During his meeting with the media today, John Tortorella fielded questions about how the Rangers have changed since bringing in Mats Zuccarello, Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and John Moore around the trade deadline.
Tortorella said that while he has always felt good about the team, the lack of depth in the middle of the lineup was not allowing the Rangers to play 60 minute games.
Tortorella then said that the Rangers better play after the deadline was not an indictment of Marian Gaborik or the relationship that the two of them had. He called Gaborik a “hell of a player,” who helped Columbus nearly make the playoffs and is a player who the Rangers miss in a lot of situations.
He said that making any accusations about the relationship between Gaborik and Tortorella is “wrong and unfair” to both of them and that the trade was made because the Rangers picked up players who helped solidify the middle of the lineup.
On Sportsnet Radio, Columbus President John Davidson talked about how the Marian Gaborik trade developed.
JD said that the two sides were talking and that when the topic switched to Gaborik, the Rangers said that they wouldn’t move him unless they got the right package in return.
After some discussion, JD said that the two sides agreed on a package that worked for both teams. JD said that he thinks it is a trade that will be good for both the Rangers and Blue Jackets.
JD also said that he was happy that the former Columbus players were able to make such an immediate impact with the Rangers last night.
Portzline notes that Gaborik was skating with Artem Anisimov and Vinny Prospal at their morning skate.
On a conference call yesterday, Gaborik said (via Ranger Rants) that he wasn’t having fun this season and that he doesn’t think the entire team was having fun.
On his relationship with John Tortorella, Gaborik said “There was nothing there for me. It was nothing personal. Sometimes we didn’t see eye-to-eye but that’s it. That’s hockey. Everybody goes through stuff like that with their coaches.”
He also said that he spoke with Vinny Prospal, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov about moving to Columbus
The second part translates to “all the best”
7:13PM: In his pre-game press conference, John Tortorella said that he and the team will miss Gaborik and that he expects Gaborik to “come alive”
He said that no matter what is written or said, he likes Gaborik and the two had a good relationship.
Tortorella continued to say that he respects Gaborik, saw him grow as a player and firmly believes that he will start scoring for Columbus.
On Sportsnet, Jeff Marek, John Shannon and Brad May did a segment on whether Marian Gaborik is in play at the trade deadline.
Marek asked Shannon if he thought Gaborik was in play and Shannon said “no…..next question. Listen….$7.5 million, that is the reason. The other thing is that I know they aren’t scoring any goals in NY and I know that Marian Gaborik has under performed, but remember, this is a defense first team with John Tortorella running it and there is a lot more pressure on Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash to score goals. I don’t blame Gaborik at all for anything that has happened there, in fact what they should try to do is let him loose and let him go into the offensive zone.”
May said “This is a player with great offensive instincts that you can’t teach. When you are playing defense and that is your first mandate when back in the offensive zone, you are a lot slower. You are not anticipating, you are not cheating to those openings. When you are focusing on defense first you are not as quick going the other way.”
Shannon responded and said “remember, this guy learned the game in a Jacques Lemaire system so it’s not as if it is foreign to him. He can do the job on the defensive side, but this is a 40 goal scorer. That is talent that you can’t get rid of and they love it at Madison Square Garden. I just don’t see him going anywhere.”
May said “there is only one place, and I am making this up, the San Jose Sharks because of the rumors that Ryan Clowe, who would fit great with the Rangers, and Dan Boyle. If he did that it would be a package trade. If I was a GM I would want Marian Gaborik, but I would want a defenseman coming with him. Boyle and Clowe to NY.”
Shannon said “in the cap world that is dollar for dollar and actually makes some sense.”
THIS SECTION is all about the Rangers trading Gaborik.
In the Ottawa Sun, Bruce Garrioch writes that while the Rangers are listening to offers for Marian Gaborik for a move at the trade deadline, the Rangers might be better off waiting to trade Gaborik until the offseason.
THIS SECTION is about the Rangers possibly trade Gaborik.
63% of readers think that Gaborik will be moved before the start of next season.
Adam Rotter: I think that the Rangers best opportunity to try and recoup some of their lost depth is by trading Gaborik in the offseason. They essentially need to look around the league and find a team that is in the same position that they were in last year.
The Rangers are only going to move Gaborik if they can make a “hockey trade” that that helps both teams in the short and long-term. Think Luke Schenn for James van Riemsdyk and not whatever the package the Flames will get for Jarome Iginla which will be based around a rebuild. The Rangers won’t move Gaborik for the sake of moving him and clearing him off their cap.