Rangers facing Hurricanes ‘just another series’ for Vincent Trocheck

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Good luck trying to get Vincent Trocheck to take the bait that the upcoming Eastern Conference Second Round is more important to the New York Rangers center because he’ll be playing against his former team, the Carolina Hurricanes.

When pressed on the subject following practice Thursday, Trocheck couldn’t have looked nor acted more non-plussed.

“It’s a playoff series that we need to get past to get to our goal to win the Stanley Cup,” Trocheck responded matter-of-factly on the topic. “It’s just another series.”

The Rangers, who signed Trocheck to a seven-year, $39.375 million contract on July 13, 2022, are the 30-year-old’s third NHL team. He also played parts of eight seasons with the Florida Panthers and three with the Hurricanes.

“I’ve played against these guys a bunch of times already since leaving,” Trocheck explained. “And playing against former teams isn’t something that’s new to me. I played with Carolina against Florida a bunch of times. It just happens in this league if you move from team to team.”

Related: Dave Maloney says Rangers must handle Hurricanes ‘relentless pace’

Vincent Trocheck downplays playing against former team with Rangers in 2nd-round of playoffs

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers
Vincent Trocheck faces off for the Carolina Hurricanes against the New York Rangers in 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs — Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

As he is in New York, Trocheck was a very popular player in Carolina. But he’s had greater success since signing with the Rangers, espcially this season when he played in the NHL All-Star Game and established an NHL career-high with 77 points (25 goals, 52 assists).

He’s continued that impressive play into the postseason, where he’s scored a goal in three straight games and was second on the Rangers with six points in a four-game sweep against the Washington Capitals in the first round. He also won a whopping 72 percent of his face-offs in that series win.

Trocheck was on the losing side the last time these teams played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Back in 2022, he led the Hurricanes with three goals but they lost in seven games to the Rangers.

“It was a good series. Tough, hard fought,” Trocheck recalled. “It was a tough battle but it’s two completely different teams now. People keep trying to compare the two series and it’s two completely different teams. … [Carolina has] same coach lot of the same players, but there are a lot of new players since I was there.

“But, yeah, they still play the same style of hockey.”

To his point about these being two different series, Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said Wednesday the team will not be watching video from that 2022 series to prepare for this one.

And by the sound of his takes Thursday, that suits Trocheck just fine. Don’t look back. Just look ahead.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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