player for us. So we’re losing one and bringing in three.
We still have guys that were in and out of the lineup and fighting for a position that emerged, too. I thought [Kevin] Gilroy, the last four or five games, played pretty well. Maybe he’ll continue that. Maybe [Ryan] Santana will get himself back in the lineup. Maybe somebody’s going to play themselves out of the lineup. But there’s no question that we’ll have much more depth up front next year than we’ve had, especially if Cisse’s healthy.
So who sits? Fourth-liners?
I thought the fourth line gave us a pretty good fourth line this year. It could be somebody on the fourth line, but it also could be somebody who’s underachieving. And we had guys that underachieved this year.
On Sahir Gill:
I think he had a good freshman year. I think he was very competitive in a lot of ways. I think he can recognize his responsibility to his team and be a better player for us, a more consistent player for us. In general, he was up there with Charlie Coyle and [Matt] Nieto in point production, and he was pretty consistent throughout the year with the way he played. He was responsible defensively, he stuck his nose in there.
On the rest of the freshmen:
I thought all the freshmen played well. I thought if you took Charlie Coyle’s first half and Nieto’s second half, you’d have an All-American with those numbers and how they played. I thought [Adam] Clendening had a great second half. I thought [Garrett] Noonan had a very good year, total. Of all the freshmen, he was probably the most consistent. But he fell off a little bit in the end and tried to do too much at the end. I think all the freshmen had good, solid freshman years. I think they’re all capable of being really good players in this league. A couple of them might make All-Americans if they stick around.
On Ryan Ruikka:
I think he had a tale of two seasons. I thought he played great the first half of the year. He was worried about just making the team. I think two things happened to him. Once he made the team and got an important role, I think he got satisfied with that. And he also got hurt. Therefore, I don’t think he played as well the second half of the year. Was it the injury first? Or the satisfaction first? I don’t know.
I know it was a combination of both of those things. Maybe one more than the other, but they both had an effect. He was not quite as effective as he was first semester. He was really solid first semester. I was so happy for him after what he went through his first two years. I’m sure he’ll bounce back and give us more like he did first semester than he did second semester.
On Max Nicastro:
I thought from Day 1 he was having problems. He mishandled the puck a lot. He never had a problem playing hard. He’s a competitor and he works hard. I don’t know if he was as ready as he should’ve been to start the season physically, or if he worked as hard as he should’ve in the summer. I have no idea.
It didn’t seem like he was way off, but that might have something to do with it because he didn’t start off very well and I think it kind of snowballed on him. I think confidence was really a big problem for him. He had less than the season we thought he was going to have for us, no question about that. He’d be the first to admit that. I think the good news is that it was mostly a confidence thing. It got off wrong and he never got it back.
We expected him to be better. We expected [Chris] Connolly to be better. We expected Warsofsky to be better. We expected [Corey] Trivino to be better. We expected [Ross] Gaudet to get a few more goals. We expected [Wade] Megan to be better. They were here and there, but they weren’t there all the time, and all for different reasons. There wasn’t any one similar reason for it.
He’s a very skilled player who has yet to take responsibility for that skill. I think he’s getting there, I think he’s going in the right direction, but he’s running out of time. Next year is his last year. It will be interesting to see how he plays in his senior year. Even though he got more points, he’s got to play with more intensity and he’s got to understand how important he is to this team. If he doesn’t, then he won’t be that important to this team.
Has he had any off-ice issues since last season?
He’s had no problems whatsoever that way. I think a lot of guys were caught up in some stuff last year that they shouldn’t have been caught up in, and he was one of them. But I think he’s done a real good job of managing his time and taking care of business that way.
On what the plan’s going to be when it comes time for you to retire:
There will be a lot of candidates for this job and I don’t think we’ll have a problem filling the position. Obviously Mike Bavis is a candidate. He’s been here a while, he’s associate head coach, he’s a very successful guy and he’s well thought-of in the business and well thought-of by me. There are other guys as well. There are other guys within the BU community and there will probably be guys from outside the BU community who will be interested in this job. BU will have a very, very good coach when they get rid of me.
Will you have a say?
Yeah, I plan on having a say. I’ve had a lot to do with this program for a long time. I’d like to have a say in it. In reality, I would like it to be a BU guy. We have a lot of capable BU guys. Why not promote from within, so to speak? But that’s not necessarily. There are a lot of real good coaches out there who might apply for this job and might be more impressive. It doesn’t have to be a BU guy.
Your contract expires in 2015. Is that something of an end date?
No, I’ve never had an end date to tell you the truth. It was just the contract got extended, that’s all. And it could get extended again. In all probability it won’t. There was an end date in 2012 and then it got extended to 2015. So there’s always an end date to a contract, but that doesn’t mean that’s the end date. The contract could be 2015 and I could stop coaching this summer. The extent of the contract is no indication of if and when.