In case you're new to the discussion, Florida recently finalized a deal in which they acquire McCabe and a fourth round pick in 2010 for Mike Van Ryn.
More news on this trade in previous posts -- which are below. Below JM's quotes from today are comments from Stephen Weiss, Wade Belak and Cory Stillman. Enjoy.
Just some contract issues. The league controls when you make a trade, sometimes it's the language in the contract. It needed to verified. That's why it took some time.
WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT BRYAN
He gives us some more offense from our backend. Bryan gives us experience. Look at his stats in Toronto, his shot on the power play. He also gives us some leadership in the locker room. His experience really helps our younger defense.
ON GIVING MIKE VAN RYN
In order to acquire a player like Bryan McCabe, you have to give something in return. We got Bryan and a fourth round pick. That makes it a great deal for the organization.
CHANGE OF SCENERY GOOD FOR BRYAN?
I think so. Remember Larry Murphy? He was kind of pushed out of Toronto by the media, went to Detroit and was pretty effective player there. Last year wasn't great, but the previous two years were. He's an individual who really helps our top four. We have really improved our defensive corps.
Every team is very competitive. We've really improved our defense. That's the key to us being a better team. Better puck movers. We spent too much time in our own end. We now have guys who can move the puck.
WHERE WILL HE PLAY?
I don't know where he's going to play. First pair, second pair. Most teams today have two good lines. You need top four defense. Where he fits in, time will tell. That's a coaches decision.
WHEN DID DEAL COME UP?
Came up over the summer, after the season. We identified what we needed to improve on, started looking at defensemen and accquired two at the draft. We still looked at improving defense during the summer. We feel the addition of Bryan will bring us some more offense from the backend.
Last year, we addressed goaltending and that turned out excellent for club. I've been here three years now, felt our D needed to be improved and addressed it this summer. I am excited about this team. I think we have more pieces of the puzzle in the right place.
THE 2 MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION
That was part of it, not the only thing. Moving forward, we wanted a player who will fit into our organization. We didn't sign the contract; Toronto did. How it was structured, we could do the trade once the bonus was paid. But there were other factors.
WHY BRYAN WANTS TO PLAY HERE
I think he likes the direction of our club and feels he'll be a big part of our success. Last year with the goaltending, now look at our defense. Look at the core of our forwards being very young.
Now, here's what some of the Panthers had to say about the deal.
“Look at the teams that win these days, and it's the defensive teams,'' Weiss said, referring to the past two Stanley Cup champions in Anaheim and Detroit. “Their best players are their defensive players. That's how you win. It's exciting to see how our defense has strengthened, and we have two great goalies as well. We have to build that way.''
“I think it's going to be great for the team and we're obviously happy to have him,'' Belak said. “He brings a lot of leadership and has played in over 900 games, so he's been around. I think he's going to be a good leader for this team, a possible captain candidate and a guy who will definitely help our power play. His main attribute, though, is his leadership.''“In talking to him, I know he gave Toronto a list of teams he would accept being traded to,'' Belak said. “Florida was obviously on his list. He's very happy to be here and I'm glad it worked out for him. I never thought he'd be here. I thought somewhere in New York. This is great for him.''
“Obviously their trying to improve the team,'' Cory Stillman said. “Ryno was a great player for the Panthers, but I think when you see Bryan, you're going to see a different game. He's a big part of this puzzle. Teams have to build from the goalie out, and we have great goaltending here. Now we've made the defensive changes. Hopefully we won't make any more moves until March when we're adding guys to push for a Cup run.''
“If you're giving up a lot of shots, you're going to give up goals,'' Stillman said. “It's nice to play with the puck. If you outshoot your opponents on a nightly basis, I think you're going to do pretty well in this league and win a lot of games.''
“He's a guy who competes every night,'' Stillman said. “He's played under the spotlight in Toronto and I don't think there's a bigger market in the game right now. And he performed, playing 26, 27 minutes a game each night. I don't know if he'll need to do that here, but he was heavily counted on there and scored a lot of goals for them. And a lot of big goals. When you play in Canada, you're under the spotlight from August 1 on. People there are reading everything they can, wanting to know what's going on. Here he can come in, play hockey and be himself. Hopefully he's going to help push us into the playoffs – and perhaps even further.''