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August 31, 2004 - Primeau Answers Questions About Flyers, CBA

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Primeau Answers Questions About Flyers, CBA

Flyers captain fully recovered from concussion

Flyers captain Keith Primeau signs autographs at the Hooked on Hockey event on Tuesday
Flyers captain Keith Primeau has been working out at the Flyers practice facility in Voorhees, NJ, and sat down with Comcast SportsNet for a brief interview. Below is the transcription of that interview.

Q: How are you feeling right now? Where would you say you are in your recovery from your concussion sustained last year?

Primeau: “I feel much more comfortable. There were times early in the summer that I had a lot of complications with my head. I was able to continue to work out, physically I was fine, but mentally there were headaches. There was a lot of tension around my temples and my jaw, a lot of fatigue. But these were symptoms I expected following a grueling playoff run. I knew when I came back that I wasn’t 100 percent but the most important symptom that concerned me was the ‘spinning’ and the dizziness. That cleared up in the playoffs. I was able to play but it took some time to recover."

Q: If the season were to start on time, would you say you are at 100 percent?

Primeau: “Yes, no problem. I feel comfortable now, enough where if there was camp I’d be fine for camp. I worked out all summer so from a conditioning standpoint I’m fine and I’d be ready to go for the season.”

Q: It took you longer to come back than you wanted, yet you had the great playoff performance (you personally), how were you able to do it, fighting the concussion syndrome?

Primeau: “Reflecting back, there were two things. One, I did miss seven weeks, so physically I was extremely healthy. I felt real comfortable and strong in the playoffs. As far as my head was concerned, mentally I had to focus harder than I’ve ever had to in my life, preparing to play the games. That made a huge difference. When I would wake up from my nap, I’d begin to prepare. It was 4 p.m. I would say to myself, ‘you have to stay with it until 10 p.m. If it’s an overtime game, 11 p.m. or midnight.’ As soon as the game ended, win or lose, I would shut it right back down. The next day I would relax. I didn’t focus on the game the night before. I didn’t concern myself with the next game until the following day and then pre-game nap. It became very regimental for me, almost like a ritual. My family was wonderful. They gave me the space and allowed me to prepare as I needed to and that is what got me through.”

Q: What does last season mean to you, especially knowing that you don’t know if there is going to be a full season at this time?

Primeau: “It was extremely exciting. Not only from a team standpoint but for me personally. I remember the first year I came to Philadelphia we went to the Conference Finals only to lose in seven games. I remember how excited the city was then. I’ve been yearning for a couple of years to get back to that point. We hit some tough times but I always knew that if you got back to the position you were at, there was no better place in the world to play than Philadelphia when you’re fighting for a championship. That was the biggest reason for me wanting to return. There will be some turnover the next time we hit the ice but in order to stay up with the game and move forward you have to make changes and we all know that is inevitable. I think we’re making good changes and we’ll be a better team for it.”

Q: [
Jeremy Roenick] has publicly said that there are several players that they don’t think will be back. Have you heard anything?

Primeau: “I haven’t heard anything from management or ownership, but then again, they don’t have to include me in those decisions. To think that JR or Amonte won’t be back – JR has a contract so it’s almost a certainty that he’ll be here, as does Tony. I’ve discovered in the past that it’s better to keep my mouth closed until I really need to speak. So when it comes to different players situations, mum is the word.”

Q: Management has made it a priority to sign and build its future around you. You don’t want to have a better idea on where this team is going?

Primeau: “That’s not where I need to have my finger on the pulse. Where I need to be concerned and understand the working of our team is in the locker room. There has to be good communication between the coaching staff, and at times management, between the players. That’s where my concern has to be. I’ll let Clarkie do his job. If they ever come to me and ask I’ll give them my sense. But other than that, it’s not pertinent. There are not many guys in that locker room that I was much closer to than
Justin Williams, but we all have to understand that it is a business and these types of transactions take place. When they do, it is unfortunate, but they’re doing it for the betterment of the hockey club.”

Q: Do you have any insight on this season? Will there be one?

Primeau: “Most of the summer I was with everybody else. I was reading the papers. I can go online and listen to Bob Goodenow speak after formal or informal meetings with the league. I didn’t really do it that much because I don’t feel there is a breaking point yet as to whether one side or the other side beginning to cave or trying to find some common ground. Now as we get closer to training camp it’s more important for me to try to stay abreast of what’s happening and I’ll do that. If you were to ask me right now, I would say I am not very optimistic that we’ll start on time.”

Q: What do you think it would take for either side to move, since there’s been really no kind of movement?

Primeau: “I was thinking about it again last night. My sense is I’d like to see a player’s poll as to what concessions they’d be willing to make from the union. The union could send out a questionnaire. And from the owner’s standpoint there isn’t much room for negotiation as long as the word ‘salary cap’ is on the table. Until that is removed, I just don’t see there being much headway.”

Q: You were talking earlier about how regimented you are. This is the time when you really start getting focused and prepared for camp. Do you feel thrown out of whack that the season might not start on time?

Primeau: “Only from the standpoint that I’m just not sure when to begin skating. You don’t want to start skating and then have to shut her down again. That’s what would happen if the season didn’t start on time. I think it’s imperative that we continue to have our off-ice workouts. There will come a time when we’ll rev it up and hit the ice and begin to prepare as though we are going to start.”

Q: How out-of-the-loop do you feel regarding the potential lock-out? You said you read the papers and go online.

Primeau: “I have the advantage as being one of the guys that went through the lockout in 1994. I know how long these things can last and I understand that these things don’t resolve themselves overnight. Just seeing the position that we’re at right now and looking back at ’94, I just don’t see the season starting on time. Hopefully we get to a breaking point, which I think is January that we come to some resolution. But I am not overly confident about that, either.”