Rangers address captaincy and team at Town Hall (full recap)
The New York Rangers Roundtable was streamed and hosted by MSG’s John Giannone. Team President John Davidson, GM Jeff Gorton, and head coach David Quinn fielded a range of questions about the team and here are some highlights.
On Draft Lottery and Kaapo Kakko:
Jeff Gorton said his phone started buzzing off the hook and one of the buzzes came from goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
David Quinn said that Kakko looks like an NHLer in his uniform, which isn’t something you normally see with an 18 year old.
John Davidson talked about culture and that is where leadership will come from. Jeff Gorton talked about looking at players that have that and some of the young players they have already shown some of that.
John Giannone did segue to Mika when discussing leaders. David Quinn lauded his work ethic and how he’s taken players under his wing like Lias Andersson.
On The Captaincy
JD said it’s about the right player at the right time. He did say that there was a concern it could be an unnecessary burden. He doesn’t want to give someone the C and then have to take it away if it’s too much of weight on their shoulders. JD did say that they discussed it heavily.
David Quinn just said Panarin is not entitled, he wants to be coached, he is team driven, and he wants to win a Stanley Cup here. Quinn stressed, if you think you love him now wait till you see him during the season.
JD said all the right things about Panarin and Gorton added a little story how after Panarin’s PP goal during the preseason, Kreider looked at him on the bench and said “You’re Gross!”. For those of you without young kids, that was meant in a good way Gorton stressed.
Buchnevich, RFA’s and Kids
Quinn couldn’t say enough about how much Buchnevich has changed, especially his work ethic from last camp. JD said that both RFA’s Lemieux and DeAngelo have been great and with the right attitudes since signing. Lastly, JD did say Chytil and Kravtsov being sent down isn’t a death sentence and he really likes where the organization is.
Gorton did say cutting players and sending them down is very tough. Quinn reiterated that why have an AHL if the team can’t send down a 19 and 20 year old, then why have the league.
JD said Fox is very mature for his age and he was looking out for some of the other young players. Quinn mentioned he had a lot of familiarity with Fox from coaching against him in the NCAA. Quinn stressed he is smart, strong, and quick. All Quinn’s questions were answered quickly at Traverse City and in camp.
Gorton said that Trouba checked a lot of boxes including leadership. He is looking forward to the physical presence he will bring to the team. JD then gave Jeff a ton of credit for getting both Fox and Trouba. The crowd applauded and Gorton thanked JD and everyone.
Quinn on his first opening night
“I am the head coach of the New York Bleeping Rangers” is what went through his mind. Needless to say the crowd roared.
JD on coming back
JD said he wasn’t born in NY but he’s a New Yorker, he feels it. He said his whole family will be there tomorrow. In discussing his time as a player and broadcaster he mentioned how Sam Rosen is a treasure not only to the Rangers but the City.
Brendan Lemieux: Quinn said we are just scratching the surface with Lemieux. Not a top 6 guy but he will show people what he can do and the other team hates him. Gorton called him a throwback and he knew the team needed someone like him. Quinn came back and said, he’s one of those players that agitates both teams to a lot of laughter.
Goalies: Quinn said Hank is the face of the franchise but a reduced workload will help him and the team. Georgiev will be given more games and with Shesterkin in Hartford the team is in good shape. Gorton on Shesterkin said that he saw in Traverse City that he was still adjusting to the smaller rinks.
On Expansion Draft: Gorton said they have discussed it but two years is a long ways away. He said 1st and 2nd year players are exempt and they have a lot of them. JD said the team is doing projections but not much else they can do.
On Cap: Gorton said they do mock scenarios all the time about where the cap is going. Looking at current contracts and deciding where they are going with that.
Expectations: Quinn said they are expecting to make the playoffs. Once you get in, anything can happen.