Larry Brooks caught up with Rangers coach John Tortorella and found some interesting stuff.
For instance, veterans are not a lock to make the team out of camp.
Assuming this is true, this is a huge departure for a team that loves to talk about a youth movement but has never been willing to support one. But it’s interesting coming from Tortorella, who I consider to be more of a veteran guy than a mentor guy. I’ve always felt that given a choice, Tortorella would rather roll with experience than youth. But I guess given the quality of the experience on the Rangers, he’s now open to the idea of younger players.
Brooks also asked Tortorella about the Rangers awful powerplay and while he agreed it’s bad and needs to be fixed, he sounds unsure of exactly how to fix it:
We need a quarterback. I’m talking about someone who has poise and creativity, can pass and shoot and get the puck through. And he has to be able to settle things down…We have to find out whether we have a quarterback here. Right now, I’m not sure, but I’m not ruling out [Wade] Redden and I’m not ruling out [Michal] Rozsival, either.
If it turns out Rozsival and Redden can run a powerplay, I think a lot of people are going to be awfully upset the two spent an entire season acting like they couldn’t. Although, I would certainly be impressed by their acting ability.
Speaking of the Rangers youth movement, Nigel Dawes, one of the victims of said movement, has been claimed by the Flames. I was never knocked out by his game, but he’s got a great build — almost like a linebacker. He’s not as tall (or talented) as Jarome Iginla, but he might be as broad. I’m wondering if the Flames are wondering if they can make Dawes more Iginla-esque. Of course, that experiment didn’t really work out with Todd Bertuzzi, but maybe the Flames figured out what went wrong there. Other than that Bertuzzi was old.