Rangers forward Chris Kreider became an overnight sensation with his stunning success during the Rangers' 2012 playoff run, but the 22-year-old winger has struggled to start the 2013 season.
Kreider was demoted from the second to the fourth line in Wednesday's 4-3 overtime win against the Bruins and was limited to just one shift in each the second and third period.
What's next for him? Perhaps a return trip to the AHL.
When asked if he'd consider sending Kreider back to the team's minor-league affiliate in Hartford, where the rookie played during the lockout, Tortorella did not rule it out.
"Sure. And that shouldn't be a shock," he said. "I've seen players ruined because you put them in a situation and they just struggle and they don't succeed and they never come out of it, they're done, they're out of the game. I do not want to see that happen to him. He has too many assets, but he has not played well. And he knows that, so we'll see where we go."
"He's not the only one that has struggled through a couple of these games, but tonight it was a battle for him, his understanding of the positioning of the defense we play," Tortorella continued. "It's a lot to ask of him, especially when the team is 0-2 when they're starting the season."
Tortorella said the direction of Kreider's development will be the topic of internal discussions.
"I just think we have to make the correct decisions and assessments for the player where we don't hurt him as he goes through the process," Tortorella said. "Chris needs to go through the process."