Quotable: Lindy Ruff talks Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Valeri Nichushkin

Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff was in Traverse City for the NHL Prospect Tournament and talked to the media during the intermission of one of the games. Here are a few quotes.

On Tyler Seguin moving back to the center position

“I think you have to have a little bit of patience. He is moving back to a position that he hasn’t played. He’s going to have to handle some big men down low. Your responsibilities are a lot different from playing the wing to the guy that has to come back and try to out battle some of the big men. The good part is he should have the puck a little bit more. The tougher part is his reads have to be good, you get a lot of defensive situations.  I think that is the part that will take him a little bit of time.”

More on being patient with Seguin

“The first thing is you can’t hurt your team in your own end. You’d want to be able to count on him in almost every situation against any top player. He’s a young player. I think the fact that he hasn’t played it on a regular basis, there is going to be a little bit of an adjustment for him. You go through the preseason, give him as much time as you can. He played it all his career up until (playing with Boston). I think it will be an easier adjustment once you get up and running.”

On the transition for Jamie Benn going from center back to wing

“Yeah (it will be easier), but I had the conversation with him that he may not have the puck as much as he did when he played center. The one thing that I told him is to be ready to take some shifts at center ice still. I think it was a position that by the end of the year that he got pretty comfortable with. It was slowed down a little bit by a nagging injury. He said he is more than willing to go between a couple of positions.”

On forward Valeri Nichushkin

“I’ve liked a lot from the first game. He’s had the puck a lot and he’s made a lot of great plays. He skated well in a lot of the tight areas and he’s competed well. I think when you see somebody that has the puck most of the time, or comes up with the puck most of the time, it tells you that he is in on a lot of the action.”

On having Sergei Gonchar around to help Nichushkin transition to the NHL and North America

“I’ve heard nothing but good things about Sergei. He is your consummate pro, and he’s a good mentor for our young Russian. And he’s one of the few guys that can communicate with him right now. That part will come in handy.”

On his command of the Russian language

Nyet might be it for me (laughter). It’s funny how you learn the word No before anything else.”

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