Rangers GM Jeff Gorton was on Rangers Night Live on MSG on Monday and said the following:
- On July 1 being different, "it's a lot different, over the years we have been pretty active on July 1 and trying to add players to our team and help us push for some of our runs as we move forward. We have a plan in place and if you saw development camp you saw how many young players we had and we are trying to develop these guys the right way and give them opportunity. Based on what was out there and some of the opportunities we felt it was better to stay with our young guys and keep moving forward."
- On development camp, "it was really exciting, we always like to think we have a great development camp with a lot of players but the depth and amount of players we had, it was really exciting."
- On the young guys making the team, "I think it's realistic that some of them will be on the team. That will play itself out but we will provide the opportunity. If we signed a number of guys yesterday and today and some of the spots were taken it might discourage some of the young players but as a young players in our organization right now, if you think you are close to making it you look at our roster and see opportunity and like what they are doing and sticking to the plan. Hopefully they are pushing hard this summer to get one of those spots."
- On re-signing Namestnikov, "Vladdy is a real versatile guy. We don't know enough about him in our organization to go further but I felt that for two-years it was the right move to make. He can play center, both wings, on the PP, PK, good character guy, can skate. If some of our younger players weren't ready then Vlad could jump in at a higher level and not miss a beat. I feel it's the right time to make that kind of deal. 25-26 year old type player, those are the guys we want right now."
- On how Namestnikov played last season, "mentally it was hard on Vladdy, going forward, talking to him at the end of the season, I think he will be in a better place and a fresh start and one thing that was pretty clear was that he wanted to be here and liked what we were doing and NY and the Rangers and it will be a good fit."
- On signing Claesson, "he's played less than 200 games, can skate, plays physical, can play both sides. We thought it was a good opportunity to add to our depth and see if he can make our team."
- On the RFAs, "we are talking to them and, like Vladdy, trying to make deals, short-term, long-term, going through those scenarios right now. They have the ability to file for arbitration in the next week and we will go from there. In the next seven days we will probably have a better outlook on what it's going to look like. We like all of the players, Brady Skjei is somebody that has been here a while, was drafted and developed, character player, the kind of player we want on the back end. We have had some really good talks with him, Kevin Hayes is someone that chose the Rangers and Vesey the same, we are looking at them right now and trying to figure out what is the best term, cap wise going forward against their free agent time tables. Hopefully in the next week we will have more good conversations."
- On Brendan Smith, "We will give Brendan another opportunity to get back on our team and help us. One of the things we liked about him was his physicality, how he played in front of the net, his skating, how he played in that run we had two-years ago was why we signed him. We think that Brendan is doing all the right things in the summer to give himself a chance to get back into the top-six and contribute and be the player we know he can be. By all signs this summer has been good, he's been in great shape, working hard. He just had a baby, I think that this will be a really important September for him and I think he knows it."
- On David Quinn, "what stands out for David is that he is a real positive communicator. It never changes, never has a bad day, always an up beat guy and I think he is really looking forward to the challenge of coaching the Rangers and I think he is proud to be in the situation he is in. As far as how we are going to play, we are going to play up-tempo, he wants the puck and every conversation we had was about puck possession and being up-tempo."