Jeff Gorton, Rangers

What John Davidson and Jeff Gorton said on Monday

John Davidson and Jeff Gorton spoke on MSG on Monday and said:

  • JG | On the Brady Skjei trade, “the league is backed up pretty good right now, we are still working on some things but it’s pretty well known that we traded Brady to Carolina.”
  • JG | Is it Toronto or Carolina’s, “I’ll talk about it when it’s done, but it’s one of them.”
  • JG | Why trade Brady, “when we looked at everything, organizational depth, where we are strong, the players we have coming, the opportunity, we’ve spent a lot of time talking to our scouts and it’s a strong draft and we just felt that the position we are, to add another first round pick and add flexibility with the cap and when you add it all up, we just felt it was the right move.”
  • JD: “It gives us 9 high picks in the next two drafts, 3 in the first, 1 in the second, 4 in the third and that is important to us as we go through this process of building the franchise.”
  • JG | How much did how the teams play impact the moves, “it’s both, we are pretty happy with how we are playing, a lot of people have stepped up. Our job is to look big picture too. You see that with Chris, we sign him and kept him as a Ranger. To address that and have him going forward was important to us. We looked at everything. We are well aware of how our team is doing, how we are playing will continue to try that but looking big picture also.
  • JG | Was there a question of not signing Chris, “there is always doubt with a negotiation and a deadline coming right behind it. We were talking for a long time in the last couple of weeks, thankfully we were able to get a deal. We had to talk to some teams and go through some scenarios and if this doesn’t happen, are we ready for that. It was a possibility that he might have to be traded.”
  • JG | Why was keeping Kreider important, “it’s obvious on the ice what he brings on and off the ice. When you look at what he is doing, his emergence. We think he is still getting better and his size, skating, scoring ability, combo he has with Mika, his PP ability. When you add it all up it’s a player we have had in our organization for a long time and we’ve watched the strides he’s been making. When you weigh all the options it became more evident that we wanted to keep him.”
  • JD | On Kreider’s impact as a leader, “it all helps for sure, even when you go to the summers. He trains, I wouldn’t say freak of nature, but he’s a very well conditioned individual, a terrific athlete in that sense. We are young and getting younger and you need people that can lead the way with those particular things in mind. Today in our league it’s not showing up at training camp and training all winter as you try to play wherever you are, it’s about 11 1/2 months per year and Chris is very good at that, that is part of it for sure. When you do the pluses and minuses, the pluses certainly outweigh the minuses. Jeff did a terrific job, they got together, it took some time and found a way to hammer it out. It made sense to both sides, if it didn’t make sense for us we would have had to move in a different direction but they got it done, we are excited about Chris. He plays well with Mika, it’s a speed game, he’s got power, healthy his whole career, a lot of good things to think about.”
  • JG | Did you have figure out Kreider before any other move, “I think so, it’s the trade deadline so there are a lot of things in the air at the same time. We’ve been going at this the last few days, it was something that was important to resolve in a contract but one way or the other we had to get to that one and move on to what else we had to look at.”
  • JG | Would you have done other things after trading Kreider, “it’s a hypothetical question and hard for us to answer because it never happened. Certainly happy Chris is a Ranger and excited about that. I will say that trading Brady Skjei is difficult, he’s a special guy, really good person, good player, good Ranger and wish him nothing but the best. It was just a move we felt we had to make.”
  • JD | “to take you into the room for a second, when you get down to the deadline, the last day or two, Jeff is making a lot of calls, balls in the air, Chris Drury did a lot of good work too, he’s on the phone, associated with the American league and our club and talking to people in the organization. It’s a pretty big deal when you are dealing with this amount of teams and this whole thing worked well together from my mind with all the different balls in the air at the time. What if, what didn’t, we had to be prepared and I think we were.”
  • JG | Did the Shesterkin/Buchnevich accident impact anything, “no, I don’t think so. It’s an unfortunate incident that happened, thankful that it wasn’t worse and these guys will be okay rather soon. No, wouldn’t say that.”
  • JG | On Jesper Fast and the deadline, “A player like him is pretty well valued in the league and we thought about a little bit of everything with Jesper but at the end of the day keeping him was something we felt was important.”
  • JD | On Henrik Lundqvist’s future, “we’ve got the three goaltenders, we are happy we have three goaltenders, especially with the injury, it’s a non-displaced rib fracture. Hank has been a terrific pro through all of this. I watch most every practice and he works his tail off and I feel confident he is ready to play when Quinny makes that call as we go through the rest of the season. I also think that this is something we will sit down and talk about, for sure, because it’s only fair to Hank and his family and it’s fair to us. There isn’t much more to say about it. We will chat, we will talk. We’ve had many conversations with Hank through all this. Everyone is on the up and up and where everyone sits. I’m very confident we will find a good resolution wherever we go, very confident our group with Jeff and Hank, the communication has been very strong and he has been very professional. Very professional.”
  • JG | How do you envision replacing Brady, “short-term, Smitty has played pretty well on D when we’ve put him there. I’ll talk to Quinny tonight, let everyone settle in, and talk about what is next. We are pretty comfortable with our depth in the organization, we’ve seen Libor come up and play pretty well. Short-term it’s probably going to be Smitty.”
  • JG | On Cap Flexibility, “when we first spoke about it, flexibility is important as we go forward. We have a number of guys in the last year of their deals that we will have to look at. It all goes into it, we look at everything when we make these decisions, it’s not just based on cap, but it’s a part of it.”
  • JD | On the position the team is in right now, “we’d love to keep on winning. You always get curveballs in this business, last night at whatever time it was, when the phone rang about the accident the two players were in, that is a major curve ball and we had to deal with it and we will deal with all these things as they come along. We want our club to keep winning, we want them to go through the experience of a chase down the stretch for the playoffs, it’s very important for young players in particular, and the veterans too. If we get there, fantastic, and if we don’t it will be a good experience and we will keep moving along as we try to build this into something. There are always steps forward and always steps backward when you get into this type of build, and I say this through experience. You have to keep your eye on what the big picture is and make decisions with that in mind. We’ve told our fans, we have a plan and that is what we are trying to implement. Hopefully we get there, if not, we do our business to try to get to where we want to get to long-term.”
  • JD | Have you considered altering the plan, “you consider everything, even in the summer when you sign a free agent like Panarin, people are saying ‘they lost their idea of the plan,’ no, he’s going to be a terrific player through this. We are always going to keep every option open and think about them for sure, there is reality that sets in, who your competition is, where your injuries are, everything from A-Z plays into these factors. We just want to continue doing the right thing and we will get there.”
  • JD | On Buchnevich, “nothing of significance, no, but when you get rattled like that you are going to be sore. But if you are talking about serious injuries where a shoulder popped out or a fracture leg or dislocation, no, there is nothing there. You get shaken and bruise. It was a pretty good whack the two of them took.”