- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Lundqvist is going into the final year of his contract next season, and Sather wants to get his franchise player locked up long-term.
Sather talked about how John Tortorella's defensive-first style may have affected the 31-year-old veteran.
"We didn't lead the league in shot blocking this year. We have in the past, but we didn't this year," Sather said. "But it's constantly defending in your own end and the barrage of shots that Henrik was getting. He's a great goaltender and he's 31 years old. We want him to finish his career in New York and continue to be a great goaltender for the next six, seven, or eight years, depending on how long he wants to play."
• Sather would not comment on Brad Richards' future with the organization. There is a very distinct possibility that the Rangers will use a compliance buyout on their veteran center. New coach Alain Vigneault does not expect to have much of an impact on that decision.
• Mark Messier’s future with the organization as a special advisor to the GM is also uncertain. Sather said he would speak to Messier soon.
Sather called the decision to go with Vigneault, who he calls "A.V.," over Messier a difficult one.
"Yeah it was a difficult decision to make, but running this hockey club is not easy all of the time," Sather said "You've got tough decisions that sometimes you make for tough reasons. I just think that at this stage, A.V. is the man."
Sather thinks Messier can one-day be a coach in the NHL.
"I would like to think that can happen, certainly. He’s got to decide what he wants to do and he told me he’s going to take a few days and we’re going to talk about it," Sather said.
• Vigneault said if everything he's heard about Ryan Callahan is true, that Callahan would retain the captaincy.
• Vigneault wants one of his assistants running the power play and another running the penalty kill. He wants them to have NHL experience and they must be knowledgeable, upbeat and positive. No decision on assistants has been made at this point, though.
• Vigneault wants all his young players to start with a clean slate. "The'll have a fresh set of eyes on them," he said.
• In Vancouver, Vigneault said the organization utilized a sleep doctor to make sure the players got ample rest given their rigorous travel schedule.
• Style-wise, Vigneault wants to get his offensive players the most time in the offensive zone. He also feels like the Rangers have a solid enough defensive core where he feels like they're going to be able to jump up on the rush and go more on the attack, creating more odd-man rushes. He also feels like the team has two solid offensive lines, pending how ready the young kids on the roster like J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider are to make big-time contributions.
• Vigneault visited the team's practice facility Thursday and got a new computer set up to watch film of the team's playoff games last season.
• Vigneault said he plans to be himself.
“I understand my responsibilities to the players, to the organization, to the fans and to you [the media]," he said. "I know that at some point in time you're gonna write things or say things about me that might not be as positive as they can be, but I respect that. I think everybody's entitled to their own opinion, and you would ask the people that i work with media-wise in Vancouver, and I respected that part. I understand your job's not the easiest job in the world, I'll try to do my best to be as accommodating as I can, but at the same time you have to understand that I have a responsibility toward the players and the organization. But you can do your homework on that if you want and I’ll do the best job I can to help you out in any way that I can."
• The key to a good power play, Vigneault said, is to have a 3-2 combination of left-handed and right-handed shots (or right-handed and left-handed shots), which enables more of a possibility for one-timers.
62dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald