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Quotable: Alexander Radulov, Jim Nill

Here are some quotes from forward Alexander Radulov, who signed a five-year, $31.25 million contract with the Stars Monday, and Stars GM Jim Nill.

ALEXANDER RADULOV

On signing with Dallas

“Dallas is a great team with the players that Dallas has and it was an easy choice for me. When they showed that they wanted me and I spoke to Jim, I really appreciated it. Dallas is a great city. I have been there many times. They made a good offer and it was an easy decision, at the end for me, because basically I didn’t have any other options.”

If he talked with Jamie Benn

“Yeah, he called me like three days ago, two days ago. We talked for about ten minutes and he explained to me about the team, about the guys and about the city and I really liked it. I am really thankful to the Dallas organization to bring me there and give me a chance to play with the great players.

On the length of time it took to sign

“Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I said it was easy. I said at the end when I put everything on the table and saw what I have, it was an easy decision for me to make to go to Dallas because with Montreal I don’t think we got that close in my opinion. I enjoyed being in Montreal and playing in Montreal. I really loved the fans and the people there that were good to me but it’s a hockey life and a business. It’s hard to leave but looking forward and want to play good and help Dallas win.”

On conversations with Benn

“We talked about all different things, about the game. I said you had a good team and they signed three great players in [Martin] Hanzal, and the goalie [Ben] Bishop and [Marc] Methot. It shows they really want to win. That’s what we kind of talked about. We didn’t talk about who we are going to play with because that is not what we are going to decide, the head coach is going to decide. I am just really excited to be part of the team.”

On the importance of the Stars offseason moves

“It’s huge because you always want to play for a team with a chance to win. I really saw that in Dallas. They have couple tough years but they add the defenseman, goalie and centerman and you see that they want to build the team and win. That was an easy decision for me.”

On talks with Ken Hitchcock

“I did. I did speak with Ken a couple days ago. One of my friends working with him in Columbus told me only good about him. He told me he really wants me on his team and how he can use me and he hopes that everything is going to work out.”

On reports that Montreal matched the Dallas offer

After when I said yes to Dallas. After when I said yes to my agent and Jim. I didn’t get called. My agent called and said Montreal called and said would you take the same deal. I said I already agreed with Dallas. I said it wouldn’t be fair, it wouldn’t be right. If you take it you take it. There’s no way back, right?

JIM NILL

On the Radulov deal

“It’s no secret that Alexander, if he was going to hit the free agent market, was going to be one of the top free agents. So when the interview period started, I got in touch with his representatives and we kept in touch, talked about whether he was interested or not. And then when the free agency period opened up, that’s when we were allowed to talk numbers and we kind of gave him our proposal and they had interest in that and it just kind of moved forward from there. Over this spring and the summer here, our plan all along was we knew we were going to be making some changes. It didn’t matter if it was a good year or a bad year. We knew there was going to be changes because of our contract situation with the team. We knew that we had quite a few players – the Sharps, the Hemskys these guys coming off contracts and that we’d have to make decisions. We had cap room, we had the space. We were fortunate, Ben Bishop was the first move. We wanted to make some change in net. Marc Methot, with it being a season of expansion and entry draft and everything going on, there was a lot of balls in the air, and we were fortunate to get Marc Methot because of that. We hit free agency and were fortunate to get Martin Hanzal and then Alexander Radulov. It worked out well for us. But we were fortunate we had the cap room, the cap space, to make these moves.”

On if the offseason moves push the Stars back into contender status after an off year

“We’re excited about these moves, but we’ve got to go to work now. It doesn’t guarantee anything. We like what we have on paper, but in the end the goal for us is to be a contender every year, to get in the playoffs every year. We didn’t do that last year for different reasons, injuries and everything else. In the end I think we’ve given ourselves a good position, but we still have to go do it. This game can humble you pretty quick, and it’s a tough league and we know we’ve got lots of work to do and we’re going to move forward from here.”

On what he liked about Radulov’s season in Montreal

“I’ve got to know him over the years. He showed a commitment to come over to North America. I think he wants to play in the best league in the world at his age, and I think that’s drawn him over here. We’ve watched him perform in Montreal; he played very well. He’s been one of the top players in the world, it’s no secret. We made some calls on him. We know a lot of people that played with him and that, and everybody raved about him, raved about the personality. I had the chance to talk to him once we hit free agency here and that, and I was so impressed. He’s got a great personality, I love where he’s at in his life. It was a good fit for us. But in the end we did our homework on him and I never heard a bad thing about him, all the people I’ve talked to. We all make mistakes in life at times when you’re young and stuff and he admits that, and we’ve all done that, but he’s moved on from that and matured. We’re fortunate we’re getting a more mature player now and somebody that wants to win.”

On what Radulov brings on the ice

“He’s high-end skill. You’re always looking to add skill to your lineup, and he adds that. He’s a strong skater. I think it’s important we keep our speed in our lineup. That’s kind of how we’re built. But you’re adding a guy and you’re adding a heavy body. He’s a strong man. He’s about 6-2, 210, 215 pounds. He’s a strong man down low, can hold on to the puck, can make plays. We’re adding an elite player to our lineup. I’ve talked to Ken Hitchcock, and it gives him a lot of options. The one thing that impressed me with Alex when I talked to him, I started talking about the team and how good the players are and he knew that, but he said, ‘You know what, you just put me with anybody, that’s my job to play good hockey.’ I think that was important to hear that, that in the end he knows his job is to play the best he can, and if he does that, good things are going to happen on the ice.”

On Jamie Benn’s talks with Radulov

“Jamie and I have talked. We talk all the time. We have a pretty good conversation. I think he’s the leader of their team. It’s important for the captain to know what’s going on, so we’ve talked all along and he’s always been very open to calling players. He was very open to doing it. We’ve done it with numerous players. There’s probably no better salesman for the team than Jamie Benn. He’s the leader of the team, and as he plays players follow, so it’s important for him to be involved in this process.”

  • SC_Frisco

    Love this quote: My agent called and said Montreal called and said would you take the
    same deal. I said I already agreed with Dallas. I said it wouldn’t be
    fair, it wouldn’t be right. If you take it you take it. There’s no way
    back, right?