The Washington Times - June 21, 2008, 04:38PM

 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A PLAYER?

 

I think I am a two-way player, but I like to pride myself on my offense a little more than my defense. I like to play on the power play and the penalty kill. I think that is a big part of my game.

 

YOUR COACH IS OBVIOUSLY A BIG PART OF WASHINGTON CAPITALS HISTORY

 

Absolutely — I am sure he’s happy for me. I am just looking forward to seeing him and getting ready for training camp and having a great year there.

 

GEORGE MCPHEE

 

ON GUSTAFSSON

 

He wasn’t. He really wasn’t [very good] because he was hurt when I saw him play. He didn’t play very well. But our scouts saw him when he was healthy and they said he was the guy we wanted to get.

 

I talked to his father a while ago. I think it was at the world championships or something. We talked about him briefly, but I didn’t give him any indication we would make that pick.

 

Our doctors went over the MRI and everything else and there was no concern.

 

When we talked to him at the combine, he said he’d probably have to take it easy until August.

 

He seems to be a real competitive kid. He seems to like to hit people more than score goals, but we think he’s got the ability to generate more offense. Our guys really liked him.

 

TWO MORE YEARS IN SWEDEN?

 

Probably – we’ll see how it goes. We’ll bring him over when he’s ready.

 

ON THE STEVE EMINGER DEAL

 

We went with eight defensemen last year and it was hard on them and hard on Steve. It is hard on the coaches too to have eight defensemen because someone is sitting out every night. We didn’t want to do that again this year and we had a chance to get a first-round pick for Steve. It was a good deal, so he’ll get some ice time in Philadelphia and we took a right-handed defenseman that could be ready in a couple of years.

 

Philadelphia has had some interest in Steve for a couple of months now. For about a month probably we’ve talked about it and just weren’t sure what to do. But again, it was an opportunity to get a first-round pick and it made sense.

 

DID HIS PERFORMANCE IN THE PLAYOFFS OPEN THEIR EYES A BIT?

 

Yeah, he played well in the playoffs. We just had a good conversation with him. He was very professional and thanked us for drafting him and giving him the opportunity. He said last year was tough but he learned a lot. I told him thanks a lot for toughing it out last year and being a pro.

 

ON JOHN CARLSON

 

He’s got very good hockey sense. He’s skilled. He’s got good hands and some powerful legs. We have to teach him how to train and get him in shape. What appealed to us is he’s going to play for Dale Hunter. Dale will whip him into shape and teach him how to play.

 

DOES HIM GOING TO LONDON MAYBE MOVE HIS TIMETABLE UP?

 

It could. He’s going to be playing twice as many games as he would in a college season, and he’s playing sort of a professional style. If you want to play a pro style, that’s the league to play in. And he’s going to one heck of a coach.

 

ANY DISCUSSIONS TO GET UP IN THE TOP 10-15 PICKS?

 

We had some discussions to get up close to that with a couple teams, but we were a little too far back. At least one of them move back, but it wasn’t to where we were. There really wasn’t anyone who wanted to move back to where we were to move into that first cluster of players. We thought the drop-off – we thought those first 14 players was where everyone wanted to be at.

 

WHY THE INCREASED AMOUNT OF TRADING?

 

It doesn’t surprise me. With this new CBA, you almost have to put together a team for each year. Teams are making moves to sort of build their team up each year and see how it goes.