Yesterday was breakup day for the Rangers and to me the most interesting quotes came from the free agents (via Blueshirts United)…
Brandon Prust (UFA)…
“I love it here and we have a good thing going and a good group of guys and a great organization, so I would love to be back. Obviously money is a factor, but it’s not the biggest factor for me. Being a big part of a winning team, and that’s something we have here, is what I want.”
…pretty much exactly what I expected and wanted to hear from Prust who I’d love to see back.
Speaking of Prust, Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record reports that the rugged winger will undergo surgery to repair a tendon in his finger, which he injured fighting the Senators’ Zenon Konopka on Jan. 12.
…had to figure he had some type of injury as I thought he was a shell of his former self for most of the year and into the playoffs.
Back to the free agent quotes, with Mats Zuccarello (RFA) saying…
“I’d love to stay, but at the same time I need to think about how much I would play and what is best for me. I know I don’t want to do this next season the same way. I love playing in New York and I love the players, but I need to play.”
…i just can’t see a scenario in which he’s back next season. He wants to play and I don’t think there’s a spot for him on the roster.
Here are Prust and Zuccarello’s entire interviews…
To watch at NHL.com, click here.
Ruslan Fedotenko (UFA) notes that he’d like to come back, but needs to see what direction the team goes and what direction he wants to go.
…i can live without Fedotenko next year, but he would be missed in the playoffs. Might be worth trying to bring him back just for that reason.
For info on Marian Gaborik’s injury and assistant coach Mike Sullivan’s future, click the “Read More” tab below.
While he’s not a free agent, Assistant Coach Mike Sullivan addressed his future…
“Do I have aspirations to be a head coach? Sure I do. I think we all do that are in this business. And I have been there before. But I am in a great situation here, and have a great relationship with Torts and the management team. That’s where my mindset is.”
…i would have thought for sure Sullivan was gone, but after reading this quote I’m not so sure.
John Tortorella says he won’t stand in Sullivan’s way if he wants to pursue a head coach position.
On the injury front Steve Zipay at Newsday wonders if Marian Gaborik might have been playing with an injured shoulder after this quote from the Rangers sniper when asked about whether he will need medical treatment this offseason…
“I don’t want to talk about it. I’ll know in a few days.”
…with the way Gaborik played during the playoffs this isn’t all that shocking. Hate to make excuses for the guy, but if you’re playing with a bum shoulder, kind of hard to make an impact.
Zipay also reports that Brandon Dubinsky’s high ankle sprain that kept him out of 11 playoff games needs six to eight weeks of treatment and rest to fully heal.
Here’s Dubinsky on his disappointing season…
“I took a step backward this year. I have to take two steps forward next season.”
…your guess is as good as mine as far as what happened to Dubinsky this season. Just have to hope he takes a look in the mirror this offseason and comes back better than ever next year.
Tortorella addressed Michael Sauer’s concussion issue (via Journal News)…
“It’s a huge question mark. I just saw Michael today for the first time in months. I don’t have a lot of updates, but he’s certainly not where he needs to be to start working out.”
Torts adds that the club can’t count on Sauer being ready next season.
…think about how much better the Rangers would have been in the playoffs with Sauer in there. Girardi and McD would have been so much fresher, with the defense way more formidable and tough. Big reason the Rangers aren’t in the Stanley Cup Finals right now.
Finally, Tortorella discussed free agency and the possibility of bringing in the wrong piece (via Journal News)…
“Yeah, you’re always thinking about that, but you have to be really careful about ruling people out, too. Sometimes, when you think it’s a really good piece, and he may not exactly fit in all the little things you do, you can teach him those things along the way if he really brings you something else. You don’t want to box yourself in here.”
…free agency is always a crap shoot. Guy may look perfect on paper for the Rangers, but you never know how he’s going to perform until he finally straps the equipment on. Luckily for the Rangers, free agency has been working out quite well recently.
Here’s the rest of Tortorella break-up day interview…