Mike Babcock on Matt Martin, Roman Polak, Kerby Rychel, Bernier trade


On the Bernier trade:

Obviously, a good opportunity for Bernier here. A new start. I think sometimes those are real good things. Bernier did a really good job for us in the second half for us last year; struggled in the start but really dug in and was a good pro and helped our team. We wish him luck. Obviously, acquiring Andie was a big deal for our team. We think it gives us a top flight goaltender and it gives us a starter. Now we have to find a good pro to come in and support him, and we’ll do that. In the meantime, though, we’re excited about the direction of our club.

I think it’s real important. Obviously, you’re always looking for top goaltending; it makes the coach better, it makes your players better, and it gives you confidence. We paid a price to do this obviously. We felt we had done our work and this is a good opportunity for us. I think he’s excited to come and we look forward to him. 

On Matt Martin:

Matt’s a real good skater, a real good forechecker. He’ll keep the flies off our team and give us a presence out there. I think he has growth in this game, which is real important. I think he’ll be a more impactful player than he has been, and yet he’s been real impactful.

On Kerby Rychel:

Rychel is a kid who is going to be like a lot of our kids. He’s got good hockey sense. He skates from the top of the circles down in. He’s got to have a big summer in his training on his skating. We’re no going to rush any kids to play in the NHL. If he’s going to be on the Leafs he’s got to make Leafs. If not, he’ll be on the Marlies and we’ll watch him and help him grow. He’s going to be an NHL player; it’s just [a matter of] when.

On Roman Polak:

I think Polak is a really good man. We thought he played well for us, stabilized us. We’ve got some kids in Valiev, Nielsen and guys like that need to be around good people and learn how to play. We like him, so that’s why we brought him back.

Saturday’s Development Camp Scrimmage Highlights