Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik will not be in the lineup Saturday afternoon at Philadelphia and other Rangers veterans could soon join them.
That was the message Rangers coach John Tortorella delivered Friday after practice. The Rangers coach also made it clear that he was none too happy to find out that Redden complained to reporters about being benched for Thursday night's 5-2 win over the Islanders.
"Wade Redden hasn't played well enough to be in the lineup," Tortorella said.
Tortorella said he feels like he has given Redden more than a fair shake, and now it's time to try something else. Tortorella and Redden had a meeting in the visiting coach's office before Thursday's morning skate. Redden, who is in the second year of a six-year, $39 million contract, said later in the day to reporters that he was being "singled out" and made an "example."
"There's going to be no entitlement around here. And I think it kind of stinks of that around here," Tortorella said. "To me, it doesn't matter how long you've played, how much money you make, what year you were drafted and what draft pick you were."
Tortorella added that it was time for Redden to "assess himself properly."
"We're going to make decisions on our lineup based on how a person is playing," Tortorella said. "We're not basing our decisions on who a person is, or who he thinks he is."
Tortorella went on to say that the team is going to lean toward playing younger players, and that every veteran is going to have to show he deserves to be playing.
"We've got kids, and this coaching staff and manager wants to infuse some kids into the lineup," Tortorella said. "We feel that will be the best way to build it as we go along the way. We will go through bumps in the lineup with kids, but not underachieving veterans."
Kotalik also falls under the heading of underachieving veteran, though Tortorella was less upset with him than he was Redden.
"Koats is a guy that we signed and we were hoping would play better and he hasn't," Tortorella said. "I get reports every day that there are kids playing well down there [Hartford] who are just licking their chops for a chance. I'm not trying to threaten. It is what it is."
When asked if there were any additional lineup changes that he was considering, Tortorella would mention only that they were "keeping an eye" on defenseman Matt Gilroy, who they recently sent down to Hartford.
Notes & quotes: It appears that Henrik Lundqvist will start this afternoon in Philadelphia. Lundqvist had 35 saves in Thursday's win over the Islanders.