TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 14: 2011 Hall of Fame inductee Joe Nieuwendyk is interviewed by the media during a photo opportunity at the Hockey Hall Of Fame on November 14, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
While Adam Burish (who said he likes the tv show "Gossip Girl" and joked "No one likes Canadians, do they?"), Trevor Daley and Steve Ott may have given a much more entertaining radio interview this afternoon when they dropped by Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk was on with Sportsnet north of the border talking substantive hockey and had a few thoughts to share on the upcoming trade deadline.
The Stars have dropped five of eight games since the All-Star break and had lost five of their last six before it. Daren Millard & Doug MacLean asked GM Joe if the prolonged slide was affecting his approach to the coming deadline.
"It's concerning, letting these games slip away," said Nieuwendyk. "It does concern you. Anything that we do... I'm always going to look to improve on getting players around Jamie Benn, who's a terrific young player for us. And Loui Eriksson. So, [that's] keeping an eye on the big picture, but I think maybe the focus maybe has changed a little bit."
Additional quotes after the jump, including the state of Nicklas Grossman with the organization and Nieuwendyk's mentality on any buying the Stars might do...
The boys on Sportsnet very intelligently then shifted to asking about Nicklas Grossman's status (rather than the quite injured and obviously not going anywhere Brenden Morrow, like some around these parts might ask).
"We have to make a decision on him as we move forward here, but he's been a good soldier for us along the way, even though his game maybe isn't right where it should be right now," said Nieuwendyk. "You never know how players react to these situations where their contract is up or all the trade rumors and things like that. Nick is a good person and good player for us."
It's interesting to hear a General Manager say that a guy that might be on the block doesn't have his game where it should be right now. He did not mention potential contract negotiations. He didn't say any were under way or not.
Some flattering talk about Loui Eriksson ensued before they brought it back to the trade deadline, hammering on their earlier assertion that the Stars might be changing their mentality due to what's happening on the ice. After saying that maybe the focus has changed a bit, Nieuwendyk answered the question in the negative the second time it was asked.
"I don't think so," he said, of becoming sellers. "Like a lot of teams we're in the mix of five teams vying for a couple of playoff spots. We do have a game in hand on some teams, two games in hand on other teams. I think this is going to be an important week for us."
He then reiterated what he's said repeatedly about not wanting to burn picks and young assets just for a shot at some short term success.
"It would be a big deal for us, no question about it. [Making the playoffs] "Certainly I'm not gonna do a short term gain to get a playoff spot, sacrificing good, young prospects. I think we'd cautiously be buyers if we felt that we were in a position to make a run here."
They asked about Sheldon Souray and Nieuwendyk said there has been no talk of an extension there. Not surprising.
They ended with, in what was largely a joking manner, "Have you spoken with Scott Howson?" (That's the general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets, for those of you who don't know. Hi Mom!)
"I have and I would assume 28 other teams have as well. This isn't a fun time of year for him or for me currently with the streak that we've been on but, obviously there's a media frenzy around his team right now."