Adam Graves' Interview * Gaboriks Injuries A Plus+
From a member t3hg00se over at hfboards.com
"Had Two Hours with Adam Graves, Ask Away.
I just came from a two hour lunch with Adam Graves, which was with no doubt, a defining moment in my life. This man lights up a room. He is intelligent, kind, and the most humble person I've ever met. These simple two hours with him have absolutely changed my life.
Adam started by talking about his earlier day, back in 94', old teammates, etc. But eventually gave us the floor and said "Play GM". Lucky for myself, most of the other fans (9 others) were just casuals, one of which just finding out we have acquired Gaborik. So needless to say, I took the floor with most of the conversing and the questions. I picked his mind for as much as I possibly could, and as you know he is extremely high with in the organization and within Sather's circle of advisors.
To answer some questions off the bat
He thinks that without a shadow of doubt Michael Del Zotto will be penciled in next season. *Edit, He also says that he feels MDZ runs a power play with skill he hasn't seen since Zubov. In his exact words "This guy can run our power play from an armchair he's so fluid."
He feels that Derek Stepan will be our first line center in a few years, and at absolute worst a top-6 center, and said with utmost confidence that he was the best prospect at our development camp.
He doesn't feel that Michael Del Zotto is a better player than Sanguinetti, he just feels Sanguinetti is taking more time to develop.
He is extremely impressed by Grachev, and thinks he is knocking on the door of this team, and knocking hard.
He said it is highly unlikely we trade away any of our defensive prospects, Glen has stated he wants to build this team from Henrik out. He wants to fill in our forwards with our prospects, young guns, and free agents, while growing our D-men at home.
No one truly knows what is going to happen with Zherdev, he doesn't feel the arbitrator is going to award anything over $3.6, which he feels is tough to walk away from for a quality player like Zherdev. He doesn't feel like Zherdev has a motivation issue, he feels like if Zherdev returned with us next season, he's going to pot 80 points. I pointed out to him that with Zherdev returning, we have a logjam at RW, and he feels Zherdev could be converted to LW. What he hinted on happening is he feels Callahan will play with Gaborik, but on the LW.
He thinks that Pavel Valtenko is a stud, and that most fans have thought of him as a throw in.
He thinks that McDreamy has put our d-prospects into the range of ridiculous.
On Redden, he feels, like I do, that Redden was a force under Tortorella. He says he personally knows that Redden is in fantastic physical condition, and that he thinks he will shine under Torts next season.
On Rozsival, he feels that if he doesn't use his shot next season, he's going to see the bench.
On Higgins, he feels he's going to pot 25-30
On Gaborik, this was extremely interesting. The thing that Adam was most excited about with Gabs was his conditioning. He feels that Gaboriks injuries have a huge huge upside as well. Gaborik is coming into his prime with no mileage on his body (from the lack of games). He's going to come into the best years of his career, and he's going to stay in them for a long, long time. He says our medical squad has looked at him, and his condition is fantastic, he's in amazing shape, and his surgery was a great success. He says that Gaborik was the vital piece this team was missing last year, and will be a force whether or not we get him a true #1 center.
On #1 Center, he feels that Gaborik will work really well with Dubinsky. He feels Dubi is ready for his major breakout season, and who better to do it with than Marian? But even after saying this, he said the prospect is there that it won't work. And asked me who I thought the Rangers should trade for and who would fit well with this team. I told him I feel Patrice Bergeron would be a fantastic target because of his Cap hit, speed, playmaking ability, and availability. Boston is in cap hell next season, and moving Bergeron gives them enough room to squeeze by. Graves said he felt that was an excellent suggestion, and an option he would not be surprised with the organization going with. He said that the organization has the ability to pull the trigger on some number one's as we speak, but knows it's not the time. They want to see what Dubinsky can do first. He didn't seem shocked that I brought up Bergeron though, like he was waiting for me to say it, like he had heard it 1000 times before. He left me with the impression that Bergeron was definitely on our radar.
On Aaron Voros, he had a conversation with Torts and told me that he feels Voros is going to get another really hard look. He thinks that he could fill a good 3rd or 4th line role on this team.
*Edit, On Marc Staal, he feels Staal is going to take a huge offensive step next season. He said all the tools are there, he has a powerhouse of a shot, and is a fluid passer, he just needs to have the opportunity to do it.
*Edit, On Byers, he feels he is a lock for next season, and is a fantastic hitter that will play well under Torts.
This was a humbling experience, one that I still am speechless from, and I would be honored to bring his word to your ears with any questions you may have, I know I've definitely forgotten plenty."
wow graves is a really nice guy. class act. not to mention humble. anyway i really enjoyed his insights aswell. it seems if his predictions are correct the nyr are in for a bright future! gabby going into his prime years? many years? injuries were a plus? best condition of his career? YES! Very exciting thoughts here!