James Dolan has been a rare visitor to the Rangers, at least publicly. After the Nashville victory he spoke to the Rangers media for the first time in almost seven years. The owner of the team spoke openly and enthusiastically about Glen Sather (who has done a tremendous job since the lockout on the whole) and the fact that he saw the Rangers close to a Stanley Cup.
Glen and I made a pact, I actually gave him something which I won’t reveal what it is. I said you can’t give it back to me until we win the Stanley Cup. And I think I’m pretty close to getting that thing back.
Dolan appeared to speak quite openly about the emphasis on development, youth and the turnaround in the organisational approach over the past seven years. It may have surprised many how much Dolan may seem to know about his team.
Dolan’s comment about the Cup will likely spark rumours of how aggressive the Rangers will be in positioning themselves for a cup run so assume any significant player coming on the market will be linked with the Rangers. Don’t forget, for all his shortfalls Dolan has always been willing to spend money on the team when Sather identified a need. Obviously that hasn’t always been a good thing as, for all the Gaborik’s and Biron’s there has been the Redden’s and Brashear’s.
Dolan is very much a Knicks fan first and foremost. Anyone watching the Knicks over the years has seen Dolan get actively involved, too much so in fact. Rangers fans haven’t had that aspect of his ownership to deal with. Truth is, his daily involvement probably won’t change but for the first time in well over a decade Dolan sees a possible championship team in New York and that may mean he puts pressure on Sather and co. to go out and acquire pieces for a run.
Coach Tortorella was (as usual) disapproving of championship talk straight after Dolan’s surprise flirt with the media. However it will be interesting to see if there is any change in how the Rangers go about their business over the next few weeks leading up to the deadline. Could the Dolan conference appearance be a watershed moment in the season?