June 10, 2023

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Rangers coach candidates: Can Peter Laviolette replace Gerard Gallant?

Rangers cut ties with Gerard Gallant on Saturday. Chris Drury said he hopes to put together a “good, long, strong list” of candidates to replace Gallant. Since the Rangers will not be sharing said roster, we’ve put together a list of our own, based on some conversations with executives and coaches around the league.

One name that will almost certainly not be considered for the vacancy is Joel Quenneville. A follow-up to a New York Post report from Saturday night, the athlete It can confirm that Quenneville, who has been unofficially suspended from the league since October 2021 for his role in covering up sexual assault allegations against a Blackhawks assistant coach for the 2009-10 season, has not been reinstated by NHL Commissioner Gary Bateman and there is no time frame for Bateman to do so. so.

That uncertainty likely stopped the Rangers from considering Quenneville, although a league source associated with the Rangers said the organization had not made any decisions on their roster. There’s no chance Drury will have to wait until late July, after the NHL Draft and free agency begins, only to find out from the league that Quenneville is still banned. It’s believed Quenneville was likely the team’s first practice target, but without the league’s approval, they can’t act.

So these are some of the names to keep in mind while starting the process.

Peter Laviolette

The 58-year-old ranks eighth on the all-time list with 752 wins coaching and won a Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006. He’s very familiar with the Metro division, having coached four (Ilanders, Cannes, Flyers, Capitals) in the division and taking three Different teams to the cup final. Of the veteran coaches available, perhaps the most charismatic candidate is an experienced coach who has seen it all and has worked steadily for five different teams over the past 21 seasons without much rest.

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La Follette has swayed in his three seasons with the Capitals, never being able to field a team with some seasoned star talent to play a cohesive, organized game. The Rangers have a better team than the Caps, but the regulars’ attention to detail didn’t help Gallant much here.

Mike Babcock

The 60-year-old Babcock has been out of the league since being fired by the Leafs early in the 2019-20 season, which was followed by an unofficial blacklist around the league when some Leafs players and former Babcock players spoke out about his abusive tactics during his long NHL coaching career. Babcock was a candidate for the Caps job that moved to Laviolette and he said he retired from coaching last summer, but the belief is he’s still coaching for the proper NHL job.

Rangers GM Glenn Sather had always had an interest in hiring Babcock and Sather, still an advisor to Drury, may have some influence with GM and current owner Jim Dolan.

There would be a backlash if the Rangers went this route. Perhaps not as bad as if they had gone after Quenneville, but Babcock is a bit of a dinosaur in his treatment of players and the Rangers have many young players in need of further development.

Mike Babcock. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Jay Leach

If Drury is looking for a new coaching brain and isn’t one of the long-term coaches currently available, the 43-year-old Kraken assistant is one of the top names on the “who’s next” list of future NHL coaches. Leach ran his own AHL Providence bench for four seasons and was a big factor in the Kraken’s rise for two years alongside head coach Dave Hakstol.

Seattle invests heavily in analytics, and its team, largely devoid of star power, plays the absolute regulars. This is not how Rangers are currently built, but it would be my turn to start thinking about the future of the team and how it must play to be successful.

Chris Knobloch

The AHL’s Rangers coach for the past four seasons has enjoyed the best trajectory of his tenure, with Hartford in the Atlantic Finals. The 44-year-old has found great success at the Canadian junior level and helped Haxtol with Philadelphia for two years. Being the only real candidate in the house could help him.

There is concern that the Rangers have yet to see any of their AHL prospects develop enough to earn full-time roles in the NHL. Of the players to start a season in Hartford, only Braden Schneider has graduated, and he did so after only 26 AHL games, so Knoblauch’s influence may not have been so strong. And for this Rangers job to be considered over some well-known NHL coaches, Knoblauch may need a better track record than he has in the AHL.

Bruce Boudreau

The suave 68-year-old has performed some regular-season miracles in his four NHL stints over 15 years, but playoff success has eluded him. It was also struck with a “coach of players” tag, which was also affixed to Gallant; It wouldn’t make sense for Drury to have a similar style and attitude to the ways he just parted.

Jack Capuano

The 56-year-old was more of a convert artist in his seven-year career with the Islanders than the kind of coach who could join a veteran team and lead the room, but he’s been waiting for another shot since the Islanders let him. Going in 2018. He coached under Drury, who was the GM for the USA, to the World Series in 2021. Capuano was a finalist for the Flyers job that went to John Tortorella last summer, but then again, it was more of a young team Not installed from this one rangers.

Bob Hartley

He and Drury won trophies with the Avs in 2001, but the 62-year-old Hartley has been out of the NHL since the Flames left him in 2016. He’s coached in the KHL since then and won a title there, but if the Rangers are looking for someone with a proven track record Also known as the current NHL player, Hartley may not fit the bill despite his association with General Motors.

Jay Pandolfo

Is it too early to go Boston University’s road to the Rangers again? Drury had close ties to David Quinn, who moved from the bench at BU to MSG and was unable to turn around a team that was also not ready to turn around. Pandolfo and Drury were teammates at BU in the mid-1990s, and Pandolfo only had one season as head coach at any level after five years as a Bruins assistant. He took the Terriers to the Frozen Four this year, but a few more years behind a non-NHL bench is probably Pandolfo’s future.

Andrew brunette

The Devils assistant coach will likely be the one to take over this team if he doesn’t right the ship early in the season, in the same way the Browns interfered with the Panthers when Quenneville was suspended early in the 2021-22 season. Florida finished that year as Presidents’ Trophy winners, but GM Bill Zito ultimately did not choose the brunette as a full-time coach.

This is likely a red flag for executives looking to get a job, though the brunette was a solid assistant in two teams who switched things up with him in Job No. 2.

Daryl Souter

He certainly has the pedigree, with two trophies as Kings coach a decade ago. But the 64-year-old was just dumped by the Flames, whose players were on the brink of full-blown rebellion if the team didn’t pull the plug. Unless Drury Sutter turns up as the impetus to get out of less than one or two no-action clauses that his senior mates have, it will almost certainly be wrong.

(Top photo by Peter Laviolette: Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)