Slowly but surely, Jeff Gorton is making this HIS team
The Rangers are different. Although their roster is still very similar to last season, the organizational structure is being revamped. Since Glen Sather has stepped down, much of the attention has been on what new GM, Jeff Gorton has done with the roster. Aside from signing Jarret Stoll, his hand was forced in trading Cam Talbot and Carl Hagelin.
Even if Glen Sather was still acting as GM, he would have flipped Talbot at the draft because of his impending UFA status next season. Same with Carl Hagelin, who was a cap casualty in order to re-sign Derek Stepan. As far as the roster goes, Stoll and Viktor Stalberg are probably two moves you can really pinpoint as transactions Gorton opted to do.
For the most part, these are minor roster moves and the core of the Rangers in essence is unchanged from last season. Where Gorton has really started to make the Rangers his team is in management.
It started quietly when longtime Director of European Scouting, Anders Hedberg was removed from the Rangers website. We soon learned that Gorton had hired Steve Greeley as Assistant Director of Player Personnel and Nickolai Bobrov as Director of European Scouting this past week.
Greeley left his position with Boston University as an assistant coach to join the Blueshirts. He will take his recruiting skills and continue the Rangers desire to keep bringing in kids from the College Hockey scene in Boston (Kreider, Hayes, etc…)
As for Bobrov, he was the North American representative for Kontinental Hockey League’s SKA St. Petersburg before joining the Rangers. His familiarity with the KHL and prior NHL experience (served as a video coaching Boston) should help find more talent like Pavel Buchnevich in the future.
According to the website, Aftonbladet.se Hedberg was completely surprised. When he asked why, he was told the Rangers are going in a different direction. Yes, they are…Jeff Gorton’s Direction.
Yesterday, Gorton took another major step by bringing in former Rangers captain, Chris Drury as a “mentor”. Drury will act as the Director of Player Development and it is a role that Gorton is happy to have him in.
[su_quote cite=”Jim Cerny” url=”https://www.blueshirtsunited.com/article/former-rangers-captain-looks-forward-role-mentor”]”There’s an obvious attraction to someone like Chris when you look at his pedigree as an NHL player, as someone who has won at every level, that’s been a captain–there’s such a big resume here,” explained Gorton after the hiring was announced. “We think he can add so much to our staff and organization.” [/su_quote]
Gorton cited that drafting, which he addressed earlier and developing are the biggest keys to success. He believes that Drury will have an even greater impact than Adam Graves who currently works to develop Rangers players but focuses much on community relations. As he told BlueshirtsUnited.com, “It’s a smart move for us to spend as much time and effort in development. Adam Graves is extremely good at it, but I feel like adding another person to help with that is important. And Chris isn’t just another person. He’s one who’s had a lot of success and carried himself really well. I’m really excited to have Chris come back to the Rangers.”
So in one short summer, Jeff Gorton has laid the foundation for what the Rangers will be under him. By hiring Greeley, Bobrov and Drury he has essentially laid the foundation of the Rangers future. A future that will be less Satherlike and more Gortonesque.