I’ll believe it when I see it.
Rumblings and grumblings from New York Rangers training camp suggest that Tanner Glass’ spot with the 2015-2016 Rangers is in jeopardy. Though the reason is logical – to anyone with a pulse not named Alain Vigneault – it’s hard to imagine the Rangers and Vigneault making a linear decision when it comes to the much loved ‘enforcer’.
For a coach who is as system’s savvy as Vigneault, his “what the actual fuck” personnel decisions are well documented, with Glass at the forefront. His unexplainable love affair with Glass – the worst one-way contract player in the NHL – was unbreakable last season. But now, there are these quotes, which considering the context seem promising even for the most cynical tweeters:
The “skill” that Vigneault alluded to is #tuffness, which despite being a desirable quality in an NHLer, it can’t be your only quality in 2015 (something the Rangers may finally be coming to grips with). A player like Glass has had to fight and claw every training camp to stay in his coach’s good graces and make the team for his entire professional career. So these quotes one a stand alone basis aren’t alarming, especially since he has a one-way contract with two years remaining.
What should be alarming though is the numbers game. If you take Vigneault at his word that he will only carry 13 forwards, that leaves two spots for three players. Jarret Stoll is making the team. Oscar Lindberg has been good enough in training camp to force Vigneault to keep him. If it were any other coach, any other organization, and any other player it would be a slam dunk to say that Glass would be ticketed for Hartford (with $500K counting against the Rangers NHL cap). He didn’t fit last year, but the emergence of Lindberg and the Rangers misguided belief that face-offs are extremely important mean that they may finally have options they would rather have than Glass. James Sheppard and Lee Stempniak should have been preferable last season, but Lindberg and Stoll (considering the Rangers thinking) may finally be enough for Vigneault to sit Glass down for good.
Or maybe not?
We’re so tormented and baffled by Vigneault’s infatuation with Glass that we just can’t be sure.