Photo Credit: Sergei Belski – USA TODAY Sports
Vancouver Canucks forward Anton Rodin met the media at Rogers Arena Monday morning for the first time since sitting on the bench through all 60 minutes of the team’s 3-1 loss in Calgary on Saturday. Willie Desjardins said it was a coach’s decision to have Rodin dress as a 13th forward and be available in case of an injury during the game. Here is a transcription of Rodin’s media availability in which he addresses the situation, the health of his knee and his decision to sign with the Canucks.
Q: How hard was it to just sit on the bench and not get a shift on Saturday night?
AR: It’s always tough to be on the side and not playing. But I’m ready whenever he wants me to play.
Q: Was it complicated by the fact that Willie Desjardins mentioned you hurt your knee a little bit in the Friday night game?
AR: Yeah, a little bit. I fell on it, and it didn’t feel great. But if he wanted me to play I think I would have been able to go.
Q: Have you second-guessed your decision about coming here with the way it’s gone or hasn’t gone for you?
AR: No. No, I haven’t. As I’ve said before, this has been my dream since I was a kid and it was a pretty easy decision to come over here.
Q: Did Willie give you any indication prior to the game Saturday – and with your knee and with 13 forwards – that sitting for the entire game and not seeing the ice was a possibility?
AR: Not really. I was taking warm-up and preparing myself to play if the opportunity to play came up. That game, it didn’t. But I was ready and I’ll be ready in the future, too.
Q: Do you need a regular shift as opposed to being a specialty player that drops in for a power play to get yourself back to 100%?
AR: I don’t know. You want to be on the ice as much as possible. But it’s also up to you to earn that ice time.
Q: Willie told us he expects you to be a top-9 forward in this group moving forward. What do you feel you have to accomplish when you get that opportunity to solidify a regular spot on this roster?
AR: If I’m going to play top nine, I have to produce. If I’m not doing that, it’s hard to be in the top nine. So I have to play my best hockey.
Q: What about the status of your knee? The status of your health. What is it?
AR: It’s been good. I banged it up a bit – two games ago, the first game against Calgary – but other than that it’s good.
Q: Speed-wise, conditioning-wise, are you 80%? 90? 100?
AR: I don’t know. It’s tough to say. I haven’t played too many games, so it’s hard to know where it’s really at. But I feel good.
Q: Who were the guys who reached out to you after Saturday’s game and what was their message?
AR: There were a lot of guys. I talked a lot to Markstrom. He’s a friend of mine. We obviously talk a lot. The twins. Alex (Edler) as well. It’s great to have those guys here.
Q: Did you realize after a certain point that you probably weren’t going to play?
AR: Yeah. I was pretty much on the same page, too. If I hadn’t played in the first period, it’s pretty tough to jump in in the second and third.
Q: Willie said he felt that after the first period it’s tougher for your knee to get going.
AR: It’s tough for anyone to jump in midway through a game, but I guess for me it’s a bit tougher.