Basically, the two veteran coaches have been traded for each other. An oddity. Has that ever happened before? Speaking of irony, Lindy Ruff will coach the Stars. How will that work? Can you imagine this day coming back in 1999? After the whole No Goal saga. Buffalo resident Brian Sanborn devoted a show to it, appropriately titled “The No Goal Sports Show.”
I guess it’s just a weird June. There’s no other way to describe it. Tortorella in Vancouver with that press is even scarier. It makes Manhattan seem tame. His predecessor/replacement Vigneault coached there and Montreal. So, he should be fine here. Plus he is more media friendly. So, they’ll love him and probably already do. He doesn’t have to win a game to earn that.
Vigneault has already toured the radio airwaves appearing on the Rangers home ESPN and then WFAN. We heard how much he likes the roster, referring to it as a very good team. The pulse on a more aggressive system that should allow defensemen to jump into the rush more freely.
Tortorella taught our core well and developed a young nucleus. Now, he’ll take over the Canucks, who are a veteran team led by The Sedins. When asked who were the best players he coached, Vigneault chose them without hesitation. He didn’t disrespect Roberto Luongo, who probably finally gets moved this summer. It’ll be a luxury for Tortorella to have Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who are easily the best players he’ll coach. Marian Gaborik was pretty good and Rick Nash showed flashes. If you polled him, he’d probably still choose Brad Richards, who won a Conn Smythe when they teamed to win in Tampa. He’ll also get to coach Ryan Kesler.
I wonder if he’ll make better use out of Vigneault’s former defense, which boasts Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler and power play quarterback Jason Garrison along with Dan Hamhuis. That quartet is more offensive minded than the Rangers’ top four of Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal. Defensively, give the edge to the Blueshirts. Though Vigneault has plenty of work ahead to harness the talent out of the inconsistent Del Zotto.
What about free agents? The Canucks have more unrestricted’s including NY Puck target Max Lapierre, Mason Raymond and Derek Roy. The Rangers are mainly focused on re-signing key RFA’s Carl Hagelin, McDonagh and Derek Stepan. Glen Sather’s goal is to get Henrik Lundqvist done. He’ll also see if he can bring back Ryane Clowe and Mats Zuccarello. John Moore is a Group II and Steve Eminger is a UFA.
It’ll be intriguing to follow both teams. Especially the coaches.