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Quotable: Marc Methot, Martin Hanzal, and Jim Nill

Defenseman Marc Methot and center Martin Hanzal were in town today and met with the media in Frisco. Here are some quotes from Methot, Hanzal, and Stars GM Jim Nill.

Nill on adding players like Methot and Hanzal to improved defense, penalty killing

“It’s not just getting better at those positions, but it is the people you add. They bring different intangibles. I like to look up at people, and it excites me that they bring size, but it’s the intangibles that they bring on and off the ice. They are both winners. They’ve both been very successful. And they are going to bring veteran leadership to the group.”

On the importance of the penalty killing

“If you are going to be a consistent playoff team you’ve got to be in the top 10-12 of special teams and part of that is penalty killing. If you are going to win games late and you take a penalty in a 2-1 game, you’ve got to kill those off.”

On if adding size was a factor in the offseason moves

“I don’t think we needed to but anytime you can add it, it is a bonus. We play in the West here, and we are going up against Anaheim and the Getzlafs. St. Louis is a big team. We’ve had a history of playing against Arizona, and I know our players didn’t enjoy playing against Martin. As soon as I signed him, I got calls from Jamie Benn and these guys saying it was good to have him on our side. We’ve been watching Marc Methot for years and watched what he brought to Ottawa, that size and the battle. It’s about winning battles, and these guys are known for that, and that’s how you win games.”

Methot on playing for Ken Hitchcock and fitting in with what he wants to do

“I consider myself a defensive-minded player and I complement an offensive-minded partner. My history with Hitch is pretty good. He was my first NHL coach, and he gave me the opportunity to come into the league and get my foot in the door. I’ve been fortunate enough to play with him at the World Championship, and we’ve always got along great. I am looking forward to playing for him.”

Methot on possibly playing with John Klingberg and comparison between Klingberg and Erik Karlsson

“First of all, I don’t know who I am paired with. We haven’t spoken about that, so I don’t want to make any assumptions. I am going to do everything in my power to play with whoever I can and do a great job at it. They are both fantastic defensemen but in a sense a little different. Klingberg’s a little bigger maybe but skates very well, moves the puck very well, and he’s a gifted young player. I think with guys like that you just give them the puck when you can, support them when you can and being able to skate and keep up with them is huge too. I think I can do that, I think I can keep up with just about anybody. So, I am looking forward to that challenge. Whether it is him or another guy, it doesn’t matter. I am just here to help out.”

Hanzal on defensive role

“Hopefully, I can help with that. I’ve been playing against the guys in Anaheim, LA, San Jose. I’ve been in the West for ten years. I know how hard it is to play against these guys. Hopefully, I can bring my size, my penalty kill and use my size in front of the net.”

Hanzal on playing wing

“I never play wing, so I probably stay at center.”

Hanzal on choosing the Dallas Stars

“It’s simple. I believe this is a winning team. I believe this is a great organization, great players. I played against Dallas many times. I believe we can win. That was the main reason.”

Hanzal on Jim Nill’s moves prior to his signing

“Ben Bishop is a great goaltender and when I saw that he signed here that was another plus. When you look at the lineup and you see Jamie Benn, I think he is one of the best five players in the league. He’s a great leader, a great captain. When I played against him, he’s got everything the best player needs. He’s fast, he’s skilled, he’s tough. When you look at [Tyler] Seguin, [Jason] Spezza, these are All-Star players. I am just really excited to be a part of his team.”

Methot on if Stars have a realistic shot at Stanley Cup this season

“I think so. On paper, the team looks fantastic right now, but that doesn’t mean anything until puck drop, until you see what happens on the ice. The direction is there, we have a great coach coming in that can bring some more defensive structure to the system. Look at the lineup. The right pieces are there. We have a great goaltending tandem, a good defense and forward set. I think it is there, we just have to come out and do the job.  That’s going to be the goal come training camp.”

Methot on the defense

“It’s good. Skilled. There are some guys that can move the puck very well, some guys that can defend very well. I think it is a good mix. A couple veterans, some younger guys. It’s what you want. You got some guys that can show veteran leadership to the younger guys and at the same time you’ve got the younger guys that can keep us moving and keep us young at heart. It’s a really, really good situation.”

Methot on getting some stability after the expansion draft process

“Things happen. It was an exceptional circumstance when it comes to the expansion draft. It doesn’t happen very often. I think that state of not knowing where we were going was tough initially. I think anybody could say the same thing playing in this league or any sports league. But finally, when I got the call and was told that I was going to be a Dallas Star, I was practically shaking. I was at dinner with [my fiancée] and her parents. I was at a steakhouse in Ottawa and had to leave the table to run outside. It was really exciting for us. It’s such a great situation. We are going down to a nice, warm climate with a good, good hockey team. This is the best. We’re really, really happy and we are really looking forward to it.”