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Redden, Kotalik to be benched again in Philadelphia

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik again will not be in the Rangers' lineup Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia, and other veterans soon could join them.

That was the message Rangers coach John Tortorella delivered Friday after practice. He also made it clear that he was none too happy to find out that Redden complained to reporters about being benched in 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 as if he has given Redden more than a fair shake and that 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, told reporters later in the day that he was being "singled out" and made an "example."

Said Tortorella, "There's going to be no entitlement around here. And I think it kind of stinks of that around here. 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 Rangers (who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday) are 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 is less upset with him than he is with 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 he is considering any other lineup changes, Tortorella would mention only that the Rangers are "keeping an eye" on defenseman Matt Gilroy, who recently was sent down to Hartford.

Notes & quotes: It appears that Henrik Lundqvist will start Saturday in Philadelphia. Lundqvist had 35 saves in Thursday's win over the Islanders.

New York Sports