With free agency just hours away at this point to get the insights of coach John Tortorella this afternoon is invaluable to understanding what the Rangers might be doing starting tomorrow at noon. Tortorella focused mainly on how the club is developing their own players, but would be looking to add during free agency. Jesse Spector of the New York Daily News has key quotes from Tortorella’s session with the media.
On the importance of July 1: “It’s an important day for us, because it’s a day where you have an opportunity to improve your team. I think we’re in a situation with our club right now where I think the past couple of years, we’ve kept our assets, and we’ve developed our assets, and stayed with it here. Then there’s a point of time where you’ve to got to say okay, they’re growing, we’ve got a good solid foundation. Now you start looking at areas where you add, maybe from outside the organization – free agency, trade, whatever it may be. I think we’re there. I really like the way Glen (Sather) has stayed with it, as far as allowing us, with our kids, to grow. I think we have a really strong foundation, and we’re at a different stage of the process. July 1 certainly comes into play.”On optimism about July 1: “I have no idea what’s going to happen. You never know what’s going to. Come July 1, it’s such a frenzy, you never know what’s going to happen. I just know our thinking is we’d like to improve our team in certain areas. Not just one particular area – you never know where it leads to. I know Glen and the whole organization feel, okay, there’s our kids, there’s our foundation, now let’s see where we can add and continue to try to get better. There may be a situation where, you know what, that didn’t work – let’s not just add for the sake of adding, and stay with it. That’s a key, come July 1, because it turns into such a frenzy that you get a little crazy. If it isn’t what we need, and it isn’t the right fit for us right now, then we have to stand pat and continue to develop.”
Those two quotes when combined tell you that Tortorella thinks the team is close to being a serious contender, but does not want to push the process by going after just anyone. The piece the Rangers add has to be the right one. It leaves the impression that Brad Richards is the only guy in the unrestricted market they want to spend on and if they do not get him that Tortorella wants to stick with what he has and move forward.
While my opinion on Brad Richards being a good piece for now, but not the long-term is clear, if the Rangers decide he is the piece they need to be a contender, you just have to hope it works out for the best. It is good to see that they don’t plan, or at least Tortorella doesn’t want them to just revert back purely to the mode of buying answers. It has been the elimination of that idea that for the most part has been the cause for the resurgence in young talent on the roster and hope for the future.
Be sure to check out Jesse's blog for the full transcript that discusses Drury, prospect camp, and what free agents Tortorella would like to bring back.