The New York Rangers opened training camp yesterday, and with an entirely new coaching staff led by head coach Alain Vigneault, you would say this year’s camp would be a “clean slate.”
I know Vigneault did. The coach started training camp by giving the players on his new team a present.
This was a t-shirt that said “Clean Slate Grab It.” When Vigneault was asked about the shirt by the media, he said “everybody’s got a clean slate. Everybody’s going to get a chance. It might not be a long chance, but they’re going to get a chance. They’re going to get an opportunity. It’s up to them to grab it.”
In other words, Vigneault obviously wanted to let it be known in words that John Tortorella will not be returning to the Rangers locker room any time soon. This clean slate Vigneault is preaching should definitely help veteran center Brad Richards regain his confidence after a dreadful year, especially in the playoffs. Only time will tell how Richards responds to the new coach.
The only Rangers who didn’t receive their t-shirts were backup goaltender Martin Biron, who had to leave due to personal reasons, and restricted free agent holdout, center Derek Stepan.
Stepan and his agent have made it clear that they want a five or six year deal worth at least $5 million per, while Rangers GM Glen Sather is only willing to give him a two-year deal worth no more than $3 million per season. For Vigneault’s part, the coach made it clear that he will hold no grudge if and when Stepan does return to the team, which is refreshing to hear.
Obviously, it is a new beginning for the players on the Rangers’ roster; but even with the new coaching regime, the goal still remains the same: win the Stanley Cup.
I guess we will just have to wait and see if the Blueshirts can fulfill their quest this season, which will start in less than one month.
New York Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault Needs Derek Stepan In Camp Immediately
Derek Stepan Holdout Looming For New York Rangers
New York Rangers: Will Derek Stepan Be Affected By Nazem Kadri’s New Contract?