During the Rangers playoff run last year, John Tortorella was quick to temper the thoughts of Kreider stepping into the Rangers lineup this season and playing a major offensive role. Tortorella spoke about how he wanted Kreider to go through the process and not miss any steps as he learns to be a pro.
During a meeting with the media today, Tortorella said that Kreider was battling for a spot on the roster, but did say that the players the Rangers have in training camp right now are the ones that he wants to start the season with.
Tortorella added that it isn’t just the defensive part of the game that he wants to see Kreider improve with, “It’s his whole game. He is still just a kid that came in and played some really good games and was god-awful in some games. That is what you expect out of a kid. We want him to work at all parts of his game and we will see where it goes from there. He has the gift of skating, he is a big strong kid. You can’t hurt the team defensively. I think he has practiced very well, especially today.”
He added that he doesn’t believe that Kreider is under the impression that he already has a job with the Rangers.
Kreider has maintained that his only goal is to make himself into a better player.
Adam Rotter: John Tortorella’s main concern Kreider not be a defensive liability out on the ice, especially this season with every game meaning so much. Kreider provided a nice jolt in the playoffs last year and scored some timely goals, but the role that he had last year now belongs to Rick Nash. With the Rangers recent history of developing players, I trust them to make the right decision when it comes to Kreider