What We Learned From Today’s Rangers Press Conference

Getty Images

Rangers GM Jeff Gorton spoke with the media earlier today and touched on a few things that will interest all Rangers fans.

Coaching Changes

Gorton said that the decision to fire Alain Vigneault was made over the final week of the season, with Gorton adding that AV deserved to finish out the year with the Blueshirts. “You don’t coach 1000 games in this league without being a good coach.”

In addition to Vigneault being let go, Gorton said that assistants Scott Arniel and Darryl Williams have been relieved of their duties with the team. Arniel and Williams were both with the club over the entirety of Vigneault’s tenure in New York, coming along with their head coach from Vancouver in the summer of 2013.

Gorton said that he has a list of roughly ten or so coaches that he wants to speak with, and that some have already contacted the Rangers for meetings. Included in people Gorton wants to speak with is Lindy Ruff, who remains from Vigneault’s coaching staff from the 2017-18 season.

The Rangers are going to be “looking for highly qualified individuals” to lead the team into the future, but Gorton added that there would be no set timeline for a coach to be hired.

For a list of potential replacements, click here.

Captaincy

Gorton was asked about the potential next captain of the team. He responded by saying that it is a discussion for a different time. Asked what he is looking for in a captain, Gorton responded: “great leadership abilities, ability to go on the ice and perform in a way that others will want to follow.”

Player Updates

World Championships – In terms of players heading off to the World Championships in May, Gorton said that Chris Kreider is the only confirmed player to represent his country, but many others are potentially going to the tournament as well. Mika Zibanejad, Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil and others were all mentioned as potential candidates. Gorton said that he wants guys to continue playing hockey, especially in meaningful games over the offseason.

Injury Updates – As mentioned in the above tweet, Gorton said that both Tony DeAngelo and Kevin Shattenkirk should both be ready for the team’s training camp in September. DeAngelo is recovering from a sprained ankle, while Shattenkirk is recuperating from knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Gorton added that the team is having their medical evaluations tomorrow and that there shouldn’t be any major surprises.

Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson – When asked about the play of last year’s first-round picks Gorton said that he liked what he saw and that “they both showed well and there is obvious talent.” Gorton went on to say that both will need to have a big training camp, perhaps indicating that neither are locks for next year’s roster. “It’s really up to them to tell us when they are [both] ready, and we’ll be able to see that on the ice.”

Additional Roster Moves – Gorton said that he won’t rule anything out when it comes to additional tweaks to the roster before the NHL Draft.

Disappointment – Gorton added that not only was it a disappointing season as a whole, but “there were certain players that I was disappointed with…this is an organization that is very proud, and the opportunity to play in New York and play for the Rangers is special, and I expect players would understand that and play that way.”

You can watch the full press conference here