: Larry Brooks:
Rangers season at crossroads--already
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10-11-2013, 01:03 PM
After 5 years...
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New York
Originally Posted by
And players who you may not expect to be players in a Torts mold thrived under it:
- Gaborik had his best seasons under Torts
- Nash was on pace for his highest point total in years last season
- Derick Brassard played argueable the most inspired hockey of his career under Torts.
I agree with everything you've written lately.
This is a team that, clearly, needs a drill sergeant to keep them honest. Sure, they kind of quit on Torts at the end, and whined about wanting to open it up offensively and how restrictive he was, but that was really just finding a thematic scapegoat to pin their complaints on in order to hide the fact that what they really didn't like about Torts was that he pushed them.
He knew how to get the best and most out of them. Not just grinders like Cally, but guys like Gaborik too. When he pushed Gaborik and when Gaborik took it and owned it, he had his best seasons. When he refused to work the way Torts demanded, he saw less ice time. This led to us, as outside observers, believing that Torts MAY have been too restrictive and gave us the idea that Torts played favorites in guys like Cally and Boyle and sometimes (in the case of a guy like Boyle) that drove us nuts.
The reality turns out that guys like Cally and Boyle were the guys who were most consistently willing and able to turn in the kind of effort Torts demanded and so they were rewarded with ample opportunities. The rest of the guys on the roster seemed to only be able to turn in the effort Torts wanted sometimes, or not at all.
Two years ago, we were very close to having 100% buy-in to Torts' system and at that point, we were at our peak. We may not have been talented enough to go ALL the way, but Torts certainly knew how to get the most out of us. We didn't go all the way and most of us, and all of the pundits, pointed to a lack of high end offensive players as the reason. We traded for Nash. We let guys go. We ultimately removed about five guys who had almost completely bought into Torts' system and replaced them with Nash and some free agents. Then we traded Rupp for Powe. Rupp might be slow and mostly useless, but he had bought in. He's playing in the NHL in Minnesota, Powe is playing in Hartford. Then we traded Gaborik and brought in even more new faces. Then we canned Torts and hired AV. Then we signed some more FAs. Barely half of he ECF team remains, and yet only 52 regular season games have passed since we were there (48 last season, 4 this season) and of those remaining guys, how many had bought in completely is debatable, but also moot, because we also jettisoned the only figure who had brought any kind of continuous guiding philosophy to the club in years. Either way, the result is that we're right back to being the mercenary Rangers with no heart and no guiding principles.
People always snap at anyone who second guesses the Nash trade. The rhetoric is "we gave up third liners for a superstar" and "you make that trade 10/10 times". I don't know if that's true. We gave up something we had worked extremely hard to develop in that deal, and that's identity. I don't care how good Rick Nash the INDIVIDUAL is. I only care how good my team is. My TEAM was better before that trade.
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