As Vigneault grips tighter, dissension grows in the Rangers locker room?

Things are not well in the Rangers locker room. As Alain Vigneault continues to remain stubborn, play favorites, and fails to accept responsibility for some of the team’s shortcomings, player dissension in the room grows.Note: this article is based off an unconfirmed source and my interpretation of what is happening. This is just a blog and we have no sources within the team.

It’s Been Brewing and Only Getting Worse

FTNYR has learned through a unconfirmed source with knowledge of the situation, that some have actually expressed their concerns all the way up to owner, James Dolan. Veterans and team leaders like, Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, and Marc Staal may have all felt the need to speak up. To be fair, it wasn’t all anti-Vigneault talk, some of it was about their dissatisfaction with the team’s decision to trade Derek Stepan. However, his management style and treatment of players was likely brought up.

Younger players aren’t big fans either. They like AV about as much as he likes them. J.T. Miller is a prime example of a player that’s had enough of being benched and bounced around the lineup. He’s especially frustrated with being held to a different level of accountability as some of the vets. What shouldn’t be lost is how he has remained professional throughout, but he’s not a happy. This pattern seems to be continuing with Anthony DeAngelo. The young blue liner was the only roster player acquired in the Derek Stepan trade and has been benched and scratched in favor of veteran d-man, Steven Kampfer.

Photo: Paul J. Bereswill

It seems many of the players have grown tired of how he handles things, including some of his comments to management and the media. I brought this up all the way back in his first season in New York, where after an October romping by San Jose he ripped the players for not being able to learn his system. To AV’s credit, he did take blame last year for the Rangers woeful special teams. Still that was likely the only time in 4 seasons he’s done that. He certainly didn’t take any responsibility for his roster management and on ice deployments in the Rangers collapse versus Ottawa in the playoffs.

Now here we are and things don’t seem to be getting better. After just 4 games the Rangers seem unprepared to play games. This was an issue last season as well. The opposition has scored first and early in every game this year so far. That includes the shutout win versus Montreal, where the Canadiens had 2 goals disallowed in the first period before the Rangers scored late.

The question begs to be asked, has AV lost the room? It may seem ridiculous to say after just 4 games, but this has been stemming since last year.

In last night’s post game the captain, Ryan McDonagh made a noteworthy comment. He was discussing the poor starts and said, “That’s on myself, the other leaders, and the older guys in here have got to find a way to get this group going from the start.” Make of it what you will, but it could also be taken as the players don’t feel that direction will be coming from their coach anytime soon.

The Organization is Backing AV

On January 30th, 2017 of last season, the Rangers extended Alain Vigneault for 2 more years. GM, Jeff Gorton did not want him going into this season as a lame duck coach. As far as the players speaking to Dolan, let’s just say while he may be sympathetic, he appears firmly in AV’s corner.

“My relationships with the people here — from Jeff, who is my immediate boss, to my staff, to [owner] Jim Dolan, who I get along with him real well — it was a pretty easy decision as far as, you’re a coach, you want to have a chance, and you have a first-class organization, so we take the offer.” – NY POST

It also seems AV is using that leverage and leaning on the players more this season, as their struggles continue. FTNYR has also learned that AV is demanding the players stay in the City overnight before a home game. While that’s common practice for the playoffs, it is new for the regular season. This has many of the players who live in the suburbs with their wives and children very upset.

Is this punishment for poor play to start the year, or for taking their complaints all the way up to ownership? We can only speculate, but being this iron fisted so early in a season does make one wonder.

Lastly, for those who think Lindy Ruff was brought in as a potential replacement for Vigneault, think again. Reports made it seem that assistant coach, Scott Arneil casually broached the subject with his former teammate to come to NY. The truth is, Alain Vigneault was the key figure in getting him over. Arneil doesn’t ask Ruff without AV’s blessing first, it’s that simple.

The Situation is Worth Keeping An Eye On

A dejected McDonagh (NYR TV)

Winning cures many things. If the Rangers can find a way to right themselves, this story will die down or may be flat out false. However, if the issues run as deep as they appear to, when will something happen?

Look at last night as a prime example. Steven Kampfer got more ice time than Brady Skjei. Yes, you read that right even if it was by 1 second. While Skjei made a costly opening turnover, Kampfer made an even more egregious error on the second Blues goal. Yet, somehow, Kampfer got brief PP time and Skjei received none. Just what message was AV trying to send there? It is simply beyond confusing. Not to mention benching Brendan Smith and Anthony DeAngelo who are both far better players than Nick Holden and Steven Kampfer to begin with.

Should this spiral continue, and based on what we’ve learned so far, the first move would likely be a trade. That could have a “shot in the arm” effect, but unless it is a leadership changing move, it may not have longterm impact.

Just how far will the Rangers organization allow this to go on? What’s the threshold on losses or timeframe of poor play before a coaching change is made? These are all fair questions and only time will tell.


  • The players going to Dolan makes absolute ZERO sense. He has admitted he knows nothing about hockey which was why he hired Slats as his GM when he brought the team. There has been no speculation anywhere about this from hockey insiders from TSN, Friedman, Puck Daddy or McKenzie about the Rangers dissection in the locker room with their coach. This site has thrown out some weird theories to why this team has gotten off to a bad start from possible mutiny to not scheduling a preseason game in October. This team got off to a bad start because this isn’t a good team. Look at their lineup, holes at center from lines 2-4, defense is still a liabity in their zone. But this front office signed Lindy Ruff to help that. The same Lindy Ruff who one of the worse defenses in Dallas. Making the playoffs were going to be a struggle all year. But some here saw this team being a cup contender, how?

    JT Miller is tired of being benched and bounced around the lineup. Well guess what the fans and I’m sure the front office is tired of him not showing up for the playoffs. This kid has 1 goal in 40 playoff games and he’s going to complain. He hasn’t faced one bit of adversity from the fans nor media but he complains because his coach holds him responsible, sorry does he needs his hand held. Are you kidding me, does think he should be rewarded? Frustrating pattern continues with DeAngelo? How frustrating was it to watch him get beat only to Hank save his butt to only see him turn the puck over 2 seconds later leading to the Leaf’s 2nd goal. Nah don’t sit him LIKE EVERY OTHER COACH HAS DONE IN 100 YEARS OF NHL HOCKEY. Are you kidding me? He’s had gap problems all year and defensive zone issues. But we all knew he was a defensive liability because he has been in every level of hockey. This team apparently is filled with a bunch of prima donnas.

    This team the way it was constructed wasn’t going to be a cup contender at all. There are holes down the middle and defensively still. By not having a backup plan for trading Step is killing this team. Like I stated before, the playoffs wasnt guaranteed. Most hockey people had them missing the playoffs. But let’s blame AV for that. Let’s blame AV for signing Staal to a contract that will hinder this team for years. Let’s blame AV for being forced to play players whose games have fallen off the cliff because the front office has done nothing but trade for or sign guys like Clendenning, Kampfer, Holden, Ryan Malone, Daniel Paille, Chris Summers, Michael Kostka, Jarret Stoll and Taylor Beck over the last few years. Let’s blame AV for drafting Dylan McIlrath or for not playing him when it was obvious he couldn’t play in the NHL. Let’s blame AV for this front office who blew the Keith Yandle situation.

    Let’s fire AV because all these problems will magically disappear. Bring in the new coach, but guess what he too will rely on the teams veterans. He too will bring in players he has trusted in the past. And he too will sit rookies who make mistakes. But JT Miller will be happy that he isn’t bounced around. JT Miller will be happy that maybe the new coach will pay him on the back when he goes through his 3rd straight playoffs without a goal. Maybe he should look in the mirror.

    • Mike O…while it is true that Ranger fans occasionally need to shed their rose coloured glasses your diatribe in defense of AV is totally misguided. The truth is that this roster is not nearly as bad as they have performed thus far. You insist that we are overly optimistic yet you conveniently have ignored the obvious:

      • ADMIT YOUR MISTAKES….. if a team is ill prepared for an opponent in this age of advanced scouting and metrics it is generally the head coach that must accept responsibility. Av never does. It is always someone else’s fault. Everyone was well aware of the Leafs fire power going into that first Saturday. The Rags were not ready, plain and simple. It was not Hank’s fault. It was poor team defense knowing what the Leafs were going to bring in their home opener. The Blueshirts lacked structure and that my friend is on AV.

      • DEPLOYMENT OF BEST ASSETS…..the fundamental expectation of any head coach in the NHL is to build team identity and to ice your best players when healthy. Have we ever had any kind of team identity under AV? The only time I can remember any such identity was in support of MSL after his mother’s passing. Secondary to that is to define a role for each unit and deploy those parings or lines effectively. Simply put, place your players in a position to succeed. AV has failed miserably in this regard. The evidence is not restricted to the last four years. AV was unceremoniously booted out of Vancouver for the very reason he has failed on Broadway. Even the mainstream press shouted this. Clearly Slats was not listening.

      • MAINTAIN A CONSISTENT STANDARD…..AV is all over the map on this count. The worst thing a coach can do is play favourites and by doing so create a double standard. This bench boss is notorious for this. It not only impacts the performance of talented young prospects, it sets a negative tone and lack of confidence up and down the lineup. Reacting adversely to this (if indeed that is the case….there is no evidence that Miller or anyone else is complaining)) is not the behavior of petulant children (as you suggest), it represents the loss of respect for your primary leader. This is how a coach loses the locker room. If that is what is happening now, it is the result of four years of mishandling his roster by holding certain players to account and letting others off the hook, while rewarding consistent poor performance with enhanced ice time.

      • MAKE EFFECTIVE IN GAME ADJUSTMENTS…..its not that AV lacks strategic thought going into a season or any given game. The best laid plans do not always work. However, good coaches can make adjustments on the fly to counter what the opposing coach is succeeding at. AV not only lacks this ability, he appears lost on the bench. Out of touch with the game and his players. He gets that glazed look over his face (noticed it in the first couple of games of his tenure) and is wholly ineffective. How often has he gone back to the same well over and over with no change in the result? I am not talking about switching up defense pairings or juggling lines either. He’s very good at that. I am talking about altering team “strategy”…like cutting out the home run pass that results in a turn over or altering D zone departures or O zone entries, if the original approach is not effective. All this coach attempts is to put a square peg in a round hole rather than devise a system around the strengths of his personnel. He champions an up tempo possession style of play, yet insists on giving disproportionate ice time to the likes of Glass, Girardi, Staal, Holden and Kampfer, while more capable players (on a shorter leash) get lost on the bench or rot in the press box or in Hartford.

      It may be that some of the younger prospects who can actually play AV’s preferred style are not NHL ready. I will give you that. But how in the heck are you to know that with 6 minutes TOI for two games, with utterly no meaningful minutes from the first period on. How long of a leash is necessary before consigning rookie and veterans alike to the purgatory of AV’s dog house? Perfection does not exist yet AV’s myopic tendencies to find error in some but not others would have you believe that selective discipline is the mark of team success and team unity.

      This dude is not gonna change. The fatal flaws that led to his demise with the ‘Nucks are still evident. I suspect that Gorton is doing his best to alter the future of this franchise. AV influenced his early personnel decisions (Tanner Glass et al) and has constantly eroded many of the gains. His misuse of ADA (he is only 21), Yandle and Etem are well known. I could care less for the results with other organizations. If a player is young and shows talent you do your best to nurture that talent. You deploy that player in the right circumstances with the proper team mates and you allow for the inevitable rookie mistakes. You live with those mistakes as long as you are seeing progress in other areas, especially if there is a team need in that area.

      If a player has high end skills you do not miscast that player on the 3’rd D pairing or in a fourth line grinding role. If a D man comes to you with the pedigree of a PP quarter back why on earth would you keep that player off the PP in favour of the likes Dan Girardi? Perplexing…yes. Frustrating….yes again. Worthy of dismissal….hell yes!

      This coach and GM are simply not on the same page. That should cause all of us concern.This folly will only end when AV is shown the door. Can’t come soon enough for me.

      • First of all if AV is constantly doing all these terrible things then how the hell did the rangers win so many games and make the playoffs every year. You’re making him sound like the team is stuck with some bum. As far as losing the room or the team not wanting to hear him anymore that happens all the time nowadays. These players in every sport are becoming more and more of big babies. You mentioned AV doesn’t know how to adjust during the game. I don’t know what game you’re watching but I’ve seen the team change things during the game plenty of times. I don’t know how much strategy you’re expecting to change on the fly but I e seen us turn games around many time changing from how we enter the zone to how we come out of our end or even how physical they’ll play. You said place your player in a position to succeed. Well he must have done that to so,e degree cause we’ve won an awful lot of games since he’s been here. But you say he’s failed miserably and I think that’s way overboard. I also hear a lot of “he never says it’s his fault. Are you heading him point out guys and. Lame them for loses? I don’t remember hearing that myself and I haven’t missed a single game in at least 7 years maybe more. I guess we can all go on and on about our points but my biggest problem is the fans that don’t like AV I think blow things out of proportion and even make stuff up at times. When I see AC hates kids and all that nonsense I realize that fan just hates AV. But I think Mike Omsaidmit best when he said instead of fans appreciating AV they wanna run him out of town. Well of that happens and I’m sure it will at some point I just hope we can get one of those coaches we had before that was winning cups with us. Oh wait there isn’t any unless Keenan comes back. Just for the records I’m even questioning you being a rangers fan cause the only people I hear call the rangers “Rags” are Islander fans

        • Hmmm…where to begin.

          “if AV is constantly doing all these terrible things then how the hell did the rangers win so many games and make the playoffs every year”

          ….Hank and his superb backups. Simple. Look at performance of the PP, PK and possession stats over his tenure. He has been riding the coat tails of one of the best players in franchise history. A winning record is not necessarily indicative of good coaching. But if you want to rely on that fine. Lets look at his record dating back to the Canucks. Plenty of solid report cards during the regular season but a history of falling short in the playoffs. He gets consistently out coached by the opposition.

          “You said place your player in a position to succeed. Well he must have done that to so,e degree cause we’ve won an awful lot of games since he’s been here. But you say he’s failed miserably and I think that’s way overboard.”

          …..Respectfully NO. How many examples do you want?

          1. Miller to start. He languished in Hartford when he had nothing more to gain from that experience and was a much better option than the retreads that occupied the bottom six. Has constantly traveled between the dog house and the top 6, between centre and wing, between PP and PK, with line mates rotating by the game. Miller has succeeded IN SPITE of his coach and BTW (for Mike O’s consumption) he never once complained publicly. Took it like a man and dedicated himself to take advantage of whatever opportunity he was given. If indeed he is now complaining…..well its about time. There is only so much a man can take.

          2.Girardi and now Staal or Holden in a top pair role?…. when you can barely justify a spot on the roster for either. Ain’t gonna work.

          3. Yandle…..gave up a kings ransom to get the dude (with a rep as a PP quarterback) and it takes the better part of a season to give him prime PP minutes. 3’rd pair assignment. Misuse of talent.

          4. Losing Smith and Brady S on the bench at crunch time and deploying Staal and Holden down the stretch against the Sens last spring. That duo lost the series for our brilliant coach while the lost pair had been the best D we had going. This alone is worthy of dismissal.

          5. Jesper Fast in a top 6 role while offensive assets are consigned to play with Tanner Glass and company on the fourth line? Perhaps AV lost BUCH for half a season let alone a game or two.

          AV does indeed have a miserable record for proper deployment of assets. You need not look further than his mismanagement of the best goalie tandem the NHL has seen in decades. The result….neither Luongo nor Schneider remain with the “Nucks.

          I don’t hate AV. Never suggested that. If Ranger fans are getting emotional about this subject it because they are passionate about their team and see the same theme being played out over and over again. Despite his record AV is not the coach for this team. I see what I see and am entitled to a well reasoned opinion. I don’t expect any coach to admit responsibility for failure but when you hang your players out to dry in the press and publicly embarrass your players (in words and deeds), you have to demonstrate a little bit of humility and admit to your share of mistakes…which have been many.

          He is not a god awful coach. Middle of the road in my opinion. But he has outlived his worth on Broadway and cannot bring home the silver chalice.

          BTW,,,Ranger fan for over 50 years and I don’t miss much. Rags= Canadian ignorance. And I thought it was an endearing short form. Sorry if it offends. I would hate to be cast with the Fishsticks..

          • Once again get your facts straight, the writer of the article said Miller was frustrated. How did he hear about that? If Miller was silent about it we wouldn’t reading about on Fulltilt. Miller languished in Hartford with nothing more to gain? Did you watch the Rangers 2013-14? He made mental mistakes all over the ice. He contributed 3 goals in 30 games, Christ I’ll take that as his production in the playoffs because that would be a massive improvement and was a -6. He went to Hartford to learn how to play the game. He started the year in Hartford the following season for a whopping 18 games. He played 59 games in Hartford with AV in 2 different stints. Kreider played 54 games in 2 different stints under Torts, so coaches sending players down to send a message about their play has been done since the beginning of organized hockey.

            Staal can’t justify a spot on the roster, I cannot believe I’m here to defend Marc Staal because I can’t stand him. You do realize if you didn’t plate Staal or Holden who the replacements where right? McIlrath,back in the AHL for his 3rd team in 2 years. Kampfer, who you already said got to much playing time. Those crucial 12 games he’s played in 2 years. But now you wanted him in the lineup more. Holden had 35 points in the regular season last year, his best season even in the NHL. Yandle was misused? Like I pointed out before he had his 3rd best point total in his career the one full season with AV.

            So we are bringing up the Holden-Staal conspiracy theory again. Look it up before you throw something hoping it sticks to the wall. Staal was on for ONE game tying goal in the Ottawa series in the final minute of play. His partner……. Brendan Smith. Holden and Staal were on for ONE GAME WINNING GOAL against in that series. When did ottawa score that goal you ask……. in double overtime.

            AV didn’t sit Buch for a half season, HE WAS INJURED and missed 31 games because of his back/core issues.

            Jesper Fast as a top 6 forward? In what reality? Sure players move up and down the lineup because of injury or who is or isn’t going on a certain night. Jesper Fast had an average 13:48 of ice time last year (12 on 5×5 1:37 pk :06 pp) 13:48 is NOT top minutes. Top 6 mins are is 17-18+ for top line players and 15+ – high 16 mins for 2nd line players.

            Misused the Schneider/Luongo situation? Scheneider was NEVER in their long term plans. Why would he be Loungo signed a 12 yr 64 million dollar extension in 2010. In fact On June 2, 2010, Schneider signed a two-year, $1.8 million contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks. Assistant general manager Lawrence Gilman asserted that the new deal should establish him as Luongo’s backup and garner more exposure to potentially facilitate a trade to another NHL team.[45] Schneider was being played so they could trade him. Blame AV for that.

      • I’ve never heard a ranger fan used the term “Rags” before but hey maybe its just me.

        ADMIT YOUR MISTAKES: Can you tell where ANYWHERE that AV said the loss against the Leafs was on Hank. In fact I canny remember a time when AV singled out any player for a loss throughout his tenure here.

        DEPLOYMENT OF BEST ASSETS: Put your players in a position to succeed. He’s failed miserably at this? Hmmmm so Michael Grabner was a perennial 25-30 goal a year player? I guess he failed to make him in a position to succeed. Mats Zuccarello was a part time player under Torts who couldn’t find his way into the lineup. I guess AV failed to put him in a position to succeed as he’s turned into one of our best players on the team and consistent 55-60 point player.

        MAINTAIN A CONSISTENT STANDARD: He’s only won the 3rd most games in franchise history. During his time here he’s never won less than 45 games and has surpassed 100 points in each of his last 3 seasons. In fact his worst year was 98 points. AV is the ONLY coach in franchise history to have back to back or even multiple 100 point seasons. He’s done it 3 years in a row, the other 86 years it was done 4 times total. Yeah he has set a highly inconsistent standard with the Rangers. And Im not the one who said Miller was complaining, the writer of the article said through his unnamed source that Miller is frustrated. How would the unnamed source know that if he wasn’t complaining? But you are 100% correct there is a shred of evidence that the locker is lost. I’ve never trusted unnamed sources, it’s an easy ploy to use to make a personal statement about anyone without facts. There used to be a day where unnamed sources where never used and in fact there was a day you needed 3 VERIFIED sources before you were able to print anything.

        MAKE EFFECTIVE IN GAME ADJUSTMENTS: since you brought up the Maple Leafs game let’s use that as en example. They were quickly blitzed to a 5 goal against outburst in the 1st. Did he have his “glazed over eyes” look and kept putting out the same lines the next period in hopes of a miraculous comeback? Or did he make changes to the fact that THEY TIED THE GAME UP? Name me another instance where a coach has most the locker and had his players coming out on fire to comeback from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game up before the next period was over. If you are a fan of the RANGERS how can you forget how he made adjustments to come back from 3-1 series deficits to come back to win those series in back to back years. You want to say MSL mother’s death gave them the inspiration to come back and beat the Pens, I won’t disagree with that but what was the reason the following year when the Rangers came back from 3-1 down versus the Capitals? Was it his “glazed look over his eyes?”

        He gives disportionate amount of ice time to Glass, Girardi, Holden and Kampfer? Didn’t he send Glass to Hartford last year for a majority of the season only to him called back up because teams were running Hank? He has NEVER played over 11 minutes a game in any year with the Rangers. Dan Girardi was McD’s defense partner, so how disportionate was his playing time? Who were you going to play there Clendenning? What power play time are you talking about? He averaged a whopping 7 seconds of powerplay time in 2015-16 and a jaw dropping 3 seconds last year. Can you tell me what games you are watching? Staal’s and Girardi’s ice time have gone down EACH year under AV. Kampfer has played a total of 12 games in his 2 years here so I have no idea what you’re talking about with that. His misuse of Anthony DeAngelo? I’m sorry but a coach is supposed to keep playing a kid who consistently makes the same mistakes over and over? A coach is suppose to keep playing a kid who wasn’t showing any improvement in his gaps and defensive coverages? But according to you he doesn’t make any adjustments. He misused Emerson Etem? He wasn’t a fit here and has played a grand total of 40 NHL since he was traded away for 2 different NHL franchises. Sounds like the rest of the league was in agreement with AV about Etem. Keith Yandle has his 3rd highest point total in his career during his only full season with the Rangers so what misuse are you talking about.

        It’s very easy to make blanket statements about a coach but you have to have a monicum of truth or stats to back it up. I believe his done a very good job here especially when you look at some of the players he has to work with here. I’m not saying he’s the greatest coach to walk behind a NHL bench and he does have his flaws. Scotty Bowman has his flaws too. But I cannot take the constant blame for a coach or people making stuff up to have him run out of town. His a question to all those who hate him and want him fired, Is (insert any coach you want to replace AV) going to magically have his lack of of #2 center appear? Will he magically have Shattenkirk a clue how to play defense? Will he magically have the personnel that a majority of hockey experts predicted to miss the playoffs to become a cup contender in the rebuilding phase that Gorton wants to go through?

        • That last line is what really gets me. I guess fans forgot we were supposed to be in somewhat of a rebuilding mode. They must not have read any of the predictions either or listen to any on the radio cause I know I’ve heard plenty say we won’t even make the playoffs or if we did would struggle to get in. You really bring up great points and responses to these comments. I think some people make comments not thinking that someone else may realize it’s not true. But most of all I just think it’s a copy cat world these days and fans here something that they agree with or think sounds good and jump on board

  • The real problem for the team and the players they draft because their scouts are awful. They need to revamp their scouting staff because if Anderson and Chytil don’t turn out to be stars the onus for this team failures lie entirely on their scouts. The only way a team gets better is through the draft. Miller was a first round pick as well and he should be putting up numbers equal to that.

    • Dave you and I haven’t agreed on much about the Rangers but you are spot on. They have blown so many draft picks over the years that has made their prospect cupboard barren. 2010 draft was an unmitigated disaster that was only saved by Jesper Fast. 2011,6 picks, 5 strikeoutsand drafted a player with 1 career playoff goal in 40 games.

      • David and Mike,

        While I agree some drafts have been terrible and there is no sugar coating it. However I always am ok with trading picks for proven players because drafting can be a crap shoot once you get passed the top picks. Every team makes bad first round picks. Look at the Penguins, they took Jordan Staal second overall, Toews was the next pick (eric johnson was first overall). What would the Blackhawks look like if Toews wasnt available at the third pick, Backstrom and Brassard were the next centers to be selected. Penguins drafted Derek Pouliot before taking Olli Matta in the first round. Look at the Oilers not being able to do anything with all those first overalls until they got Mcdavid.

        12 defenseman were taken before Skjei of them Id prefer Lindholm/Trouba/Matta (no one saw his health issue coming), Id be Ok with having Morgan Reilly/Matt Dumba/Cody Ceci but with as many dmen taken in the 2012 first round pick Skjei at 28 was a gift. Imagine if they went with Matteau’s son instead, who the Devils drafted right after. Fans would have loved the pick at the draft, now not so much.

  • The team continues to come out flat (last season included) thats on players and coaches. Thats the one thing I miss about the Torts era (Im not a big Torts fan) but in games like these hed use his timeout and let them have it. Ive never seen AV do that. While I dont know what goes on in the locker room, I doubt he rips them the way Torts would, as seen on 24/7.

    That doesnt excuse the players or the captain for also allowing this to happen. Its one thing to have off nights here and there but these seems like a constant problem. Its time for someone to step up and correct the problem. Looking at the lineup Zuc is probably the only one that may open his mouth and the job done, the rest seem to passive.

    • We don’t know what’s said or not said in the locker. Having someone like Torts wears out quickly. Keenan never lasted long at any of his coaching spots either.

      • Coaches like Torts have a self life for sure, however AV seems to be the polar opposite. Thats why I feel he doesnt rip them in the locker room. He never uses a timeout when they are playing like crap to call them out. Id like a guy in the middle of the two. As I stated I dont know what goes on in the locker room thats just an assumption.

        Last year in the playoffs, I dont remember which series or game it was but they showed Hank flipping out on the ice and Stepan was telling him to relax seems to be the mindset of the team. That is how this team comes out and that needs to be changed.

        • The only problem with that theory is if AV is too nice of a guy then what about him “always putting players in the dog house” like some fans say. Now I’m not trying to agree or disagree with you. I’m just being up a point. But I will say that I wouldn’t mind seeing something along the lines of what you’re talking about, having the coach kinda being in between a Torts and AV. I like a coach that doesn’t take any nonsense but doesn’t have to be a drill Sargent either.

  • I just can’t believe we’re still trying to blame AV. First of all I’m so tired of hearing about players complaining, if that’s really even the case here. But besides that I don’t know why so many fans think this team is supposed to be a cup contender. After we lost to LA in the final I kept hearing about how we weren’t strong enough down the middle. So why wouldn’t it be a problem now with what we have at center. This is t a team that has some good players but not great. Fans went nuts over signing Shattenkirk and already had him pairing up with Mac yet he’s not a top line D man. Then they seen a nice preseason from an 18 year old in which AV gave a shot to but we can see he’s not sound defensively yet. So should AV keep him here like some fans say? But yet those same fans will blame AV for us losing games we did keep him here and the kid was the cause of some big goals. My point is no matter which way he goes he gets blamed it seems. I still don’t get why we’re still hearing about the guys he played last year in the Ottawa series either cause there were several different D men out there for those late goals, not just Staal n Holden like so many fans say it was. I know I’m all over the place with these comments but I’m just bring up so,e different points. I totally agree with Mike O and David K you brought up something I’ve been saying for years. The draft pics we’ve made for the most part stink. Macilrath instead of Tarasanko was a beauty. Most of the things I woulda said were said by Mike O (once again), but one thing I’ve been thinking about as far as the D men being played right now is what if Holden is just being show cased. That sounds strange being said about Holden but the guy did have 34 points last year and if I remember right had a good start to the season. So maybe they’re hoping for a good start again so he’ll have so,e value. After all we keep hearing how he’s gonna go so who’s gonna take a guy that’s not being played and what kind of leverage would the rangers have either. Smith will be playing of course after signing that big contract so when I hear AV has guys sitting I think he press box or stands I just think of the guys he did it with before and it worked out good every time, like with Hayes, Pouliot, JT and I think even Zucc. I’m not saying AV is perfect cause there’s no perfect coach but he didn’t win so many games from being a bad coach or not knowing what he’s doing.

    • Joe,

      People blame AV cause he makes decisions that “advanced” stats dont agree with. I am not an advanced stats person, while some have value the main the ones sited are not telling. Most fans cant call out the fan favorites so if they cant blame Nash or Staal its gotta be AV.

      Imagine having a stud from 03 draft they passed on for Jessiman, if not Tarasenko (I dont remember his predraft hype) but how about Cam Fowler who most fans I know were drooling over hearing his name announced, and Claude Giroux over the next Brian Leetch in Bobby Sanguinetti.

      • Bobby Sanguinetti, WOW thats a blast from the past. If i remember correctly Tarasenko was a stud but most teams didn’t believe they could get him out of Russia for whatever the reason. Well
        St. Louis did their homework and got him very quickly to come over to the NHL. By the way where is McIlrath playing? Oh that’s right the AHL, BLAME AV! Playing for his 3rd team in less than a year.

    • I feel your frustration Joe. And here’s another point…… didn’t Gorton say this year was the start of a rebuilding phase. So why are people, some on this site talking about 100+ pt seasons and long run in the playoffs? This was not the team make up to even phatom that thought.

      And people already complaining about Shattenkirk not being on the 1st pairing? Have they ever watched him in St Louis and Washington? He was never a top pairing dman. He’s been on the ice twice for goals given up within the 1st 5 mins of the game. Fans claim AV doesn’t hold veterans accountable but when he sits Smith for his horrendous play to start the season or moves Shattenkirk down because of his defensive lapses they complain even more. If he sits players who are not performing he’s an idiot, if he doesn’t he’s brainless. It’s getting beyond old with this AV blame game. Look at the roster without Ranger Broadway tinted glasses, it’s pretty feeble.

      Let’s for a second say what was written in 100% true, as a fan I would be absolutely furious that a player who has shrinkes every year of his career in the playoffs is complaining about the coach. This isn’t peewee hockey where coaches try to give everyone the same amount of ice time. This is the NHL, you get what you deserve on the ice. If this kid is nothing but a prima Donna then what the hell is this team waiting to rid this attitude off the team. 1 goal in 40 playoff games, I know it’s broken record, but that doesn’t give you the right to complain about anything regarding the coaches. Once again If this is true then the veteran leadership should take this kid into a room and read him the riot act. But no this site treats him with baby gloves and never calls him out. It’s time for Miller to shut up, grow up and play. It’s thats too much to ask, then ship him out and let him move around in hockey purgatory.

      PS: sorry for the religious references but felt it was a perfect word to use.

  • no reason to be sorry for the “religious references”!!! This is still America, though I don’t know for how long!
    I’m sure someone, somewhere, sometime will “have their feelings hurt” or “feel uncomfortable”, but personally, I don’t give a damn about them. If they don’t like it they can lump it!

  • There’s one thing I forgot to mention. There’s a part in the article about Mac making the statement referring to the poor performances of the loss that night, saying its on himself, the other leaders and older guys to find a way to get it done or be better. When I see that I say he’s taking responsibility and at the same time letting the other guys know they have to do the same. I don’t think of that at all of him not thinking they’ll get any leadership or help from AV. You can always twist thing s in favor of what you wanna see or believe. I just don’t get why so many fans think they’re gonna see instant results or a perfect ga,e every time from the team or players. We’re going into the 5th game and I’m already seeing fans say fire AV. One minute they’re ready for a rebuild and the next minute they’re firing the coach for not winning. The second he takes a kid off the line or sends him down to the AHL we hear “he hates kids”. When Torts was here he wasn’t happy with Kreiders play so he wasn’t getting the ice time we hdped to see. So everyone said Torts hates Kreider. Yet when AV got here he actually sent Kreider back down to get some work in the AHL. So does anyone ever think maybe Kreider actually wasn’t playing right yet since two coaches thought so? No instead they said AV hates the kids and didn’t even think or remember what Torts did with him. I don’t know why we always have to hear it’s on AV. Yes there’s gonna be some things but is it on AV when two D men stand there and let a guy skate right through them and then score a goal? Is it on AV when a guy takes stupid penalties? I also don’t get why he gets heat from benching a guy for poor play. Why shouldn’t he be able to show that if you’re not gonna play the right way you’re not gonna play. I’m not saying bench a guy for one mistake but if he’s not playing right then show him you mean business and and let him work on the mistakes. I’m sure if AV didn’t do anything we would hear “he’s clueless” or he does nothing to fix things”. He could move the player down a line or two but then we’ll hear “he keeps juggling around the lines. They need to find chemistry”. One thing I really don’t hear much if at all is what AV should do instead. I hear a lot of what he does wrong or what he shouldn’t do but I don’t see what he should do.

  • Let’s start with the premise that winning and selling tickets are the franchise’s primary objectives (and not necessarily in that order). Since Torts was dismissed, the NYR have been a bland team (not looking to turn this into a Torts discussion). Bland teams are generally some combination of GM, scouting dept and coach. I have been watching hockey for almost 50 years, and it remains beyond me to determine precisely what % to assign to each. I will say that the tone and personality of the team that comes off the bench each night is on the coach. In AV, the NYR hired a coach with notoriously skilled teams that win regular season games. However his times were known for nominal intensity, drive, competitiveness (in Torts speak: jam) and, thus, never won a Cup and, I believe, only succeeded in the playoffs to any degree that one season in Vancouver. It should be no surprise that his record in NYC is reflective of the same pattern. AV’s affection for TGlass may have just been a blip in that record. For whatever % can be placed upon AV as coach, the record shows that he is not a top motivator and is not a playoff coach. More personally, I do not believe he is a fit for NYC and what NYC fans expect of their major sports teams.

    • AV is not a playoff coach, really? You do know he is 4 wins from becoming the all time leader in playoff wins for the Rangers. His affinity for Tanner Glass? Didn’t Glass score a pretty big goal for the Rangers last year in the playoffs and recored 4 points in the 6 games he played? Didn’t Glass have more playoff goals than Miller and Hayes COMBINED during last years playoff run? And not a fit for what NYC fans expect from their major sport teams? Other than the Yankees NYC fans have expected minimal from their sport teams. The Jets haven’t won since 1969, the same year we put a man on he Moon and is an absolute embarrassment of a franchise. The Knicks? PUHLEEZE, havent won since 1973, THE YEAR BEFORE I WAS BORN, and have won a whopping 1 playoff series since 1990-2000. The Nets have won 1 playoff series since they moved to Brooklyn. The Isles have won 1 playoff series since 1992-93 and missed the playoffs 15 times in that time span as well. The Mets have gone to 2 World Series since they last won it in 1986 but have only made the playoffs 6 times in that time span as well. Some of the years they were one of the worst teams in baseball as well. The Giants have won 4 times since 1986 and have had many playoff games through out the years. The Yankees since the mid 90’s went to 6 World Series winning 5 of them. Other than the Yankees and Giants the other teams , not including the Rangers, have won a whopping 6 championships since 1973 and 5 came in a 6 year time frame. So NYC sport fans expect what exactly? And let’s get honest, the Giants have won all their Super Bowls playing in New Jersey. The New York Rangers are the only team and AV the only NYC coach to make the playoffs every year of his tenure over the last 4 years. Can you name another fan base that has a current coach who is in the top 3 all time in wins both in regular season and post season that a fan base is so desperately making up stuff to get him fired? How about ONCE this fan base give him the credit his deserves over the years. This fan base has been trying to run him out of town since he became the 3rd coach in franchise history to go to back to back conference finals.The other 2 times occurred during the 1930’s and mid 70’s. Al Arbour lost in 4 conference finals in 5 years with players like Bossy, Trottier, Gillies and Potvin and had 4 straight years of over 100 points without winning the cup before finally winning in 1980. Not comparing AV to Arbour but who are the Rangers Bossy, Trottier, Gillies or Potvins in the lineup? Arbour lost 4 times to lesser teams and each year he came back. AV did something that only happen 2 other times in Rangers history and what did the fans do? Did they appreciate it? Hell no they wanted to run him out of town.

      • Mike O I see we agree almost every time and seem to be the few guys that stick up for AV. The only difference is you explain your points better and people understand what you’re trying to say. With me they’re probably saying”what the hell is this guy talking about”. You just made some great points there that I wasn’t aware of. I didn’t realize AV had that many playoff wins. I hear the term “he’s losing the room” used a lot these days. But you know what I think it is? I think a lot has to do with the players of today. They need to be pampered so much and don’t wanna hear what they’re being told too many times. Just like what we heard in this article about how they went to Dolan to complain. The other thing that gets me is a coach can win a ton of playoff games throughput the years but if he don’t win the cup he doesn’t get looked st as a good coach that just never got over the hump. He gets called a clown or a bum. I hate to say it but NY fans can be real jerkoffs sometimes..

        • I’ll be honest I can be one of those jerkoff fans to that jump on a player or a coach i don’t like too. Happens when you’re a Jets/Rangers/Yankees fan. Until the 90’s there wasn’t to much hope going into any of their seasons and drove me mad how at least 2 of the franchises had absolute no clue how to run how to run a winning organization. The Yankees were rich in winning historically who had come hard times through mismanagement of their own right too. But I cannot for the love of life figure out how a fan base with a dreadful history of non winning want to run a guy who has had a very good run. Have their been bumps in the road, sure have been. Has AV made some mistakes, yes he has. But to complain about a coach who’s down nothing but take a roster filled with bottom talent forwards some that every other team in the league didn’t want and has a very successful right is very frustrating. How many coaches would have taken a 4th line in the playoffs consisting of Dan Carbomb Carrillo and Derek Dorset to the Cup Finals? I like it too when you ask them who are you going to replace him with you get silence. AV has done a very good job as coach of this team and should get a bit of appreciation but apparently that’s why too much to ask for.

        • What I find really comical is they say AV doesn’t hold veterans accountable. Then when he sits Brendan Smith for 2 games for bad play they complain he benched him for holding him accountable. When Shattenkirk was on the ice for 2 goals within the 1st 5 mins of a game 2 times in 3 games he removed him off the top line. Everyone else has written that it was clear the MCD/SHATTENKIRK combo wasn’t clicking so AV separates them. Fans lost their mind and brought up Shattenkirk pp numbers. I also loved the JT Miller reference in this article too. He’s the prime example of a player being benched bounced around the lineup. Last year he had 16minutes and 21 seconds of ice a game. That was 6 seconds less than Rick Nash(16:27)and 39 seconds less than Chris Kreider(17:00). The year before he averaged 55 seconds less than Kreider. These statements about being benched are figments of people’s imagination. And when it comes to the playoffs how many fans have spoken about Miller’s lack of production. They get real quite when it comes to that.

          • Figments of their imagination just like the whole Holden/Staal being
            out there for multiple last minute goals against. When in reality that pairing was on for 1 game goal against and that came in double ot on a 2on1 rush where Holden made a really bad read to pinch.

  • That’s one of my favorites too when you ask what would you do instead and there’s nothing in response. But what you just said about not holding the vets accountable and then when he benches Smith they go nuts saying what is he doing could be the best of them all. I’m just not sure if that tops “AV hated the kids” yet we see Buch on the top line and we seen Vesey on the second line for a while. When fans complained about Vuch last year I can’t believe that nobody ever thought well maybe his back ain’t right yet. I just keep asking myself what will they say if he does win the cup.

  • Come on Mike you know Buch wasn’t played cause AV hates kids. I mean what’s the big deal about a back injury anyway. It’s not like the back plays a big part in anything. Of course you know I’m joking. I can’t believe that fans never thought that maybe his back is just not right and they wanna play it safe with the kid. AV hates him so much that he has him on the top line this year. I don’t know maybe I’m too old school. I’ve been watching the rangers all my life and I’m 54 now but I would think fans would appreciate the rangers not rushing kids along. But what really gets me is that the results of them being sent down to learn have paid off and yet there’s fans complaining about it still. I think part of the problem is that something gets written and everyone jumps on board and it grows and grows. The only thing is there’s times that what’s written isn’t true, like Staal and Holden being out there for all those goals last year against Ottawa. Plus one goal that Holden was on for he had his stick broken and couldn’t stop the puck from getting through his legs in front of the net. I think AV might have broken his stick. Must have. It’s all his fault.

    • I agree. One of my all time favorite athletes was Don Mattingly. His career changed for the worse because of a back injury that got worse each year.

      Owen Tippet Florida’s top Lock this year made the team. Funny thing is he hasn’t played one game yet for Florida. He too has a 9 game audition before Florida has to make a decision. All they have had him do was practice and watch games to gain experience. Nobody is labeling the Panthers coaching staff with the HE HATES KIDS label. Sometimes patience is the better route. The Rangers rushed Malhotra and thatvdisnt work out well. Maybe they learns from their previous mistakes.

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