Audio by Sky Kerstein
Froward Mathieu Perreault caused a little bit of a firestorm around Washington Capitals practice after it was revealed he expressed frustration about his playing time in two separate French-language newspapers following the Caps 4-2 loss to Winnipeg Tuesday night.
“Whomever the coach is, every year it is the same story, and the GM doesn’t seem willing to change anything,” Perreault told Godin as translated by friend-of-the-blog Lindsey Novak. “Trade me if I am not part of your plans.”
Thursday morning Perreault had to explain his remarks to the local media. While he backtracked from his most provocative statements, he reiterated that he isn’t happy about his playing time, a total of 3:52 at Tampa Bay and 4:58 against Winnipeg.
“I’m fine with third and fourth line role,” Perreault said. “I’m not happy with my minutes, I’d like to get out there more, which is normal. No one wants to play that kind of minutes. It’s early in the season, just two games in. I’m going to think positive and look forward to the next few games in.”
Head coach Adam Oates was diplomatic when asked about Perreault’s comments.
“I’m still learning my players, they’re still learning me. I obviously want to get that guy more ice time,” Oates said. “But he’s going to get his chance and basically the point is, if you’ve got a beef, no problem. Let’s just talk about it.”
Perreault also said he had good talks with both Oates and GM George McPhee since his statements became public and he’s still on board with the Caps, but would just like more playing time. However, if/when forward Brooks Laich returns, that will muddle playing time for bottom six forwards even more. Perreault will have to use what little ice time he sees to impress Oates, or he might be waiting to get a sweater on some nights.
For Perreault’s full statements, please check out the link to his media availability below, along with Oates, Ovechkin and others in advance of tonight’s game against Montreal at 7:00 pm.