What David Quinn said about Panarin, Zibanejad and more

David Quinn met with the media on Tuesday and said the following (NYR):

  • “Jeff has done a phenomenal job the last year and a half since our letter went out in February and bit by bit we keep adding pieces, this might be the biggest piece of them all so far.”
  • What are you getting in Panarin, “we are getting a well-rounded player, everyone talks about his offense which speaks for itself, he is as dynamic a player as there is in the league. He’s a winger but he does a lot of things that a center can do, he controls the play on the ice, he does a great job carrying the puck through the neutral zone and entering the offensive zone and boy, when he’s on the ice you gotta know he is out there because from an offensive perspective he creates every time he is out there.”
  • How do you deal with rising expectations, “We embrace it. This doesn’t alter our course of action, we will continue to try an get better. He’s just another piece in what our ultimate goal is. The winning and losing will take care of itself, obviously we want to win every game and compete for the playoffs and this is another step in that direction.”
  • How has your thinking on the team changed since the end of the year, “No because I knew what Jeff’s plan was, to continue to improve and add pieces and reach our ultimate goal and we continue to do that.”
  • How does this energize the players, “any time you add a player of this caliber, everybody gets a little taller and their chest sticks out further and you get some swagger. If you are going to be a great team you have to think you are great and that doesn’t mean you are arrogant but you have to have a little bit of a swagger to you and he will give us more swagger.”
  • How does he impact Buchnevich and Kravtsov, “he’s one of the great Russian players, so any time you can add someone like that I think it helps all of those guys and he has a previous relationship with Buchie, I’m sure he knows Kravvy, at some point in time I’m sure their paths have crossed whether it be a bump and hello or what not but without question having a guy of his talent and ilk and stature is going to help all of his countrymen on this team.”
  • How getting Panarin in his prime, “it just continues to add a piece to what we are striving to do, this isn’t going to alter the course of action. He is part of what we have been trying to do over the last year and a half, I know sometimes when you make a big splash in free agency people may assume that we are going off track but we are not. This is another piece in the direction we are going in.”
  • How excited are you to coach this group, “the roster is not complete but looking at it right now, it’s exciting. There is a lot of optimism in our locker room and organization but it’s a tough league and every team takes on it’s own identity. This team will form it’s own identity starting in September.”
  • What does this mean for Mika, “I think Mika is just scratching the surface and we have a plan to play these two together and when you are 27 or 35 or 37 you want to continue to get better and in the short time we have had the time to talk – I want him to be the best player he can be too and both of these guys will continue to improve and want to improve and be the best they can possibly be. I get the sense that he isn’t satisfied with where he is in his career and that he wants to get to the next level, as does Mika.”

Quinn also spoke with John Giannone on The MSG 150 and said:

  • “This move by no means alters our plan, he’s part of the rebuild and process of what is going on over the last year and a half. I know that sometimes when you sign a free agent people might jump to conclusions but that certainly isn’t the case. He’s 27-years old, in the prime of his career, he keeps himself in great shape, not a lot of mileage on him and we think his best hockey is ahead of him.”
  • On the stage, “he embraces any challenge thrown too him and when you meet him you see an electric personality. The first time that we met we sat down for about an hour and he never stopped smiling. His passion for the game is evident not just on the ice but off the ice. We all know we are getting a great player on the ice but I think what he will add away from the rink will be invaluable.”
  • On Panarin taking some of the pressure off Kakko, “when you add someone like Artemi to your lineup, someone that has been around and had the success he has had, maybe the attention will be on him more than it would be on Kakko. That might help him a little bit but I think Kaapo embraces the challenge as well, he shines best when he’s on a big stage, he showed it at the World Juniors and the World Championships and I think his foray into the NHL will be no different.”