Rick Nash spent the last few days getting familiar with his new surroundings. He was a guest instructor at a Rangers’ youth hockey camp, went out for dinner with Brad Richards and made plans to go house-hunting in the Big Apple.
Oh yeah, he also spoke with his new coach.
Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record caught up with Nash on Thursday and learned No. 61’s first call with John Tortorella was…passionate.
“[Tortorella] called me right after the deal went down,” Nash said. “He seemed really intense but he seemed really helpful.
“From what I understand, he’s a very demanding and tough guy to play for and he really preaches hard work. That’s what you expect from a coach, that’s what you want.”
While no specifics were revealed, the call probably involved some talk of line combos, specifically the one most New York fans dream about — a first line with Nash, Richards and last year’s leading goalscorer, Marian Gaborik.
The Slovakian sniper is out until December after shoulder surgery, but Gross noted Tortorella “could put the three All-Stars together” when Gaborik returns to full health.
That’s fine with Nash, who added he can play either left or right wing.
“I like both for different reasons,” he said. “Left, I like coming out of my own end with my stick protecting me. And right, I like having my stick in the middle to shoot and protecting the puck.”