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Thoughts & Musings – Inside the biz, Torts’ System, & More

August 18, 2011, by

It’s Thursdays folks and you know what that means…Thoughts & Musings time!  Chris usually does these, so my apologies to his loyal admirers.

As always (more like every now and then), I try to put my sports insider/biznass spin on this blog of ours, so bare with me for a few before we get back to talking about the latest Rangers buzz.

Coming To A Hockey Arena Near You 

For those of you who vacationed from the site this summer, I’ve been sporadically posting bits of information about what industry insiders are discussing in front offices and locker rooms around the country. We’ve talked about everything from dynamic ticket pricing to off season conditioning. Today I want to briefly discuss another topic that has caught my attention that I thought was interesting enough to share with all of you.

So what’s on the stove?

There is little bit of technology being tested at the NFL, NCAA, and the WWE and it may be making its way into hockey arenas. It’s called “Live Sports Radio.” Essentially it is an earpiece (think of a Bluetooth) that is distributed at sporting events and broadcasts the audio signal from your local sports TV telecast.

So if you’re at a Rangers game at MSG, you would be able to listen to Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti’s analysis while you are sitting in the stands. The rumored cost for these things is suppose to be around $10-$20. Not a bad price if you’re looking to find out if the puck crossed the goal line before everybody else in your section or if you want to follow the action when you’re on line at a concession stand…

Back to the Rangers…

John Tortorella Is Not Ron Low, John Muckler, Bryan Trottier, or even Tom Renney

I keep reading these silly comments that Fedotenko, Wolski, etc. are somehow taking away roster spots from our young players. Look, those anti-veteran arguments worked in the 90’s and early 2000s when the aforementioned coaches opted to stick with their washed-up, overpaid veterans instead of up-and-coming players. Those days are long gone people. Torts is here.

If any young player, be it Christian Thomas, or Carl Hagelin, etc. outplays any veteran on this roster, that young player is going to get the job. That has been Torts philosophy his entire coaching career.

He pushed Redden, Drury, and Rozi down the depth chart and out the door because he believed in guys like Staal, Girardi, Dubinsky, Callahan, Stepan, etc. Don’t think for a minute he won’t do the same with this new crop of young players. When they are ready for it, they will get their chance.

Gaborik Can Play In Any System

Some people think that because we got Richards, Torts should just throw out his playbook, allow Gaborik to play however he wants, and not worry about sticking to the system. Their thinking is, that if he’s worrying about backchecking, then he won’t be scoring goals.

Gaborik scored 42 goals for a Minny team that played an ultra-conservative trap. He also scored over 40 goals playing in Torts’s 2-1-2 dump and chase. Gaborik can succeed in any system because he is an elite player.

Asking him to play a team game will not hurt his production, it will enhance it. In order to score a goal, you need to have the puck. Teams usually obtain the puck when they outnumber the opposition in the neutral or defensive zone. Gaborik needs to be apart of that equation.

Michael Del Zotto’s Future Has Yet To Be Written

I also don’t understand why people think Del Zotto should automatically go to Hartford or that he should automatically be placed on the roster. His spot, whether in Hartford, or on Broadway has to be earned.

Just because he had a bad year last season doesn’t mean he will have a bad camp or preseason. And just because the kid can hit or block shots, doesn’t mean he doesn’t need to work on his stickwork, gap control, or three zone coverage at the NHL level. His role can’t be decided in August, and his future is as incomplete as this sentence


  1. Mikeyyyy says:


  2. Mikeyyyy says:

    Suit. I am gonna have to disagree with the whole torts system thing.

    I dont think anyone is asking him to throw the whole system out the window. But with guys as skilled as br and gabby do you think they will thrive acting like a bunch of forecheckers an playing hard along the walls?

    What happens if they play horribly in the system together? Would you tweak the strategy to get these guys scoring?

    Note that all lines don’t have to play the same style. It’s called adapting. And if we don’t adapt. We don’t overcome. Period

  3. The Suit says:

    Look I hear you on adapting, and everyone makes tweaks, I am not arguing against that. But both Richards and Gabby have succeeded under Torts’ system. There is no reason to think they won’t succeed again.

    Forechecking is CRUCIAL in order to win games, as well as winning battles along the wall. If you are not pursuing the puck, you are sitting back and trapping, which is the exact opposite of his philosphy.

    You can’t have one line trap and one line play puck pursuit. It’s two different styles of hockey. Everyone has to be on the same page. If you’re not, than you’re Kovaluchuk skating aimlessly around the ice.

    Five guys sticking to a game plan will give you a better chance at winning than everyone playing for themselves.

  4. becky says:

    You get an A for this post buddy – it was short so it kept my attention, had something about my game experience and talked about a Torts system which gives me some probably false hope. Almost lost half a grade for your shameless plug and for you not being Chris, but the ending saved you.

    • The Suit says:

      Yes! The report card is back!

      Sorry gal, only so few of us can have British accents…

  5. Matt J says:

    At least now with Richards on the Power play he can play the point and we can have 4 forwards and one defenseman on it. Although it would be cool if we did what Washington does and have 5 forwards on it, but that’s a different situation all together.

    Richards should be the point man on both power play units.

  6. pavel says:

    I’ve been saying all year that Gaborik wasn’t playing well this year because he was hurt. Also, I think Del Zotto should be in Hartford next year. I also think that bringing him up at 19 was a BIG mistake. Playing the role of powerplay quarterback while being able to actually defend is VERY difficult. You need to be patient with guys like that and don’t bring them up just because they had a good camp. So hopefully the Rangers brass has learned the next time we got a puck moving d-man in the system, really let him develop at his own pace.

    • The Suit says:

      what if he plays well in preseason?

      • pavel says:

        I say let him play an entire season in Hartford and make sure he’s not just getting off to a hot start. Like I said, it’s very difficult to be an effective defensive defenseman while being able to contribute offensively to. So I would make 100% sure that when he comes up full time he’s ready.

  7. Section 121 says:

    I don’t think Torts has a system or philosophy that has been set in stone over his career. Remember when he came to NY and said we’re going to play “high pressure” hockey; D-men pinching in all the time etc. etc. Then, after a few months with a young lineup and giving up too many odd man rushes, Torts reverted back to Renney style hockey playing defense first.

    Now, Torts wants more “jam” and everyone to try harder to be a tough team to play against with physicality being the focus. Also, playing tight, one goal, defensive games became an indentity last year. IMO, Torts has just been adapting all along to whatever is at his disposal on the roster. There’s no real philosophy or strategy; just everyone needs to play hard and try 110%.

    • Section 121 says:

      If you don’t try hard, Torts yells and kicks and sreams and you get benched.

      Sullivan does all the “coaching” and Torts is just the motivator.

      • The Suit says:

        Torts doesn’t coach and you don’t think he has a strategy or a philosophy? Ok then. Clearly you didn’t watch Behind The Bench, nor do you know much about coaching.

        Nothing I am going to say is going to change your mind. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Hopefully 24/7 will enlighten you.

  8. JW says:

    Pro wrestling is not a sport.

  9. John says:

    The indiscriminate hate for Del Zotto really pisses me off. That is all.