In a piece over at the Toronto Sun, Arron Asham tells Kevin Hirschfield that he expects a looser environment in the Rangers locker room this season because of the departure of John Tortorella...
"He's very intense and he wants to get the most out of his players," said Asham. "He does a decent job of doing that, but when you're in the same spot for a certain amount of years and you have the same players, the guys seem to get fed up with all the screaming and stuff.
"Having a new face coming in and having a little more fun will be good. It was pretty intense in the dressing room, guys were a little uptight, but now we have a new guy and we can start laughing and having some fun."
...surprised it took this long for a player to publicly throw Torts under the bus, but Asham really isn't telling us anything we didn't already suspect. As Sather said, a demanding coach such as Torts has a shelf life, so when things aren't going according to plan the yelling and screaming can absolutely get tiresome.
...with the Rangers already proving they aren't exactly thrilled with Asham after putting him on waivers already this offseason, I wonder how Sather will react to a player going to the media with what goes on in the locker room.
Speaking of getting waived, Asham discussed that issue as well...
"It was more of a salary thing for signing guys in the next year. They haven't given up on me. I'm still going back and playing for the Rangers," he said.
"Sure, I would have been happy if somebody picked me up. But it's just part of the business. I wasn't hurt or upset or anything like that."
...got to love hearing a current player say he would have been "happy" to be claimed by another team. Hopefully that comment just clinched a one-way ticket to Hartford.
H/T to Spector's Hockey.
Wow, that psycho-babble was, well, interesting? Really, I am not sure what to make of it. Regardless, the overwhelming blame on last year's performance always seems to be assigned to Tortorella --- what about the players? The coach was prepared to make a run for the Cup this year; the players obviously were not, most notably the one player who prefers to play for Tortorella; i.e., Brad Richards. Where is the player accountability? They decided to play as a unit the last 4-6 weeks of the season and, while that gets you to the playoffs, it isn't good enough for playoffs success. Not understanding the human aspect of the game? Are you kidding? I hope Cally, McDonagh, Girardi, Stepan, Hagelin, Lundqvist, Boyle, and MZA all send Tortorella a note of thanks --- to the man, these players are more advanced in their career today than they would be had Tortorella not been their coach the past several years. Yes, a demanding coaching style has its drawbacks; so does every coaching style! With Tortorella, those drawbacks weed out players that cannot help a team get to the Stanley Cup. Does anyone remember what this team and organization was like under head coach Tom Renney? A great guy; players loved him, but we sucked!
History will show that Tortorella was this organization's best ticket to the Stanley Cup and Glen Sather, who is well beyond his own GM shelf life, could not compete with the Chiarelli's of the league (Boston GM).
I've been reading a lot of the comments on how great a coach Torts is, and that he was let go for "political reasons" and yada yada and kept my mouth shut, I mean we all have our perspectives on what went on and the truth is that none of us will ever know unless you were in the locker room last year. Now, I'm not a hockey expert but I am somewhat of an expert on body language, having worked in the field of counseling for many years and I posted just 10 games into the season that there was friction developing on the team between coach and players, many disagreed at first but as the season went on many more were starting to post these same opinions on Torts losing the locker room. I could see it in their body language, how they skated and the inconsistent play spoke volumes to me as hockey is such a demanding sport that even just 99% effort will produce 50% results. I never liked Torts as a coach. Yes, he gets a lot out of his players and gets them in game shape. No doubt he has lots of positive coaching attributes and will always be viewed by the hockey world as a good coach but a "great" coach needs more than this. They need to understand the 3rd dimension of this game, the human dimension. I always said this all season but here one of the guys (if he's being honest) is proving this. How, as a coach can you allow your team to get fed up with you. Hockey is too demanding and requires too much chemistry between players and staff to allow bad feeling to enter into the equation. a great coach knows this. These are professionals yes but they are first and foremost human beings and human beings and the nature of the animal is to have a fragile psyche, and besides they are just kids!. It's like the analogy of the kind boss vs. the abusive boss. At first the abusive boss will get better results as he invokes fear in his/her employees (last season) but in the long run the employees will start resenting the abusive boss (this season) and the kind boss gets the best results in the long term. Studies have confirmed this. Coaching is no different. You can have all the coaching skills in the world but with out understanding the human being your skills will be compromised. There were other issues last year like adaptability, line combos (which again comes down to understanding the natures of your players) and so forth. Anyway this is my 2 cents on the subject. Wishing torts the best of fortune up in Vancouver - just as long as they don't beat us lol
I don't think his comments about being "happy if somebody picked [him] up" is a big deal. He just wants to play and he might not get to here. Everybody understands that it's a business and Asham understands he's not a Rangers priority as he said, "It was more of a salary thing for signing guys in the next year." So there's no drama here, girls.
I'm not even sure Asham threw Torts under the bus. He was definitely the first to articulate the situation in such a straight forward manner, but he didn't say anything outrageous, egregious, or hurtful.
If they can figure out this cap situation while signing Stepan to a healthy contract, I'll be happy to have Asham in the club, as a c all-up or whatever. He's a serviceable 4th liner and, from what I understand, a good teammate. No, he doesn't replace Prust and he was never supposed to.
I'm glad this story popped up for the sake of our discussion here.
Would be an ironic twist of fate if somehow Asham got traded to VAN. Now that would be a headline...
I wouldn't mind Asham getting a shot to crack the roster. He will definitely play better this season under AV and his new system if he can make the lineup.
Asham never came close to replacing Prust. This guy didn't play like he had the back of his teammates, he played like a selfish pest. There were countless times when even his own line mates were being pushed around and he simply vanished. In fact, for someone heralded as a tough guy he often gave the impression that he was scared, or timid. I saw more backbone in Zuccarello this year than I did in Daisy Asham. I can't stand him on this team...
The response, or lack thereof, from the players that actually have been here for s few years will tell if Asham is speaking for the majority of players or talking out of his Asham. This would be an appropriate time for Cally to control the message. Asham knows where he stands with this organization. Can't blame him for hoping to get a shot somewhere else.
"Would have been happy if somebody picked me up" probably wasn't the smartest thing to say, but keep in mind that Asham is a journeyman. Much like Torts, the role he plays also has a shelf life. I don't think the comment was a knock on the organization, he seems to realize it was mostly business, I think he's just come to terms with how his career will play out. He'll always be right on the edge of making any team, so he's accepted that he'd rather move and keep playing than sit still and be a scratch.
Also, keep in mind that the Rangers didn't sign someone who will "replace" him. If anyone should be concerned its Darroll Powe. The Rangers basically signed a clone of him in Dominic Moore. Bottom line, 0 points in a season is a recipe for a new destination.
@AD09 Yes AD, in the end it's the players who win or lose and really the coach is just a small piece of the whole - there have been great coaches who have never won the cup and so-so coaches who have. My comments here were opinions based upon this article and not my way of blaming Torts for our failures - based upon observations I made very early in the season and according to Ashram's statements they were on the money. It was not me blaming Torts because the 2013 Rangers were not a Stanley Cup team. this again is an observation I made before others which too was quite unpopular here but I knew they had lost a lot of their heart and soul to free agency and to the Nash trade before the shortened season even began. Human dynamics plays a bigger role in team sports than most people know and I decided to bring this perspective to the table, knowing others would not agree. Yes, on paper Torts is a top shelf coach but I don't think he gets this fully. My opinion here is purely based upon subtleties like body language, inconsistent performance etc. but truth be told I have no way of knowing this since I've never sat in their locker room, but part of the reason this board is here is to express our opinions and interact with other Ranger fans. We will see how AV does next year - I don't know this guy and I am not in favor of "player coaches" either as that can also lead to a faulty team dynamic for different reasons. We shall see...
No offense here but these are “sideline comments” made by
someone who has not developed the wisdom that only actual coaching experience
provides. They represent typical comments made by Human Resource types and
Research types who themselves, never stepped into the actual performance arena
where their own specific performance results are measured and made public for
all to see. They simply comment on the performance of others. Perhaps Teddy Roosevelt had a point!
Effective Coaches (those who have jewelry) willingly put themselves on the line and willingly have their performance publicly measured. In my book that takes courage and the willingness to be held publicly accountable.
Counselors……..researchers……HR people are not measured against or held accountable for anything remotely effecting bottom line results which is the reason they are the first group to be down-sized because no one can measure what value they bring to their institutions.
The human dimension of coaching is not about “likeability” but rather about MUTUAL TRUST AND RESPECT BETWEEN AND AMONG PLAYERS AND THE COACHES.
Please be aware that the same wishy-washy side line comments were made about General Patten, Jack Welch, Scotty Bowman, Mike Keenan, Bill Parcells, Tony La Russo, Ken Hitchcock, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates among thousands of others.
P. S. I like the way you trash Torts and then wish him luck in B.C……that is so HR!
a bit long
@gravey94 I hear you, but you don't say that when you're still ON THE TEAM.
@johnnyb3910 Good comment - rather than jump on the guy for saying the obvious, you interpret him at his word. Of course, he would have been happy to have a regular spot on a major league team, and not on a farm club. He said nothing improper.
And I still see him scoring that first goal in the Washington Capitals blowout in game 7.
@johnnyb3910 As I said above - can't be a good career moment to clear waivers which means that nobody wants you on their team.
@johnnyb3910 the guy that's replacing him is Dorsett.
@EHBIGAPPLE @Betweentheworlds I have made no reference to likeability here, and in fact your comments here suggests you have either not fully read or understood my points, however to your credit you heve encpsulated quite well what I mean by the "human dimension", though that is just the surface of it.
I have played team sports most of my life and have done a fair amount of coaching as well. My opinions stem from experience, not theory - after all you cannot learn how to swim unless you get in the water. I'm not one for theoretical rhetoric. No offense taken...
Why not kid he was put on waivers lol. And cally controle th message lmao he's not there father dude.
@mattimar @EHBIGAPPLE @Betweentheworlds Ha ha - you're probably right matt, but I wouldn't know. I've never worked HR a day in my life. I think EH's comments were his way of grasping for straws to try to dismantle my opinions based upon my observations since I mentioned that I work in the field of counseling, but what I do is very different then HR and his assumptions were inaccurate on all accounts.
Gravey in theory I agree but Captains in general do not throw their ex coach under the bus (especially the one that made him a captain). I actually am kinda happy to get a bit of real info about this I because everything Slats said was soooo vague.
@mach1speed460 I think the point was more that not being picked up shows that nobody wants him on their team. As a fan we may hope a player clears waivers. As a player it has to be upsetting to be unwanted.
@mach1speed460 No, he's their captain. If anyone should speak for the team it should be him and not a bit player who has been there for all of 27 games. It's what captains are supposed to do.
@greggray24 @cb1 @johnnyb3910 I get your post as a joke, but you know what... the jokes on us! This just might be the guy taking a roster spot from someone with a physical presence. I cringe at that thought. For less money than Zuccarello will get, we can have Kyle Clifford, who I bet, will outscore Zuccarello this year!
@Rangers3024 I certainly cannot debate that we need toughness. Last season was an embarrassment. The irony is that I'm a retired kickboxer (amateur) and a martial arts teacher and I too like a good fight and have been in many myself - I just think that the fighting waters down the game as I like skill, speed and hard clean hitting better, but I do understand the added dimension of excitement a good hockey fight can bring and must admit I enjoyed a few myself, like the epic one agains thet Islanders where even the goalies wound up dropping the gloves. that was classic!
Bottom line is we lack toughness. If we don't get more toughness and grit, our chances of winning the cup aren't very good. I think we can agree on that.
Yea I miss it a bit in the playoffs, it still happens in the playoffs. Not as much as in the regular season obviously but, it does happen. I always enjoy a good fight.
@Rangers3024 Understatement - if you know you won't get hurt on the scoreboard why not take liberties and risk being penalized.
@Rangers3024 We could use about 3 or 4 Clowes actually. More people will likely agree with you then me so I don't see fighting being outlawed any time soon but if fighting is one of the most exciting parts of the game to you do you miss it in the playoffs?
And our power play hasn't been very dangerous recently.. Hopefully AV can change that but I'm not very confident that it will be much better with Scott Arniel in charge of it... I hope I'm wrong.
I just think we need a Clowe like player, A bigger physical guy with skill and grit. Not necessarily an enforcer but, a guy that will stick up for teammates and produce some offense. As far as fighting in hockey goes it's one of the most exciting parts of the game and is one of the many things that makes this great sport so unique! I would hate to see it outlawed.
@AG_Blue@Betweentheworlds@Rangers3024 said we do need an enforcer, not you AG - it's a debatable topic and I for one don't feel we do. If the Boogeyman were still with us would other teams not have taken liberties against us last season? Probably not as much but policing as incidents come up, sticking up for team mates, especially the smaller skill ones and a dangerous power play are more effective measures I think. Usually the enforcer is not on the ice when the transgression occurs and can only fight someone in his next shift to send a message and fire up his team. Some people like fighting, I think the game would be better without it.
well, nobody said we need an enforcer, actually just the opposite. there's not much of a place for an enforcer anymore. we were talking about the team being small and that we could use some size and toughness. i agree that a team that plays with skill can make (and has made) an enforcer obsolete, and that, if we play with skill, we can beat other teams in other ways.
@Rangers3024 That seems to be he pattern. The coach just did not trust the tough players with any significant minutes so we keep losing the tougher players to free agency or trades. Now we may not need an "enforcer" these days but we do need some size/toughness combination.
@AG_Blue @Rangers3024 I repectfully disagree that we "need" an enforcer. Team toughness, actually sticking up for one another by throwing clean nasty body checks, a power play that actually makes the other team pay, those are your "enforcers", not some low impact player who gets 7 minutes on the 4th line, and fights, usually with the other team's enforcers while the other players bang their sticks against the boards like morons. I wish they would phase fighting out of hockey all together. It's demeaning IMHO to this great sport that we all love.
To be honest I'm not sure if there are any big guys available that are worth signing. I'd love it if we could get Orr from Toronto but, I don't think it's very likely. We're probably going to start the way we did last season lacking toughness and making a move by the deadline to acquire a tough gritty player like we did last season with Clowe...
I hear you. I'm not even convinced he's 5'11. While he's over 200 lbs anyway, he's not exactly a heavyweight, but I watched him stand up against Janssen and Boll rather unscathed. He also skates pretty well, and if he's prepared he doesn't necessarily have to take up the spot an enforcer would. I know you're not necessarily calling for an enforcer, but, as far as heavyweights go, I'm not sure who is available.
Sather likes to have a big guy. Torts didn't have much use for his big guys and I'm not sure AV would either. It's a tough league for an enforcer anymore. The game is too fast. To be fair, our last few enforcers were older guys, Brashear, Rupp, Asham, and Boogaard is another story. Again, I know you didn't say "enforcer." But who would we go after? Who are the serviceable heavyweights?
Here's another summer where we had more changes than we might have expected, so what's going for some heavyweight gonna hurt the team? Who knows?
I like the idea of keeping the core of the team intact as possible and putting together a solid team game. I feel vulnerable as a smaller team without a big, physical threat, but we have a pretty good group. If these guys can bring their game, while Haley does so much damage control (and this is where he's a hell of a lot more like Prust than Dorsett - Prust wasn't a heavyweight either... ). If they put a game together, the Rangers can be a top team as constructed (which includes Stepan, obviously).
Ha! I was sorry we let him go. Loved that guy. And he might be a better player now.
We have Michael Haley, and unlike Dorsett, Haley can take on a heavyweight. He looked pretty good as a call up, a serviceable 4th liner. In any case, the staff will be giving him a good look this camp. They'll decide.
I think Dorsett is a mix of Avery and Prust. But I really don't like the fact we gave up Rupp for Powe bad trade.. We do need an enforcer. Maybe we could get Ben Eager from Edmonton for a 5th or 6th round pick and Michael Haley. Eager scores every once n awhile too.