Recap: Alain Vigneault’s Comments Today

Alain Vigneault met with the media today after the Rangers practiced, via Carp from Rangers Report:

  • On seeing Derek Stepan, “it was my first time seeing him in a practice, I thought he looked real good. I expected it. He wasn’t in Banff and he wasn’t on the trip so I thought he would be fresher than the other guys after 4 games in five nights. I expected him to be fresher and for a first practice with his teammates he looked sharp.”
  • On Chris Kreider, Jeser Fast and JT Miller “I thought Chris had a good camp but at the end of the day and made the assessments on who should start here and with what role, we came to the conclusion that he needs to play. As much as I believe he is real close and can play in the NHL, he needs to play big minutes and good minutes and I felt that with this group I wouldn’t be able to give him those minutes. That being said, we had some decisions to make and when I looked at Fast, I liked his hockey smart and skill level. Being a right-hander and Ryan not being here at the start I thought it was a good fit. Miller just got better as camp went on. He did good things offensively, he has work to do, but he has a foot in the door and we will see how he does in the battle to stay in the top 12 forwards.”

  • On Brad Richards on the wing, “I don’t think Ryan is far away. With Derek coming back we have 5 NHL centers and centers can usually play more than one position and that is probably moving forward that we will use one of those guys on the wing. I think Brad is comfortable at any position, he is experienced and just wants to contribute. There is a good chance that Nasher will be with us at the next practice and we will have Brad, Derek and Rick on a line together.”
  • On Ryan Callahan, “He is cleared for contact and taking contact. Conditioning wise he has no issues, he is in incredible shape. The situation is that we are holding him back. He wants to play, he thinks he can play. Our doctors cleared him and I think we need 7-14 days to make sure he is alright and that is in the time frame of the first road trip. If he is going to play it will depend on how he continues to assimilate contact.”
  • Can he end up playing on Thursday, “he has tried everything. It’s a real safe bet that he won’t be there.”
  • On Justin Falk, “that was challenging to tell you the truth. The player who really caught our attention was Conor Allen. He, I wasn’t in Traverse City but he didn’t really catch attention btu as soon as he stepped on the ice with us he was really good. Good stick, good percentage plays. Basically the job we had available is that seventh spot and he is a young guy that needs to play. Hartford is an hour and a half away and is an easy call up if we need him. Stu Bickel I thought played real well, brought an edge to his game and got better as camp went along. The decision came down to me being new to the organization, management thought that Stu hadn’t played much and he didn’t play much during the lockout and needed ot play. He goes down and plays and if we need him, it’s not far away. He plays with some jam and grip. Justin’s camp was alright. There is room for improvement and he will battle for a spot in the regular lineup.”
  • On Darroll Powe, “he did everything he could do, everything a player can do. Come into camp in shape, put his best game on the ice and we just felt like some of those younger players had a little bit more upside as far as talent and skill. That is how we will start. On a selfish note we will hope that Darroll clears waivers and goes to Hartford. If he doesn’t we wish him the best of luck. We are hoping to be selfish that he clears and will be able to help down the road.”
  • ON wanting kids to make the team, “talent has no age but it’s not about kids or youth, it’s about who can help us win games. We felt, with what we saw in camp, that both Fast and Miller had brought something as far as skill and potential that probably surpassed a little bit of Powe but could also become really good and different assets to the team. An Arron Asham is a physical and older player that brings a different dimension that is important to have. We will start with 15 forwards, if we count Cally and Hags, and the players will sort it out for us.”
  • Will Hagelin head to LTIR, “I will say that is an option.”