Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/11/13 at 02:02 PM ET
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
With Tortorella you might get Vigneault 2.0 with a heavy reliance on great goaltending, good defence and a struggle to score goals. The Rangers were 10th in offence and 23rd on the power play during the regular season and a paltry 4-for-44 on the power play in the playoffs. But you also get a snap to attention from a guy who guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup championship in 2003-04. That carries cache, even though Torotella rubbed many Rangers the wrong way and you can just imagine how Henrik and Daniel Sedin would react to that approach. They’ll probably call Henrik Lundqvist for a heads-up.
However, this could be another fact-finding mission for both parties. Tortorella knows Ryan Kesler from the Team USA program at the 2010 Olympics, but he’s probably anxious to learn how Gillis plans to make his club better while already being at the salary cap ceiling for next season with seven players to still sign to flush out the roster. Is Gillis going to trade Keith Ballard? Can he move Roberto Luongo? What about Alex Edler? What about employing a more up-tempo approach? What about assistant coaches?
Gillis will be just as curious. Can Tortorella rule with an iron fist and not turn off a veteran core than doesn’t believe it needs somebody to come in and rattle the chains? Would he be a lockerroom presence or allow players to police themselves? Can he handle a hockey-mad market? Can he handle a core of veterans who savour having considerable clout in the room?
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