UPDATE: Rangers coach John Tortorella today was named as an assistant to Team USA coach Ron Wilson for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, along with Islanders coach Scott Gordon.
ORIGINAL POST: Ever seen a "bag skate" in June? That's how second-round pick Ethan Werek described the first day of the Rangers' week-long development camp. It started with timed sprints (with the players wearing a timing device strapped around their skate boot) and, later today, the players will be timed in a three-mile run.
Tomorrow's skate will include 45 laps - three sets of 15. Coach John Tortorella said it's just a preview of what can be expected when the team opens training camp in September.
"I think we're soft," Tortorella said. "Not physically soft. I think we're soft thinkers."
Tortorella said he wants the sense of entitlement he believes many players show - keeping their hands out for more rather than earning it - to disappear. Tortorella is still amazed that some of the Rangers were tired during the first round of the playoffs. "Unacceptable," Tortorella said.
"It's definitely the first time I've been through something like this," Del Zotto said. "It's a new philosophy. It's a good test. Looking at training camp, it's going to be tough. It makes you work that much harder in the offseason."
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto, left wing Evgeni Grachev and defenseman Matt Gilroy are all players in the development camp who have a shot at making the Rangers out of training camp.
More from the players coming soon.