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Tortorella free-agency eve (Part I):

Posted By On June 30, 2011 @ 2:54 pm In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 49 Comments

John Tortorella:

(laughing) “Boy, I didn’t think I’d have to be doing this (carcillo) right now, over the summer. … questions?”

“I don’t think a whole bunch has changed, certainly, from my thinking. I think if you talk to me in a couple of days, with free agency and stuff like that, things might change then. But the philosophy stays the same here. We want to continue to try to infuse youth into our club, continue to develop the assets that we have right now, and when tomorrow, free agency starts, every team in this league is trying to get better. And we’ll go along the same lines.”

On Drury, and whether the decision had to do with the youth, or the knee …

“It’s a little bit of everything. And Chris and I have been very honest with one another right along the way here. Everybody knows what direction we’re trying to go in. We went with our kids. You know, Dru’s Dru and we love the guy. You still have to make decisions based on what you think is best for your hockey club. So, obviously, when you get into a situation where now there’s a buyout, we’re trying to keep ourselves flexible within our cap to look at other things along the way.

“And we wish … I’ll speak for myself, I wish nothing but the best for him. And I hope someday he, well, I’ll just leave it at that right now. That’s just the way this works here, as far as when you’re looking to go in a direction. We’re trying to stay with the plan here. And as Dru has gone along here we’ve felt this is a decision we needed to make for our club.”

On how much thought he’s given to what he’s going to do with the “C”:

“Not a whole bunch right now. I think those decisions will come about come camp. We’ll have our talks. We’ll see. Maybe our team changes even more this summer. You never know what’s going to happen. So I think, come camp, that’s when those type of decisions are going to be made.”

On whether he hopes some of Drury’s leadership has been sprinkled onto the Callahans, Dubinsky, etc.

“I’m not hopeful. It did. I know it did. That’s why this was a hard one. It’s not an easy thing for us, just as it isn’t easy for Dru. Dru gave everything he possibly could give to this organization. But, as an organization you’ve got to continue to evaluate on all things and make decisions based on what’s best for your team and the direction you’re going. And that’s where this goes to. It’s certainly not hope, because I know he’s had an influence on quite a few people in that lockerroom.”

On whether he has a preferred way of picking a captain:

“I have a particular way. I don’t want to discuss it, but I have a particular way.”

On the challenges of all the road games, starting with the trip to Europe:

“I think the last two teams have won the Stanley Cup after starting in Europe (he smiled), Then again …

“There are a number of things going on around our club as we start, with the renovations, Europe. And I know you guys are going to talk to me about that as the season gets going, and rightfully so, because they’re there. But I think the key thing … I think there’s a comfort, or at least a knowing, of I think they understand our routine and they’re routine, they understand our camp routine, our regular-season routine, game, schedule, pregame stuff. That’s not going to change. So we just need to stay within our routines through all of this. There may be some bumps in the road, you know, what’s going to happen with the building and you never know what’s going to happen in Europe. But you just got to roll with it and just stay within our selves and keep our focus. That’s a key thing because there are a number of things that are going to be around our team (Winter Classic, probably “24/7″) in one year. I think we’ll be OK.”

PART II to follow. I asked him about free agency and his expectations and he was also asked about his involvement.


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