“I still need someone to take over the power play and run it,” Tortorella said.
Strang then noted that the fiery head coach “didn’t sound convinced” that the right guy was on the Rangers’ roster or in the system. If the rumblings are true, it could end up being a blueliner who worked with Torts during his Stanley Cup-winning run with the Tampa Bay Lightning: Dan Boyle.
The 36-year-old offensive defenseman wouldn’t necessarily be seen as a “rental,” according to Strang.
Boyle is not a rental, either, but a source indicated to ESPNNewYork.com that the Rangers are not opposed to adding a player with years remaining on his contract if he’s a good fit. Boyle, who previously played under coach John Tortorella in Tampa, has one year remaining after this season on a six-year, $40 million deal that comes with an annual cap hit of $6.66 million.
While Boyle’s contract might not represent too steep of an asking price, Strang reports that the Sharks might want too much back in the form of young talent.
We’ll see what happens, but if Strang’s hints and Torts’ quotes are any indication, the Rangers are at least looking to make another splashy move as the trade deadline approaches.
‘John leaves a lasting mark’: NHL announces Collins’ departure as COO
One of the driving forces behind the NHL’s growth over the last decade is moving on.
John Collins, who’s served as the league’s chief operating officer for the last seven years, will be leaving his post to embark on a new business opportunity.
More, from the League:
Collins, who joined the NHL in November 2006, had been COO since August 2008.
“John leaves a lasting mark,” said Commissioner Bettman. “His energy, creativity and skill at building strategic partnerships helped drive significant revenue growth for our League. We are grateful for his many contributions and wish him the best in his new endeavors.”
Said Collins, “I’m grateful to Commissioner Bettman for his leadership and friendship over the past nine years. He had a vision for extending the reach of the NHL and supported us completely as we set out to make the game as big as it deserves to be.
“The NHL’s future is filled with promise and potential and I will admire and cheer the League’s successes to come on the global stage.”
Collins, 53, was regarded as one of main presences behind a number of the NHL’s most successful initiatives, including the Winter Classic and Stadium Series, the HBO 24/7 collaboration, the relaunched World Cup of Hockey, Canadian and American television deals and partnerships with companies like SAP, Adidas, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and GoPro.
During Collins’ tenure, the NHL was twice named “Sports League of the Year” by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily — once in 2011, and again in 2014.
Columbus will have some reinforcements up front when it takes on the Devils tomorrow in New Jersey.
Brandon Dubinsky, who’s missed the last six games with an elbow injury, and Alexander Wennberg — who’s also missed the last six games, but with a foot ailment — have both been activated from injured reserve, and should be available for selection on Wednesday.
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)