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Winnipeg Jets Training Camp Day 3 – Bryan Little

Bryan Little On

On today’s practice at the MTS Centre as opposed to yesterday’s packed house at the MTS Iceplex:

“It was kind of a sigh of relief to come out today, a little less pressure, less nerves from all the guys, it was a nice change of pace coming here (MTS Centre as opposed to the MTS Iceplex)everyone relaxing a bit and getting their focus”

On the pressure of playing in Winnipeg

“I think there’s always pressure, a lot of the guys on our team are young kids, 18, 19, 20 years old, and these guys are going to be asked to step up a lot this year. Everyone questions whether we can score goals; I think the guys in the dressing room know we can. We’ve got the talent, it’s just a matter of all the young guys maturing, stepping up, and being leaders.”

On the changes between Atlanta and Winnipeg

“You go from a team like Atlanta, where if (you or the team) aren’t playing well, or are in a slump, it goes unnoticed and flies under the radar. It’s nice to have that, but at the same time you’re always wondering what it would be like to play in a hockey market like Winnipeg. There is more pressure no doubt, everyone’s going to be watching us this year closely, but for guys like me I like playing under pressure, I think I play better under bigger crowds. I was excited when I heard that we were coming to Canada.”

On finally beginning training camp

“It was good, it’s finally familiar once you get out on the ice, everything gets back to normal and you start focusing on the season. It’s been a long summer, it s been a busy summer for everyone I’m sure, moving their families, and coming to a whole different city and different country. Once you get on the ice, everything’s back to normal and your focus is the same.”

“When we stepped on the ice yesterday, (we) realized this is the real deal, if you didn’t know what kind of reception we were going to get, or what the fans were going to be like in Winnipeg we found out right away yesterday when we stepped out on the ice.”

On what his role will be with the team this season

“You never know when you have a whole new coaching staff. Last year I did a bit of everything, powerplay, penalty kill, my minutes were up a bit last year. You never know with new coaching staff, new management where you are going to fit in, what you are going to play and who you are going to play with. Everyone coming in to camp wants to have a good camp and show the coaches they can play more and have a bigger role with the team.”

On the impact the move to Winnipeg has had on training camp

“I think there is a different intensity out there, it definitely seems like it, not only guys fighting for jobs, but they’re fighting for icetime. It seems like there’s going to be a lot of good battles this year for opening spots. That, and the fact that it’s a whole new organization, a whole new city, is making for a pretty intense camp.”

On where he will on Tuesday, (in Winnipeg or Columbus for the split squad game).

“No idea, they haven’t told us yet.”

On wanting to play in an exhibition game on Tuesday

“Ya it would be nice, I want to play right away, it would be nice to play in Winnipeg, but it’s not up to me.”

On switching his number from 10 to 18, the number he previously wore in junior.

“It’s kind of a weird thing, I didn’t know what I was going to do, I didn’t know what the team was going to be called in the first place. Once I found out they were naming it the Jets, it was pretty easy, it didn’t take me long to make a decision. They told me they were going to honour numbers, instead of retire them, I felt like it was the right thing to do, and I just felt like changing, it wasn’t a hard decision.”

Listen to the press conference here