In the Daily News, Pat Leonard spoke with Rangers President and GM Glen Sather who said that “the game has changed” and that is a big reason why he fired John Tortorella.
Sather said that dump and chase hockey needs to evolve and that when you watch the Bruins and Blackhawks, “there’s not a hell of a lot of dump-ins.” He says that there is a lot of puck control, hanging onto pucks and moving without the puck to create chances.
He said, “There’s a lot of things that are done differently than what we were doing. So you have to look at the style of play. That had a lot to do with it.”
Sather said it’s his job to know when things aren’t going right and that he doesn’t need players or the people that work for him to point it out.
Adam Rotter: The Rangers issues with scoring are not new and this has definitely been a topic of conversation between Sather and Tortorella before. I don’t doubt that Tortorella wanted to open things up, but when he saw what he had in this shortened season he coached the way that he felt would give his team the best chance to win. They made the playoffs, won a round and were beaten by a much better team that may end up winning the Stanley Cup.
I felt that John Tortorella would have this coming season to try and present a more open style of hockey and try out an evolved system in training camp. Maybe that idea was presented to Sather, maybe it has been in the past and Sather knew that if things started slow and the Rangers were struggling on defense Tortorella would revert back to his old ways. We don’t know. All we know is that John Tortorella is out and Alain Vigneault’s idea of offense fits with what Glen Sather thinks.
According to the Wall Street Journal, City Council speaker Christine Quinn is favoring legislation that would create a new Penn Station and calling for a ten-year limit on Madison Square Garden operating where it currently resides.
Quinn is planning a commission that will look into a new residence for the building.
MSG has applied to have an indefinite renewal of their permit, while the City planning commission struck a compromise that called for a 15-year limit and allow MSG to renew indefinitely if they can come to terms with the LIRR, NJ Transit and Amtrak on adding more stairs, elevators and escalators to Penn Station.
Quinn said that she would eliminate the clause that would allow MSG to renew indefinitely.
There have been hearings about the permit that have included testimony from civic groups, MSG executives and Spike Lee.
In a letter written to MSG President Hank Ratner, Quinn wrote “given the uniqueness of the site, with the arena sitting above the most heavily trafficked transit hub in the City, as well as the nation, a term for the permit is warranted,”
Capital NY says that MSG’s 50 year permit to operate where it currently is expires this year.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers should make Mark Messier the head coach of the Wolf Pack and allow him to gain experience running and managing his own bench so that he could one day be a more formidable candidate to become a head coach at the NHL level.
Brooks says that the team could make Ken Gernander an associate coach but he doesn’t specify whether that would be with the Rangers or the Wolf Pack.
By coaching in the AHL Messier would allow himself to expand the pool of potential teams that would hire him as the two teams who have had interest in him coaching are the teams that he has deep rooted history with and long term connections.
Brooks writes that Messier needs to understand that it wasn’t he who was passed over for the job, but that it was his lack of experience and resume in coaching that was.
Elliotte Friedman wonders at CBC what the future holds for Messier and if he will take over for Sather as GM when Sather retires. Friedman says that it would be tough for Alain Vigneault to report to Messier since Messier wanted his job.
Adam Rotter: If Mark Messier truly wants to be a head coach the then this is the route he should take. The question is if Messier wants to be a head coach at the NHL level or if he wanted to coach the Rangers at this point in time. Messier can continue to work in management, eventually become the President of the team and in essence control the direction of the organization.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that there is not yet any indication of what Mark Messier will do and whether he will stay in his position as Special Assistant to Glen Sather.
The Rangers head coaching job, along with President of the Toronto Maple Leafs, are believed to be the only two positions in hockey that Gretzky would consider at this time.
Speaking yesterday at a golf event, Gretzky told the CP that he never spoke with the Rangers and feels flattered when people mention his name for positions like this.
Gretzky said that he is enjoying his life right now, which is away from hockey, and that one day maybe he will return to the game.
THIS SECTION is all about Gretzky and the idea of him becoming head coach.
According to Larry Brooks, the Rangers will announce Alain Vigneault as head coach in a press conference this Friday at Radio City Music Hall.
MSG is closed for the summer to undergo renovations and the MSG Company owns Radio City Music Hall.
In his first comments since John Tortorella was fired as head coach, Henrik Lundqvist told the NY Post that contrary to what is believed, he didn’t have a role in the Rangers decision to change coaches.
Lundqvist said, It’s not my call who the coach should be for the New York Rangers.“I would never put pressure on the management on decisions like that. I’m just a player. My focus is to play the game and do the best I can on the ice. Whatever [happens] off the ice, I leave to our great staff we have working for this club.”
He added that he had a great relationship with John Tortorella and loved how Torts challenged him.
In the Philly Inquirer, Sam Carchidi writes that if the Rangers use their second compliance buyout on Brad Richards, the Philadelphia Flyers would have big interest in bringing in Richards.
The Flyers have told Danny Briere, 36, that they will buy him out to free themselves of his $6.5 million cap hit and Carchidi wonders if the Rangers would have interest in Briere when he becomes a free agent.
Briere, Carchidi notes, has been slowed by injuries the past two years.
He had only 6 goals and 10 assists in 34 games for the Flyers this season.
The Rangers are undecided on a buyout for Richards. Carchidi notes that Briere wants to stay close to the Philly area.
Adam Rotter: I would love to see the Rangers add Briere. They have had their issues with him in the past, but that hasn’t stopped Glen Sather from bringing in those players before. They have seen him enough of him during his time in Philadelphia, and in Buffalo, to know what he is capable of. They wouldn’t be making a long-term investment in him and Briere is still chasing a Stanley Cup. He could help mentor fellow French-Canadian center Derick Brassard and instantly help the Rangers power play. Not to mention that Briere is dynamite once the playoffs start.
The question is if the team will keep Richards which seems to be a 50/50 proposition at this point.
According to Pierre LeBrun, at ESPN.com, Glen Sather will meet with Henrik Lundqvist’s agent, Don Meehan, when Meehan is in the NY area the week of the NHL draft.
It is at that point that the two are going to start talking about a contract extension for Lundqvist.
LeBrun notes that when it comes to Lundqvist, “that’s going to be an expensive re-sign.”
The draft takes place on June 30 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
THIS SECTION is all about Lundqvist’s future.
On Insider Trading last night on TSN, Bob McKenzie said that it is going to be big money for the Rangers to get Lundqvist to sign a contract extension.
He notes that Lundqvist likely views himself in the same way that Evgeni Malkin did, franchise player, but the Rangers are likely to counter his high demands by saying that any money they give to him is money that they can’t spend on his defensemen and players to play in front of him.
McKenzie adds “by the same token, I think they understand his value so it’s going to be an interesting and fascinating dynamic to see how high the metre goes.”
According to Larry Brooks in the NY Post, Alain Vigneault may bring Newell Brown to the Rangers as an assistant coach.
Brown was an assistant with Vigneault in Vancouver since 2010 and ran their power play.
Brown says, as Brooks notes, that 77% of PP goals are scored when there are two right handed shots on the ice.
Brooks says that over 50% of the Rangers PP goals came when there were two right handed shots, mostly Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan, were on the ice.
For more on Brown, CLICK HERE.
Brooks notes that former Columbus coach Scott Arniel is a long-time friend of Vigneault and also a potential addition to the coaching staff. Arniel is under contract to the Canucks, coaching their AHL team and believed to be one of the final four candidates to replace Vigneault in Vancouver.
Arniel coached Rick Nash, Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard and John Moore while the head coach in Columbus. He and Brassard didn’t always have the strongest relationship.
According to Pierre LeBrun, at ESPN.com, John Tortorella impressed the Canucks during his first interview and is one of the final four candidates to replace Alain Vigneault, along with John Stevens, Scott Arniel and Lindy Ruff.
Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post that along with Tortorella and Stevens, Jacques Martin is the candidate with the best chance to get the job.
Elliotte Friedman wrote at CBC earlier this week that most of Tortorella’s first meeting with Canucks GM Mike Gillis was about dealing with the media and how the Canucks would not want the kind of attitude and presence he had with the Rangers.
LeBrun notes that what appeals to the Canucks about Torotrella is his intensity and the accountability he demands from every player.