Rangers Break-Up Day Wrap

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Today was break up day for the 2017-18 New York Rangers, and the players spoke to the media one last time before going their separate ways.

Chris Kreider – After what was an injury-shortened season for the speedy winger, Kreider said that he was excited for the things to come for the organization. Kreider also confirmed that he would be representing team USA at the World Championships in May. Kreider explained that he is focused on rehabbing his shoulder and getting ready for the Worlds, adding that he “is getting that butterfly excited feeling” as the team heads in this new direction.

Mika Zibanejad – Another player that used the term excited in discussing what is to come next season. Zibanejad also made a somewhat bold prediction that the Rangers will be back in the playoffs next season. On having a larger role with the team on the ice, Zibanejad answered that he “learned to embrace it (playing against better matchups).” Finally, Mika confirmed he will be playing at the World Championships for Sweden, and hopes to play against Kreider in the medal round of the tournament.

Kevin Shattenkirk – Shattenkirk said that he didn’t have a season that “represented the player that I am or want to be for this team.” Shattenkirk also had his season affected by injury, and he is looking to improve his game for next season.

Shattenkirk will not be participating in the World Championships next month so that he can continue his recovery and be at full-strength for training camp in September.

Mats Zuccarello – Zuccarello talked about the difficulty in losing friends to the business side of hockey but added that there was nothing he could do about it and has to focus on his game. When asked about the “highlights” of his year, he couldn’t really name one other than the Winter Classic, adding “it’s been a tough season…mixed feelings this whole season.” Zuccarello continued to say that he is excited about the future with the young talent in the pipeline. Finally, Zuccarello revealed that he was dealing with a knee injury and will take some time to rest before beginning his training for next season.

Henrik Lundqvist – The Rangers netminder said he is “excited for what’s ahead.” He added that when the team sent out the letter regarding the rebuild, the veteran guys really started to look out for and help the young guys improve as much as possible. Lundqvist also revealed that he too was dealing with a nagging knee injury throughout the season, though he claims it didn’t have any effect on his play.

News and Notes – Other Rangers players took to social media to say thank you to the fans for this season.

Had a blast end of the season! Thanks Rangers fans for all the support #xoxo 🤗

A post shared by Ryan Spooner (@rspooner51) on

In player transaction news, the Rangers put defenseman Alexei Bereglazov on unconditional waivers for contract termination. Bereglazov played just 13 games in Hartford where he had four points (G, 3A) before being loaned back to Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL.

For full video coverage of today’s breakup day, click here

7 comments

  • Of course we had the same idiots on twitter saying these guys (especially Kreider) we’re excited cause AV is gone now. I don’t remember hearing how the players all hated AV and I thought they continued to battle when the team was losing. I don’t think they gave up on him at all. What else did you expect to hear them say anyway? Let’s see what Gorton next move is. He’s either gonna build a great team or we’re gonna stink for years. I just have this feeling it’s gonna be one of the other and no in between

    • I don’t get how people said these players were excited about AV leaving? There wasn’t anything said that wasn’t professional and I haven’t heard any playerbtake a direct shot at him. There were no reports of players going to Jeff Gorton go complain about AV like you heard after Torts was fired. You find out after Torts’s firing that there was a stream of players going into Slat’s office tobsay they couldn’t play for Torts anymore. But it’s one last shot by the fans to voice their personal hatred.

      My question is why isn’t anyone pressing Gorton as to why Lindy Ruff is STILL employed. His “I want to sit down with him” raises more questions than anything else. That’s a huge head scratcher for me. I can’t see what he’s done to get an offer to stay with this organization at any level. His defense’s have been an embarrassment from Dallas to here.

      • I think the Lindy Ruff scenario is nothing more than a respect thing. The Rangers are a first class organization, who will treat Ruff as he deserves to be treated. He’ll get an obligatory interview and then it will lead to his release because the team wants to go in a different direction. Not too different than the team letting A.V. finish out the season. They no as a good a coach as A.V. and Ruff both are, they aren’t the men to lead a rebuild. But they both command and deserve respect in the NHL. Can’t wait to see what this off season brings.

  • Joe, I have a bad feeling. I got it , they are employees after all. However, one of them should have stepped up to ,at least, acknowledged the accomplishments under AV. And Mike is so right. Why is this management team ,extraordinaire,talking with Ruff. I am beginning to believe, stink for a long time could be on the horizon. OK. LMHI

  • It almost looks like Gorton set AV up. He started his rebuild last year but really didn’t rebuild anything yet but only took a big piece away in Stepan. He did call it the “rebuild on the fly” but he left AV with no chance of success. We said it in the beginning of the season that they would struggle this year to get into the playoffs. Then when you throw in the injuries we were dead all together. That was just anextra bonus for Gordon’s plan. So then Gorton brings in Ruff so he can learn the team a little and then when the team fails this year like it did Gorton would have the excuse to fire AV. Cause he had an extension on his contract. Now I’m sure that’s not really the case but if they actually did hire Ruff it would certainly look suspicious. It would be an easy rumor to get started on social media I’m sure. Lol. They better not hire Ruff or I really think we’ll be in bad shape for years to come. I’m sure I’ve said this before but man Gorton has a lot of decisions to make that will determine how much fun we have watching the Rangers for a while. We’re talking about needing several players now and the right coach to run them

  • I did hope to let AV drift into the sunset without much fanfare or rancor. Whats done is done. Lets move forward to a better team and a more suitable coach. But after reading some of these comments I simply have to chime in. What did AV in was not the Stepan trade. It was not his personality and the public spats he had with selective players or his passive aggressive approach to player discipline. It was not his incessant gum chewing or his smug attitude with the media and fans. All of those foibles could have been tolerated. And most certainly it was not his record over his five year tenure with the Rangers.

    AV was fired for his horrid decision making, his deployment of the wrong players at the wrong times and his inability to alter strategy or systems when it was clear the opposition coaches had his number. It was his tendancy to force a square peg into a round hole by imposing a D zone (overload) system on a roster that could not handle the man on man coverage. In the end, he became absolutely delusional and could not see the forest for the trees. His end of season pressor was clear evidence of this.

    It never was a simple as he hates rookies and favours vets. My god….all he had to do was deploy his best assets, be they newbies or grizzled vets. Plain and simple. He couldn’t do that favouring the likes of Tanner Glass over Buchnevitch and losing his best performing defensive pair on the bench down the stretch in key playoff games.

    I do not “hate” the man, I do not know him that well. And I do not wish him ill will. But that does not mean I have to be sympathetic. He made his bed so to speak and he has to own his fate. AV may have been a good coach one time but he devolved into mediocrity and stubborn inflexibility. That’s what cost him his job.

    • I’m so glad you were hoping to let AV drift into the sunset and not say much. Lol. I wasn’t saying the Stepan trade is what did AV in. I’m saying he had key guys taken away without really replacing them yet fans still expected the team to win like it had when they did have a better roster. Let’s see who the next coach is and how he plays his guys. I’m ready to support whoever that may be but I really hope it’s not Sutter. I don’t think it will be though. But that’s just my opinion

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