Blake, Yannetti talk trading Vey and on 2nd round picks

With the 2014 NHL Draft done and wrapped up, Rob Blake and Mark Yannetti spoke directly with MayorsManor about trading Linden Vey and the two prospects LA drafted in the second round. Check out their comments below…

Blake, on trading Vey to move up in the second round rather than trading picks:

“Well, I think if you look at the depth of our team, we knew we had to do that sooner or later. Some of these players are starting to require waivers, and you don’t want to lose them there. We understood our situation and the depth of our team. You pick up another asset and go forward.”

Blake, on losing Vey:

“He’s a good player. That’s the problem when you do have the depth – you bring a lot of players back. We’re bringing almost everybody back from the Stanley Cup team. You run into issues like that. You’re going to have to move good players at certain times, and you try and replenish with that.”

Yannetti, on McKeown:

“He was another guy we had targeted – I won’t say where. We spent considerable time trying to move up…it was impossible to move. We couldn’t move up from 90 to 85. And then, we looked at the list when that broke, and we didn’t try to move up anymore, because we knew we were going to get – we had him targeted. We did quite a bit of movement, quite a bit of work to get him. He’s really versatile. Needs a little bit of structure in his game. Sometime when he lacks definition, things get scrambly. He’s got so many tools, he’s able to do so many different things, that when he’s not focused, especially at the junior level, sometimes there’s some diminished returns. He’s a guy who could play – his ultimate potential hits, he could play anywhere from a [number three defenseman] to a [number seven defenseman] role. You don’t have a lot of guys who can do that. Now, obviously I don’t anticipate him playing a [number seven defenseman] role, but it shows you how versatile his skills are if you can say he can play a varied role like that. And, it also shows you can get there a little earlier. If you can play [as a number six or seven defenseman] role earlier in your career, you get a kick at the can a little earlier. If you can only play one role, you have to break in there and only there. I know a lot of the publications had him very highly rated. He’s obviously a guy we coveted. You can kind of look into the future and see where he fits with some of our other prospects. We didn’t really have a guy like him.”

Yannetti, on Lintuniemi:

“When we talk about guys you want a little later, guys you want to come out of the draft with, he was one. From January one…there is so much potential in his game. Quite frankly, his season wasn’t good enough this year. It wasn’t consistent enough, especially the first half of the season wasn’t good enough. His weight was a major issue. In some of the same ways when we talked to Drew, and some of the same questions we asked Drew, we had to ask Lintuniemi. His answers…he wasn’t looking for the quick fix. He wasn’t looking for the cliche answers. There were some tough questions. It wasn’t necessarily, all the time, a happy interview process, but he answered the questions the way we wanted to hear them. And dealing with a little adversity at that age, and maybe not making the right choices in terms of your off-ice habits, learning from it there, instead of having to learn from it two to three years from now, it’s a pretty good thing if he can stick to it. He hits like an absolute truck. But, he also moves the puck. He doesn’t get enough credit for how subtly smart his transition game is. When you see a guy that size, with the ability to close and hit through people, rather than hit people, it’s a package you don’t find very often. Now, take 15 or 20 pounds off him and build him up the right way, he might break people in half. And his skating’s only going to get better. At 6’3″, there’s a lot to like. If he does the work, our guys will give him the structure he needs.”

Yannetti, on losing Vey:

“I guess it’s not a loss for the team, because you’re not really subtracting anything since he wasn’t a full time player. So you’re losing more of an asset. We’ve had offers for Linden now for quite some time. There’s a lot of road blocks in front of Linden on our team. He’s an exceptional player who provides some real skill. Quite frankly, he can’t break into our lineup full time. In two years, he probably can, but that’s not real satisfactory for him and it doesn’t benefit us either. So we determined last night when McKeown and a couple of other people were on the board, we had options to move it next year or two years down the road. Originally, we were looking for something a little higher, but we got the option to inform them before the pick. We didn’t have to make it. And – we didn’t have to trade Linden. He could play for us in a limited role. There was no urgency to move him. But as it started to fall, some of the movement I was talking about was taking that pick, [and] packaging it to move up. It was pretty cool – it was the whole fantasy hockey thing because you were taking a pick we hadn’t acquired but we had the rights to, to move to another team, so there was a bunch of moving pieces, and it was a lot of fun in that respect. As [McKeown] fell, it became obvious we had to do it.

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