Assisting Quinn: Predicting the Rangers coaching staff
David Quinn is now signed, sealed, and delivered. Over the next few weeks leading to the draft, he and management will look to round out the staff for the upcoming season. Here’s my thoughts on what it will look like.
We start with Benoit Allaire because he is the only one from last year’s staff that is confirmed to return. To be honest, this is Henrik’s call more than anyone else’s and don’t fix what isn’t broken.
David Quinn confirms Benoit Allaire will return as goalie coach
— Forever Blueshirts (@4EverBlueshirts) May 24, 2018
Assistant Coach (Offense/Power Play)
It is now an open secret at this point, Martin St. Louis has a long standing offer to join the Rangers organization since he retired. This site has well documented all of it here. Of course, the only thing preventing MSL from joining the staff is his desire to be very involved with his family, and the development of his three sons who all play hockey.
Should he join the staff he would assist Quinn with the offense, power play and mentoring young players. MSL says it’s a matter of timing but now appears to be the perfect time. It’s a brand new staff and direction that looks like a fit for everyone involved.
Assistant Coach (Defense / Penalty Kill)
If the rumors are true that Rikard Gronborg wants to return to North America, he’s a great hire here. After coaching Sweden to the World Championship with both Mika Zibanejad and Lias Andersson, he would be a steal for the Blueshirts. It should also be noted that he was an assistant for the Olympics in Sochi.
Gronborg was one of the early candidates the Rangers interviewed for the open head coaching vacancy. The former defenseman played in the NCAA for St. Cloud State. Should Gronborg join the staff, he would be responsible for the defense and the PK. Henrik Lundqvist is also very familiar with Gronborg from their time together with the international team.
From a style standpoint, Gronborg is a go for it type of coach, and he likes his defense active but responsible. That aligns with Quinn’s vision and would round out the bench nicely.
If Gronborg does not want to make this jump, one other name I would keep in mind is Brian Leetch. He has expressed interest in coaching in the past and he’s familiar with Quinn also. Leetch is currently with the Rangers as an advisor.
Assistant Coach (Eye in the Sky)
This name will draw many different responses but I think he would be perfect to bridge the gap from last season to this one. Lindy Ruff would be an excellent choice to be the third assistant as the eye in the sky coach.
Ruff is the only one on the staff that was in the foxhole last season and can provide Quinn with the insights as to what went wrong. He can also assist Quinn in transitioning from NCAA coaching responsibilities to the NHL.
There you have it, my staff for next season. Give us your reactions and suggestions in the comments section below.