Their availability started off on an extremely emotional note, with Boeser speaking on the current health situation of his father, Duke, who was previously diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
Boeser, who was understandably choking back tears, touched on how difficult his year had been given his family challenges outside of the rink, specifically noting that Duke is now also living with dementia.
Although Boeser didn’t have the best start to his season under former head coach Travis Green, the 25-year-old Burnsville native was able to register 19 goals with Bruce Boudreau at the helm, bringing his offensive total to 46 points in 71 games.
Following Boeser’s exit from the media availability, the attention turned to Hughes, who made sure to speak on Boeser before addressing his own questions.
"“We’re gonna need Brock to be really good if we want to be good. I think it’s important for him to go home to Minnesota and spend good quality time with his family and enjoy the summer and then come back ready to go. I think he’ll do that. He’s a motivated kid. And he’ll be fine. He’s going to come back and he’s gonna have a great year next year.”"
Hughes was also asked about his personal accomplishments from the year but, despite breaking two franchise records, Hughes said he was most proud of his penalty kill role and drastically improved plus/minus, two areas he was able to work on under Boudreau.
The former Calder Trophy nominee also touched on his defensive partner in Luke Schenn, and how he helped Hughes stabilize his defensive zone coverage.
Schenn has one year remaining on his two-year, $1.7 million contract.
The second group’s availability ended with a heavy focus on Pettersson, who spoke on his up-and-down season. Despite rumours of a nagging wrist injury early on in the year, Pettersson made sure to be quite blunt on his poor first-half performance, admitting that his late training camp start and higher expectations affected his confidence.
Fortunately, like many of his teammates, Pettersson was able to rediscover his scoring touch under Boudreau, notching 56 of his 68 points between December 6th and April 29th.