Even if John Tortorella is extremely hesitant to even mention that the Rangers may be Stanley Cup contenders, Cablevison czar James Dolan isn’t.
In rare public remarks to a surprised media contingent after the Rangers shut out the Nashville Predators 3-0 at the Garden tonight, Dolan stunned Tortorella, standing near the podium, as well by saying he believed the team was close to winning the Cup.
“I’m very proud of the organization,” said Dolan, who hasn’t addressed the Rangers with reporters since the 2005-06 season but answered two questions. “I’m particularly proud of Mr. Sather because all the way back to 2004, when things weren’t going so well, and we had a lot of free agents in here and we basically decided to re-do the strategy. I made a pact, I actually gave him something---which I’m not to going to reveal today---to seal the pact and said: ‘You can’t give it back to me until we win the Stanley Cup.’ I think we’re pretty close to getting that thing back.”
In his short, impromptu visit, Dolan praised “the system that Sather built---of course great coaching--- but it’s about the farm system and scouting and development and going with kids and sticking with that philosophy, even at times when it didn’t look so good.” He also said when asked what Sather told him about Tortorella before his hiring: “I don’t think Glen wanted to tell me anything about John.”
When Dolan departed after that comment, Tortorella said, “Thanks a lot, Mr. Dolan,” and turned to the media: “I’m just as shocked as you guys are.” After answering a few questions about the game, Tortorella said: “We just have to go about our business. I have my owner up here talking about a Stanley Cup. That’s a bunch of B.S. We need to take one day at a time.”