Coming into training camp, Alain Vigneault let it be known that veterans were initially going to get a longer look as he familiarized himself with his new team.
Which is why we've seen guys like Taylor Pyatt (zero points, -6), Beniot Pouliot (zero points, -3) and Mats Zuccarello (zero points, -2) get top six minutes while JT Miller, Chris Kreider and Oscar Lindberg were sent to the AHL.
Well, it looks like AV has joined the Rangers fan base in finally having enough with his underperforming vets (via Daily News)…
"We have some players right now that are getting a real good opportunity to show what they can do. Some guys are getting top-six forward minutes, power play time, and some guys' production is not where it needs to be to stay in those spots (over) the long term. So they're aware of that. I don't have to mention any names. But (Miller) would be one of the possibilities of moving up there if people don't produce."
Vigneault added that he won't think about filling the vacant 13th forward position until after tonight's Capitals game when the coaching staff will re-evaluate where the team is at.
…if the waiving of Biron and Asham didn't put the Rangers players on notice, that quote just did.
…looks like tonight's game is going to be the last opportunity for the guys I listed above (and maybe a few others) to make a good impression on AV before he decides to move the Rangers forward without them. It finally appears that Vigneault is done evaluating his team and is ready to go to battle with the players who "grabbed it."
…i've got to admit, I was a little worried that the players were beginning to take advantage of AV's laid back, hands off approach, as their lack of attention to detail suggested a perceived absence of accountability, but that's all changed the last two days. Between cutting players loose and now this shot across the bow, Vigneault seems to finally be putting his stamp on this team and I for one am ecstatic.
…now we just have to hope the players respond.
Here's Vigneault's entire post practice presser from yesterday…