As training camp looms (we're two weeks away) players are returning from their summers and getting ready for the upcoming season. One of those players is Brad Richards, who spoke to the media Monday before his golf tournament at the Scarsdale Golf Club.
Richards spoke about Alain Vigneault and had some interesting things to say. From the New York Post:
"I haven't talked to Alain yet in any detail about [his system], but I think his style of play will be a lot more fun for a player like me," Richards said.
"I'm excited to have a difference voice [coaching the team] and a coach with a different view of how we should play that's more focused on offense. It suits me and I think it suits everybody more on the whole team, to be honest."
I think a lot of people expected some players to be thrilled about the coaching change for a lot of different reasons. Chris Kreider, Michael Del Zotto and J.T. Miller have to be happy they'll be given a fresh start (along with a more offensive mindset). That offensive mindset has to be attractive to pretty much all the forwards, actually, but it's Richards who really thinks it will help his game rebound.
I think a lot of people thought Tortorella "protected" Richards last year, but according to Richards the two haven't even spoken since Tortorella was fired.
Instead - though it was not an either/or - Tortorella was dismissed and Richards was invited back for a third season on Broadway. The two men have not spoken since the firing that took place three days following the club's elimination.
"I reached out," Richards said. "But there's been no talking."
To be fair, Tortorella is a busy guy right now. He just took a new job with the Vancouver Canucks, has to completely change his schedule (way more travel on the Western side of the hockey world) and has his own issues (Roberto Luongo) to deal with. So it's conceivable the two just might not have had the time to talk, but it's still interesting.
I do believe Tortorella is not pleased with the Rangers locker room, though. Hell, he's said as much in The Providence during an interview this summer:
"What bothered me the most is I thought I was pretty close to the guys, and in exit interviews they come by my desk too, and no one said anything to me," Tortorella said. "I wish they would have said something to me. Glen (Sather) probably still would have fired me, but you hope you develop people to be men, and I thought we were there. I guess it went through a third party instead of face-to-face. I know it happens in the game, I don't agree with it."
And since Richards was part of the team's leadership group, Tortorella is probably displeased Richards didn't come to him before things truly soured. But Richards probably wasn't thrilled with the way things went, either. So I guess it is what it is. Both parties move in different directions and everyone gets on with their lives.
Anyway, just some interesting things coming down the pipeline as we get closer to hockey season.