When Adam Fox, the Rangers’ first Norris Trophy winner since Hall of Famer Brian Leetch in 1997, seems on the younger Blueshirts squad, the 23-year-old defenseman sees the abundance of ability and expertise that’s obvious to everyone else within the NHL.
Though many suppose that finesse and fairly play — on the expense of grit and tenacity — are all of the Rangers have, Fox disagrees.
The Rangers have the proper items to turn out to be playoff contenders, in keeping with Fox, however the gamers are nonetheless studying the way to assume their particular person roles as a way to accomplish that.
“People are going to see a team how they want to,” Fox advised The Post in a current cellphone interview. “But I feel we have now guys that play exhausting and need to win. We have guys that care about successful. Obviously, we’re a youthful staff, so we’re nonetheless studying. We have some older guys who’ve been by it, they play a playoff kind of hockey, and I feel we’ll lean on these guys when that point comes.
“I wouldn’t say we’re a weak team — I think people saw how we defended ourselves after [the Tom Wilson incident], a lot of guys stepped up. We definitely have a tough team, we obviously have a lot of skill, but I think guys compete and want to win.”
The Wilson debacle, by which the infamous Capitals agitator went rogue and rag-dolled star Rangers winger Artemi Panarin into an early offseason on May 3, fed into an already present narrative that the Rangers weren’t powerful. Though the Blueshirts engaged in a retaliatory line brawl the next sport, which included Brendan Smith taking over Wilson, the notion that the staff severely lacked physicality solely grew when staff president John Davidson and common supervisor Jeff Gorton had been dismissed that very same day, partially due to CEO Jim Dolan’s disappointment in how the staff was designed.
It’s a narrative of which the Rangers are well-aware, and one they are going to be listening to about all summer season as they put together for the 2021-22 season, which is about to start in October.
“It lights a fire under people and makes the guys on the team just want to work that much harder in the offseason, improve the type of team we have and the type of skill,” Fox stated. “Just let that take over and just prove people wrong and show what we can do out there.”
Under new management, the Rangers can be seeking to qualify for the playoffs for the primary time since 2016-17. Fox stated he believes the staff took strides this previous season, however acknowledged that with such a younger staff there have been some irritating moments.
What issues, the Jericho, N.Y., native stated, is that they went by it collectively and might make the most of their experiences on this upcoming season to take that subsequent step ahead.
After dismissing former head coach David Quinn and a majority of his teaching workers 4 days following the conclusion of the common season, new president and GM Chris Drury employed a brand new coach, Gerard Gallant, who Fox stated he and his teammates have heard is a “player’s coach” and can “backup the guys on the team.”
Though Drury stated throughout Gallant’s introductory press convention that making the playoffs this upcoming season wasn’t essentially a “mandate,” it’s possible the one approach the Rangers can decide in the event that they’re on course.
“I definitely think every guy in our locker room is thinking about making the playoffs next year, for sure,” Fox stated.
“Nobody likes to have your season end right after the regular season. I think all of us want to make the playoffs and we’re gonna do everything we can to make the playoffs and obviously see where that takes us.”