Bryan Trottier

Trottier On 34th St.

by Gary Pino

It’s amazing how things seem to rapidly change right before our eyes. Bryan Trottier hired by Glen Sather this week marks “The Real” new beginning for the Rangers!  If Neil Smith were still the GM, Trottier’s name would never even be mentioned in the same breath with “NYR’s Organization”!  But this is the new millennium, and hopefully a fun and exciting new beginning for the entire Rangers organization?

For Glen Sather’s sake I hope things turn around in a hurry, or he may be looking for work come the end of next season!  Trottier will have his work cut out himself and needs to teach a team that has not seen playoff games here at MSG, how to win and make it to the playoffs!  Not an easy task!  Goalie Mike Richter has not seen or let alone played in the playoffs in 6 seasons now, the biggest question I have on Richter is, “Will he be around if and when the Rangers do make the playoffs?  Honestly, I believe Dan Blackburn will win the starting job this season in camp!  Dan has proven he can play at a very high level for the then 18-year-old child he was.  With that incredible run at last season’s end, and that stellar game in Philadelphia, he opened everyone’s eyes that doubted that the kid had that kind of game in him.

My concern is, if Blackburn does play at that level next season, will Mike Richter take a backup roll on the bench?  At this stage of his career, I am not so sure he would want to do that here, when he can try and break the bank with another team, and be the number one guy for a contender.  Glen Sather better think this through before he signs Mike!  Otherwise a goaltending controversy could be on the horizon.  And for a team like the Rangers, who are still trying to find their identity, this would be the worst thing for Trottier to have to deal with!  The one thing you cannot do, is mess with Blackburn’s development like they did with Kloucek last season!  Everyone around the Rangers seems to think that they should split the games played 50/50?  But, what if Danny gets hot during the season, and runs off 6 in a row?  Now, Mike Richter is sitting on the bench, and the tension will start to mount between Richter and the coaching staff.  This situation, I feel will have to be handled very carefully, and taken very seriously!

Tomas Kloucek has to come to camp, and regardless of how he plays, needs to be with the Rangers and not in Hartford!  It’s time for this kid to come along, and learn how to play NHL style hockey.  Kloucek is ready! “No doubt in my mind”!  He had his game where I thought was the best I have ever seen him, early last season.  Kloucek was sending guys off the ice with crushing hits in at least every other 2 games.  The best hit that comes to mind was the whack he put on Florida’s Peter Worrell in Florida!  Just let Kloucek play his game!  He needs to learn when to nail a guy and when not to! Judging by the way the defensemen in Colorado were handled, I have a great feeling Trottier will bring Kloucek up properly.

Bryan Trottier will have a lot of work to do in a short period of time, and I am confident he is capable of getting the job done here in New York!  Bryan said at the press conference a word that I have been longing to hear! “System”.  He plans to implement a system on a team that I firmly believe forgot the basics of the game.  Judging from Trottier’s comments, he plans on leaving the off ice stuff like UFA’s and personnel issues to Glen Sather, and that’s music to my ears. It means he is focused on his job at hand, and that’s teaching the team discipline! It sounds like the 2 men will get along very nicely together, and that Trottier will be on his own as far as coaching.  I’d like to see Trottier bring in his own assistants, and not be given Walt Kyle, or heaven forbid, Ron Low!  I have always said that we would need someone to remove the “Bitter Beer Faces” around here!  And maybe Bryan Trottier was the answer all along?

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