Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Talking With the Ranger Coaches

From Jim Cerny at Rink Rap:

- Of a possible training camp holdout by restricted free agent center Brandon Dubinsky, Torts said, “This happens, and I’m not sure where this is going to go…it’s not like we hold grudges….it’s not going to affect our camp. We are going to go about our business as a team as we’re supposed to.”

- Tortorella explained that he has spoken twice already with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist about limiting the number of games he starts this season. And Torts emphasized that this decision was not based solely on the fact that Henrik will also be taking part in the Olympics, tending goal for Sweden come February. “Even if it was not an Olympic year, I think we need to manage (his minutes) better. I’m not sure if Hank likes that….” Torts also said, “You look at some of the goalies that ended up in the Top Four in the playoffs and look at how many games they played…Hank will not play the amount of games he played last year. How many he does play, I don’t know….He loves to compete and I love him for that. But we need to manage that better.”

- The Rangers bench boss also discussed how he reached out to team captain Chris Drury several times this summer in an attempt to forge a stronger bond between the two. He said that Drury was receptive, and that he believes they are on the right track. “I wanted to get to know him. I wanted him to get to know me because he is the captain of this hockey club. I think he is beginning to feel more comfortable with me, and I feel more comfortable with him.” Tortorella also mentioned that he spoke to 3 or 4 other players this summer on a regular basis, though he refused to divulge any names.

Click here for more on Tortorella. Our good friend also spoke with Jim Schoenfeld:

When Tortorella assumed the Rangers’ head coaching duties last February, Schoenfeld joined him on the ice for practices and on the bench during games, while continuing in his front-office role. Both men believed at the time that Schoenfeld would relinquish his assistant coaching duties once the 2008-09 season was over.

However, after bringing Sullivan, his long-time assistant in Tampa Bay, into the Rangers’ fold this summer, Tortorella said he talked to Schoenfeld about the possibility of continuing in his dual role as both a team executive, working with President and General Manager Glen Sather, and assistant coach.

“I first wanted to make sure it was OK with Glen and Jimmy,” said Tortorella. “I thought (Schoenfeld) did such a great job last year in some of his individual teaching and his relationships with the players.”

Schoenfeld agreed to serve as an assistant coach this year as long as that would not interfere with his managerial duties. As such, Sather signed off on a plan that will see Schoenfeld fulfill all the duties of an assistant coach, but he will not be behind the bench with Tortorella and Sullivan during games.

Click here for more on Schoeny.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: jim+schoenfeld, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.