Ben interviewed Perrsy!!! Ben interviewed Perrsy!!! I'm sure you already saw it on the main site but I DON'T CARE because you know I love me some Perrsy! GO CATS GO!!
Also, let me go on record as saying that I don't think we could have a better captain this season than Eric. He is a natural born leader and I think DW/JA are out of their friggin' minds if they think there's anyone else on the team besides Johan who would be a better leader. That said...
Forward Eric Perrin's 45 point performance was one of the bright spots of the 2007-08 season for many Thrashers fans and the Laval, Quebec native wasted no time in endearing himself to fans and teammates alike as he became an indispensable utility player in his first season in Atlanta, playing all forward positions and on both special teams. The 32-year-old led all NHL players in short-handed assists (8) and points (10) and worked himself into the shootout rotation by the end of the season, scoring on 50% of his chances. With a persistently positive outlook and an unwavering work ethic Perrin will be leaned on this season to provide leadership on a younger looking Thrashers squad. He took some time out of his weekend to speak to [Ben] about his summer in the Montreal area and his take on the upcoming season.
Q. Rumor has it you've been hitting the ice with Thrashers prospects Angelo Esposito and Danick Paquette up in Quebec. Is there any truth to that?
A. Yes, I did skate with them. It's true.
Q. Was this your first time meeting them?
A. Well, I worked out with Angelo last summer as well. This was the first time for me to see Danick on the ice though. They both looked good from the little bit I saw. I had to come back early to Atlanta for my daughter to go to school, so I only skated one time with those two guys. We did skate together on a line though, and it's kind of funny because you don't see a lot of Atlanta Thrashers up there and then we had three guys in Thrashers uniforms. It was funny to see.
Q. What were your overall impressions of them?
A. They're both in great shape and I got to talk a little bit to both of them. They're excited about coming to training camp. Angelo's situation is a little different because he's been to a camp already and for him it's not a new thing but for Danick it's his first. He just got drafted (in the third round, 64th overall). From what I saw they're both really excited to get started. Danick got a taste of the NHL with the draft and prospect camp but with him getting sick he didn't get to do much. He was really disappointed about that and is looking forward to getting back on the ice with the guys.
A. Yeah, I think it will be good for them to have me around. I think they're both planning on coming in early. I know Angelo is. It's always easier to have guys from the neighborhood to help them out and talk to. I'm an older guy and I think they'll feel a little bit more comfortable knowing that they do know somebody. I know that whenever I've been somewhere where I knew somebody I felt a little bit better.
Q. Aside from working out what have you been up to this summer? Have you been keeping busy?
A. My summer has been pretty busy. We bought a house in Montreal so I've been dealing with that. Then I did two weeks in New York and Pennsylvania at Bob Hartley's hockey camps. We've been trying to enjoy ourselves. That and lots of working out and spending time with family.
Q. When I spoke to you at the end of the season you said you were excited to be staying with the Thrashers because it was going to be the first summer of your career that you didn't have to move. What made you go out and buy a house?
A. Yeah, you're right, but we went and bought a house anyway. We had a good reason though. We were in a condo about an hour north of Montreal and everybody works out close to Laval (a suburb to the east of downtown Montreal), so it was a pain in the butt to go and work out every day. So I decided to buy a house closer to the workout facility. We work out and then we skate right after so it's a great setup. It was so long though, and it took time away from my family.
Q. Were there many other NHL players working out with you?
A. Yeah- it was a big group. Pascal Dupuis is always there. Andre Roy. JP Dumont. We got Steve Begin, Ian Laperriere, Matthew Darche from Tampa. Then there are some European players who have played in the NHL, and some other guys. Ramzi Abid, Alex Burrows from Vancouver, Martin Lapointe, Patrice Brisebois. It's a big good group of guys. It's a high caliber of players and the workouts are intense. Usually I'm up there longer and closer to training camp but now with my daughter in school I was back here in Atlanta earlier.
Q. Is it an exciting time around the house having her starting school?
A. It is. Last year we got here here later because we didn't know what we were doing with our house and things like that, so she started school a bit late. That was kindergarten though. Now she's off to first grade and it's exciting.
Q. Here's your random question of the interview. Given that so many Canadian Olympic athletes tend to be from Quebec, are there any that you know (aside from hockey players)?
A. Yeah- Alexandre Despatie the diver is from Laval. My sister knows him. When you're from a town like Laval all of the athletes know each. It's one big community. He's a really good guy and he just missed the gold (he won silver in men's 3m springboard). He's awesome. He's so good. He's the only one that I really know though.Q. Shifting gears, what are your feelings heading into this season?
A. The feeling heading into the season is always good no matter what happened the year before. You're always excited about starting again, you know? Especially how we ended last year. I think teams like us are even more excited to start. It was a long time to be off and it was a disappointing season. Now we all want to redeem ourselves and start new. I think we're all excited. For us the key is that we have a new blood. New everything. There's going to be an adjustment period for everyone but I think we all feel good about how close of a team we're going to be. We're going to have to rely on each other. We'll be tight and back each other up. That's how we're going to get our wins this year I think. Grinding them out but sticking together. That's going to be our motto in a way I think.
Q. Does the loss of a guy like Marian Hossa open up doors for other players to take on bigger roles?
A. For sure. Sometimes it's all a mental thing. When you have a guy like Hoss there you're thinking "Well Hossa is good for one or two, or for setting a couple up." It's easy to have that mindset, and when he's gone you start thinking- "It's going to be me. I'm going to do it." If everybody starts getting that mentality that it's going to be their night and that they're going to chip in then everyone elevates their game. Everyone has to raise their game when you lose a guy like him and when you lose that many goals, but sometimes it can be a good thing for some guys. There are guys who have an opportunity to elevate their game and they'll get a chance to get in those situations. Sometimes you just need that chance.
Q. Having spent your summer in Montreal where hockey talk never really stops I'm sure you've seen what has been written about the Thrashers. How do you respond to people that aren't giving the team a chance?
A. It's the story of my life, being an underdog. I enjoy it. You have to take it as a challenge and that's how you have to respond to it. You have to get mad about it and say "It's up to us to show them that they were wrong." Last summer everyone had the Montreal Canadiens to be out of the playoffs and look what they did. First in the Eastern Conference. That's the mindset we have to take. That's how I feel. That can be us.
Interview by Ben Wright.