2021-22 Rangers

What was said on Friday about vaccination, Gallant’s style, what Reaves brings and more

Gerard Gallant spoke on Friday and said some of the following (NYR):

  • Can you confirm whether the entire team is vaccinated, “I can confirm that the team will be fully vaccinated, definitely, before the first regular-season game.”

  • On Sammy Blais, “That is what training camp and new coaches are all about, people get different opportunities. We are going to see, we just threw these lines together early on, a lot of them look like they are going to be lines during the season, but that is what training camp is for and we are going to try and grow some chemistry over the exhibition games and I’m sure the lines aren’t all going to be the same Day 1. We will see where it goes. I think that he’s a guy, he’s a big guy, strong guy, scored some goals in junior hockey and we hope to get that outta him, obviously he’s a big part of our group and we will see what we can do. I really want four lines that can play and have depth and the so-called fourth line, or whatever you want to call it, has to go out there and do more than bang bodies, they’ve gotta score some goals, play the game the right way and that is what we expect from all four lines, not just the so-called fourth line.”
  • How does Reaves impact the team, “I think it’s pretty obvious how he impacts it, he makes everybody tougher on our team. He’s a physical presence, but, again, I think Ryan played some real good hockey for us. He didn’t get as much ice time the last year, but he’s a veteran guy who has come to camp in outstanding shape again and he’s excited and he knows I’ll give him every opportunity to be an important player and important player in our dressing room.”
  • On Reaves in the locker room, “He’s a leader. He’s an experienced guy, 34 I think, and from everything I’m hearing from the other guys, they like Reavo. He’s been there, helping them out, I heard today that he was really good on the bench with the younger players. He’s a character guy and when you are a good locker room guy it might give you an extra year or two, Reavo works hard.”
  • On Adam Fox, “Very good (laugh). Obviously he won the Norris Trophy and come to camp in very good shape again. I don’t expect Adam Fox to go out there the first two days and wow everybody, that is not what we want him to do, we want him to go out and prepare everything he does and talk to people and the way he carries himself, really impressed with the kid.”
  • Will you use Fox on the PK, “We aren’t going to kill the guy by playing him 30 minutes a night, that isn’t going to happen, but we will use him when we need him. Obviously he’s a great offensive player, obviously we want him to kill penalties too, in certain situations, but we’ve brought in other people who can kill penalties and we aren’t going to put the burden on him to play all special teams and 30 minutes a night.”

Ryan Reaves met with the media and said some of the following (NYR):


  • What do you say when players ask about Gallant, “he plays a simple style, it’s not a really complicated program here. He expects one thing, to work hard, practice, games, he expects you to lay everything on the ice, but he also expects us to have fun. Those are usually the two messages. I told a couple of guys what his speech was going to be and I think I nailed it (laugh), 95% of the words. I got him down pat.”
  • What is unique about Gallant, “He really does put an emphasis on having fun while working hard. He understands that, it’s a privilege to play in this league, but it’s also one of the funnest things that you can do in your life, so he brings that aspect and a hard working/laid back aspect, if that makes any sense. You come to the rink and it’s not like ‘oh my god, we are going to get shredded today because we lost a game.’ I’ve had coaches where you win five in a row and you lose a game and you come to the rink and it’s 30 minutes of video and a bag skate, he’s not going to do that. He’s quick at turning the page and getting on to the next. You have fun playing for him, he’s a guy that is easy to talk to, very approachable, if something is going on that you see with the team, go talk to him. He may tell you to beat it, but he’s going to listen for sure. He’s going to hold you accountable, for sure, that is a big part of his system, accountability up and down the lineup and you play your role, do what you are supposed to do on and off the ice, you earn his respect and he earns your respect and there is definitely that mutual respect throughout the season.”
  • On landing with the Rangers, “Since the Free Agency where I signed a couple of times in Vegas, probably 10-times a year I see a lot of fans saying ‘let’s get Reaves,’ whenever there is an incident that happens here, it’s always ‘let’s get Reaves.’ I told my wife one time that I’m probably going to end up in NY at some point, and here we are. The way it came about, in Vegas they made some trades that pushed me down the lineup and they said I wasn’t going to play every game. I had an opportunity to come here, play on another big stage, play for my old coach, got a one-year extension out of it. Kind of a no-brainer. For me, you go where you are wanted. I’m 34 right now, I think I have been very lucky, with the style I play to be in this league this long. There’s not a lot of players like me, that there’s not a lot of players in general that you know play as long as I have and, you know, at the end of this contract I’ll be 36 So you got to go where you want it and that’s here.
  • What is your style of play, “In your face, physical, you know, gritty, I think, you know, I think I just bring a little swag to the team. I think that’s something that maybe that’s been missing here a little bit last couple years is a little bit of pushback when there is you know that there’s some physical teams in this in this division. And there’s there’s been games where maybe there’s not that push back that you need in some of those games and sometimes games can get control sometimes just that style of play can push you out of the game. And so, you know, I think, I try and lead the way, you know, day in and day out with the physical play when something happens on the ice, I’m always gonna stick up for teammate. You know when we got to get loud on the bench or get loud on the ice, I’m going to be the first guy to chirp somebody and get in their face and give them a face wash or whatever it has to be to get the boys going so you know that’s, you know, I bring that and then you know I’m think I’m the oldest guy on the team by five years so I bring, bring a little bit of the office to you know I play daddy a little bit, you know, Vegas a lot of guys came to play the young guys came with me, with basically any problem they ever had was, I thought they needed a team service guy for that after that. I try and help, you know, especially the young guys for sure I try and help on off as with whatever they need.
  • What do you imagine your role is, “Not scoring 50 goals, I’ll tell you that much. Yeah, although I had one day so say, No, you know, I think it’s gonna be what it’s always been, you know, not going to be making, you know toe drags the blue line, I’m not going to be trying go going through guys it’s going to be getting the puck in deep, making D very scared to go back and get it and you know I think when, if I’m playing like that day in and day out every single ship, you know, eventually it starts to trickle to other lines you know those lines start chipping in and they try and go get the puck well now those D don’t know who’s on the ice and maybe they’re a little more scared. Even when, you know, another lines out on the ice so you know I try and kind of set that standard and kind of set the tone for other for other lines, and you know make the other team a little uneasy.”
  • On Tom Wilson, “I’m not here because of Tom Wilson, I’m here because of, you know what players like Tom Wilson brings to him, his team and what Clutterbuck and Martin bring to their team and you know this is a big division that has some physical fourth lines and you know, Wilson’s on the first line physical top line who you know, runs around a little bit and doesn’t matter what the player is what team it is you know whether we are out east or out west. I’m holding everybody accountable, it doesn’t matter, you know, it doesn’t matter what happened last year doesn’t want to happen you know 10 years ago, it’s what happened this season or what happens this season and everybody’s gonna be held accountable when, when they go up against our team.”
  • What is this team capable  of, “Stanley Cup I wouldn’t have come here, if they weren’t. This team built a lot of young good talented players, you know, to draft picks and they just have a really good young team here, and now this year you know we’ve added some grit we’ve added a little bit of that grind that you know that balances the team out well. And, you know some of these young players are in their second, third year now a little more mature a little, you know a little more poised a little just a little more experienced in this league, you know, it’s sometimes, you know, not everybody’s Connor McDavid can jump in and score 100 points the first year, it takes a little bit of time and if you look at some of the young guys here, I think they’re ready to take that leap and I expect nothing less than a push for the cup here.”

Adam Fox spoke and said some of the following (NYR):

  • What do you do for an encore, “hopefully the same thing. You know, I think, you know, I try and play my game you know game in a game out I don’t try and be someone I’m not so yeah I think just doing that and sticking, you know with what I’m good at and, you know, I think that’s what I’m successful”.
  • What has the mood around the team been, “Yeah, it’s definitely been upbeat, and obviously a lot of great guys and personalities in that locker room and you know I think it’s just a hungry group obviously you know we haven’t been the most successful in the two years I’ve been here, so you know I think you bring in guys with experience guys who have won and, you know, I think that kind of lifts the whole group and you know we’re here to accomplish something and you know I think it’s definitely a hungry locker room.”
  • Have you been contacted by Team USA about the Olympics, “Yeah, there’s been some like long list stuff so yeah that was obviously cool to get that and you know definitely something that you know hopefully to look forward to.”
  • On Nils Lundkvist, “Yea, he looks good. I haven’t, you know, been able to see too much of him but uh, you know, he’s definitely a smart player with a lot of skill and, you know like myself a smaller guy so I’m sure you know people will question things about him, you know, like any small player but you know it seems like a great kid and some of those who want to work hard so yeah you could definitely see the skill and smarts that he has.”
  • Where are you as defense overall, “Yeah, I think a little bit, I think, you know obviously chemistry is a big thing and I you know I was lucky enough to, to kind of have that with Ryan right away and, you know, obviously, Key got better as the year progressed, he’s got a lot of skill and, you know, Troubs as a guy that he’s been in the league a while and the way he plays kind of, you know lifts the whole D up a little bit. So yeah, I think once you get that familiarity and guys were a lot more comfortable with each other, it helps the whole group.”
  • On your first impressions of Gallant, “Yeah, like you said not not too many interactions you know obviously we had a practice the other day but you know he’s definitely a guy that wants hard work and, and you could tell that but, you know, at the same time he’s gonna let guys play their game and do what they have to do and you know no one, no one that I know has really said a bad word about him and so definitely looking forward to getting to know him a little more.”
  • On leadership, “Yeah, I think I definitely want to be a leader on this team. You know I think every guy wants to wants to lead in some way I think it’s, you know, I’ve heard other guys say but it really is just about being who you are, I think, you know, everyone can sense when someone’s you know, faking it a little bit or trying to be someone they’re not. So I think just for me just you know doing what I do I’m not really a rah rah you know hype man, but, you know, just, just coming in, day in and day out trying to bring a good energy and you know maybe lead on the ice a little more, you know, vocally but like you said, there’s a lot of leaders in that locker room and you know a lot of guys that players look up to. So, yeah, it’s not just one guy, there’s a lot of guys in their own sure want to be leaders.”
  • On changing the reputation of the Rangers, “I don’t know about reputation I think having those players is essential to any team I think, you know, we obviously want to be a hard team to play against, you know, maybe that’s not always you know, fighting five times a game but, you know, being hard on guys and being a hard team to play against in that sense, but yeah, like you said the additions we brought in, they just help everyone understand their role a little more, I think, you know I think that’s what a team’s at their best when guys know what they have to do shift and shift out and, you know, like I said earlier, just just being true to themselves in terms of players on the ice and how they play so yeah obviously some great additions and guys who have experience and I’ll help the whole group.