Report: What Rangers Are Looking For In Their Next Coach And Who Has The Indoor Track
Chris Drury in draft (Getty Images)
The New York Rangers are doing their due diligence on the next head coach. So far, Gerard Gallant and Rick Tocchet have been confirmed at interviews. From what I have been able to gather, no discussions have taken place with other coach candidates, including John Tortorella.
We’re still very early in the process, and the Blueshirts are still waiting to see who else might become available. There should be more clarity after the end of the first round of the playoffs.
New York Rangers primary criteria for the next head coach
Forever Blueshirts have learned that the Rangers, like all teams, have a checklist of the things they want in their next bench boss. When David Quinn was hired, the priority was to find a new face that could connect with the crowd of young players on the roster. Jeff Gorton wanted a teacher first and foremost to develop children and Quinn was the ideal candidate for this responsibility.
So it’s no surprise when I started asking for the experience to be the top priority this time around. I couldn’t get any details on the names, but we all know who is currently available and available. However, a knowledgeable source provided the following on how the Rangers prioritize the criteria for the next head coach.
- Excellent motivator who can communicate well with players
- Excellent in-game management
When it comes to experience, they’re not exactly looking for the guy with the most wins or matches trained. They are looking for someone who has been in great games at the NHL level.
In terms of being a great motivator, everyone is looking for that, but Rangers will be looking for the candidate who has a proven track record in this area.
Finally, good in-game management has nothing to do with defensive schemes or power play setups. I’m sure this will drive analysis enthusiasts crazy. The Rangers want a coach with an incredible feel for the flow of the game and making the right match adjustments.
This season is a challenge for all teams looking to make a change of coach
In order to better understand the coach selection process, I spoke with Neil Glasberg from PBI Sports. He represents several of the biggest names in coaches, Gérard Gallant being one of them. “Nothing is normal this season,” he explained to me. “When it comes to the coaching changes, nobody thinks so and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of them.”
Traditionally, he has said that more coach changes happen after the first round and not necessarily based on whether they lose but how they compete. “The other phenomenon this year is that a lot of coaching contracts haven’t been renewed, and we still have a lot of coaches who have already been fired or who haven’t sat down for a renewal discussion,” he said. noted Glasberg. “It usually doesn’t happen.”
All of these factors make this offseason difficult for many teams with vacant coaching positions, with the possibility of more to come. This means more options for coaches and teams. This only further complicates the situation and will prolong hiring in many cases.
Who has the indoor track for the Ranger job?
Regarding Chris Drury, Glasberg said he has a tough job to do. “The only thing I will say about Chris Drury is that he deserves it and he works very hard. He paid his membership fee as deputy general manager. Neil went on to say that these positions are too often filled on simple name recognition, but that’s not the case here with Drury. If for some reason you didn’t trust Drury before, you should be now. The Rangers are fortunate to have a guy like him ready to take on this role and lead the next phase of the team’s evolution.
Getting back to who has the indoor track at work, it’s still too early to pick a name as a favorite. Obviously according to the criteria provided, Gérard Gallant ticks all the boxes. Neil Glasberg even called him “the best unemployed experienced trainer out there.”
That’s not to say it’s Gallant’s job if he wants to. There are still other candidates the Rangers are looking to talk to that they may be waiting for. Oddly enough, we really haven’t heard much from Tortorella as he might be interested in a managerial position. I’m not ruling out a return from Torts behind the bench, but that might explain why we haven’t heard his name yet.
Patrick Roy is a proven winner who ticks a lot of the boxes except for significant coaching experience in the NHL. Other veteran names likely to appear are Bruce Boudreau, Bob Hartley, Kirk Muller, and Claude Julien. So there is still a lot of work to be done and I wouldn’t expect a decision until June.
That said, it’s clear to me that Gerard Gallant does have the indoor track right now. However, if we’ve learned anything about this season, it’s that things can change in the blink of an eye. From now until they hire, I’m sure there will be quite a bit of blinking, winking, and eye rubbing before a final decision is made.
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