With the sweeping changes coming this week with the unexpected ousting’s of John Davidson and Jeff Gorton many fans are expecting new president and GM Chris Drury to make it a trifecta and exile David Quinn as well. Had the prior regime remained in place I would be fairly confident that Quinn would return for his fourth season on Broadway. However, with the word coming out of MSG that Jim Dolan isn’t pleased with the speed of the rebuild and that this team could be lacking toughness, it could be something that could lead to David Quinn not being allowed back to MSG.
Now while it would be puzzling considering the moves with the front office, it is possible that Quinn is not fired and will be back behind the bench for puck drop on the new season. With Drury and Quinn’s relationship, it is not entirely far fetched to see him get another crack at the can so to speak. The mindset may simply be to give him an opportunity with a retooled roster and see the response. Whether that is the right move or not is another argument. If that is the case though, Quinn will have the shortest leash imaginable and if the team does not come out of the gate firing he will surely be gone quickly into the season.
If the Rangers do decide to move on from Quinn there are definitely some intriguing names on the coaching market to be considered. If you’re on social media then you have already seen quite a few of these names be bandied about by Rangers fans. Bruce Boudreau, Mike Babcock, Gerard Gallant have all been names tossed about but through this I’ll give you some of my best potential replacements for Quinn if the Rangers decide to move one.
Gerard Gallant: Since being fired by Vegas last season many Ranger fans have been clamoring for him to become a quick turnaround and land in New York. Gallant has shown he has a good ability to be able to get the most out of what he has on his roster even if it’s not the most talented group. From his job back in Florida where get the Panthers to the playoffs with a roster that was carried by a young up and coming group of Barkov, Huberdeau, Trocheck, and Ekblad. It seemed like all was well until Tom Rowe became GM and overhauled the roster to players that didn’t necessarily fit Gallant’s coaching style. He then went on to lead the expansion Vegas Golden Knights to a SCF appearance in their rookie year before being fired in the third season because Bill Foley is desperately eager to win a Cup within the organizations first five years. The Rangers have a young talented roster that needs some rounding around the edges and a hard nosed head coach to help lead this group and Gallant could slide in perfectly. However I believe he’s going to be off to Seattle looking to recapture some expansion magic.
Jim Montgomery: This is my personal favorite to replace Quinn. Before things went wrong for him in Dallas I thought he did a tremendous job of being able to fix the mess that Lindy Ruff left behind. You saw players like Klingberg and Roope Hintz begin to emerge under Montgomery’s coaching. I could see K’Andre Miller and Kaapo Kakko really elevating their games to the next step under a coach like Montgomery. However there has been talk that he didn’t take the Rangers job three years ago because he was worried that key members of the organization could be fired before the rebuild was finished. If he knew that then I wish he could give me the winning lotto numbers because man he nailed that one. If that was his fear three years ago then Dolan’s actions over the previous week only reinforced that belief and would nix any hope of being able to land him.
John Tortorella: I know a lot of fans hate retread head coaches and this would be Tortorella’s third run on Broadway. However, considering that Dolan has always seemed to have a soft spot for Tortorella and the fact that Tortorella is extremely familiar with Chris Drury this could be a slam dunk. A lot of people like to overblow the fact that Tortorella can bench players and can be hard on players but the fact is that he is 100% open and transparent with his players. He lays out ahead of time what his expectations are and what he wants from his teams. If you’re unwilling to adapt or buy in to the team concept then you simply won’t be on the team. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that line of thinking. If Jim Dolan wants his team to get tougher to compete against those teams like the Islanders or Capitals then a coach like Tortorella is exactly what this team could use. He demands accountability and is a culture changer and if Ranger fans don’t believe me then look at his prior stint on Broadway. His coaching and mental toughness led to the reemergence of the Rangers. Also the Blueshirts now have a better roster than they did at any point when Tortorella was here last.
If the Blueshirts choose to move on from David Quinn they will absolutely have their pick of the litter to replace him but they need to resist the urge to go with someone like Bruce Boudreau who has no playoff success and no interest in coaching the defensive side of the puck. Also Drury must do whatever it takes to resist Dolan’s urges to bring in Mike Babcock which would be the NHL version of when Dolan hired Larry Brown to run the Knicks and fired him after one year. With Dolan wanting to accelerate the rebuild and presumably get tougher to play against then David Quinn should likely be shown the door and be replaced with a coach who knows what it takes and how to win in the NHL.
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