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Rangers to undergo offseason filtration process

May 28, 2012, 3:38 PM EDT

John Tortorella AP

On Saturday, John Tortorella praised the Rangers by saying “I love our jam, I love our balls.”

On Monday, he was less effusive.

“If you’re content that’s when you go by the wayside. We have to continue to improve as an organization,” he told reporters. “I think some guys get it, I think some guys don’t get it.

“We need to continue to filter.”

It was unclear what Tortorella meant with the “filter”, though I’d guess it’s the buy-in required to play Rangers hockey. Torts describes it as straight-ahead, direct, come-at-you hockey that emphasizes defensive responsibility, physicality and — yes — shot blocking.

Players that fit the bill include Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Ryan Callahan.

Players that don’t…might get filtered.

Players like Brandon Dubinsky, who spent a good chunk of the year mired in Torts’ doghouse and was floated in trade rumors. Or Artem Anisimov, who had a bad second half and saw his ice time decrease in the Eastern Conference finals (twice he got less than nine minutes.)

What about Michael Del Zotto? Even though he’s 21, gifted offensively and coming off a career-high 41 points, his time under Tortorella has been rocky. Getting benched in Game 4 of the New Jersey series was well-documented and his turnovers have earned him the “Del Zaster” nickname among some Blueshirt faithful.

(Del Zotto’s also an impending RFA. He says he has no idea what will happen with negotiations.)

Finally, a big filtration could come during free agency. Veterans Ruslan Fedotenko, Brandon Prust, John Mitchell, Anton Stralman, Steve Eminger and backup goalie Martin Biron are all scheduled to become UFAs on July 1.

  1. barkar942 - May 28, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Looking at the Rangers roster, McDonagh, Staal, and Girardi are the main three D. Stralman came very far this season considering Torts didn’t like him at all at first. I think he deserves another shot. Eminger will sign elsewhere. Sauer is still a huge question mark. Erixon and McIlrath are sitting in Hartford, about ready.
    DelZotto will be out there as trade bait for sure.
    Offensively, Anisimov and Dubi will be dangled. I am sure that they will be part of something to clear cap space for whoever the Rangers go after. I think Parise resigns with the Devils and won’t even get to Free Agency. As for any of the other free-agent forwards, there really isn’t a lot of great snipers on the list, so I really think it is going to have to come through a trade that will move DelZ, Anisimov and Dubi plus prospects to get, perhaps Rick Nash. Might even take a three way deal so Columbus ends up with the goalie they are looking for.

  2. hattrk - May 28, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Can we fliter out Torts? This guy is sucking the fun out of watching the Rangers. I don’t want to see Gaboric blocking shots, I want to see him sprung from their defensive zone and putting pressure at the other end of the ice. There needs to be a happy medium between this crazy D system and fire wagon hockey. Please stop this insanity!

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