GREENBURGH, N.Y. – With gritty forward Brendan Lemieux in the fold, having agreed to a one-year, $925,000 contract late Wednesday on the eve of training camp, coach David Quinn was asked Friday if his team had enough “Lemieux-type’’ players. The coach paused for a moment before answering:
“Having more wouldn’t hurt,’’ he said.
The 23-year-old Lemieux plays the type of game his father, Claude, was renowned for: He is a pest, one who aggravates opponents and is the type of player guys hate to play against, but love to have on their team.
“I bring something that we don’t have a lot of, and I just have to stay true to that,’’ Lemieux said after completing his on-ice testing. “I know I’m going to stick up for teammates; I’m going to be in your face, [be a] hard, physical type player, but I think that’s just who I am. There’s guys that can massage the puck and make plays, and heads-up players, and guys that look really good and play with a lot of pace and skill. But then there’s guys that go through people, go to hard areas, and they bring something out of the other team, and they make guys play a little tighter.
“The harder I play, the more people get pissed off [and] the harder it is to play against me.’’
Quinn said Lemieux has lost “10 or 11 pounds,’’ which should help his game.
“One of the things we talked about was maybe ‘leaning’ up a little bit, not being as big,’’ Quinn said. “He’s always going to be strong enough, but the speed piece is something we thought would improve if he did ‘lean’ up a little bit, and boy, he came in in incredible shape.’’
Notes & quotes: Quinn said how many games G Henrik Lundqvist will play this season is “to be determined.’’ But the number will be lower, in order to keep Lundqvist fresh for the playoffs, the coach said . . . Most of the veteran players did their on-ice testing a while ago and weren’t around Friday . . . Ds Sean Day (surgery) and Yegor Rykov (sprained ankle) both skated in the morning, but did not take part in the on-ice testing.