NEW YORK -- New York Rangers captain Barry Beck said Tuesday he will not play with the team next season because of differences with Coach Ted Sator.
'There are philosophical differences between Coach Ted Sator and myself,' Beck said in a statement issued through his agent, Rob Ingrham. 'This does not necessarily mean I'm retiring, but at present I don't want to play hockey in the upcoming season.'
Beck, 29, has missed most of the last two seasons with a recurring shoulder injury. The defenseman played 56 games in 1984-85 and last season played 25, but none in the playoffs. He says the shoulder has been rehabilitated and he is working out.
'The door will be open to him next year in training camp or soonner if he wants to come back and can make the team,' said Phil Esposito, the Rangers' vice president-general manager.
A source said Beck demanded a trade to either Vancouver or Los Angeles. The defenseman has spent much of this summer with his mother in his native Vancouver, British Columbia. He is in the final year of a multi-year contract that would pay him $325,000 this season.
The 6-foot-3 and 215-pounder collected four goals and eight assists last season. In 563 NHL games, Beck has compiled 103 goals, 244 assists and 963 penalty minutes.
The Rangers acquired Beck for Pat Hickey, Lucien DeBlois, Mike McEwen, Dean Turner and Bobby Crawford in November 1979, thinking he would be the missing piece in a run for the Stanley Cup. However, the Rangers have not made it to the finals with Beck on the team.
Beck is the third prominent Ranger to leave the team since March because of differences with management. Center Mark Pavelich retired in March citing differences with Sator.
In the offseason, All-Star defenseman Reijo Ruotsalainen left the Rangers to play in Switzerland. Ruotsalainen, an offensive-minded player, had problems with Sator's defensive style during the season. He made his announcement to leave the NHL two days after Esposito took his post in July. Esposito had been critical of Ruotsalainen while a member of the Rangers' television broadcast team.