Could Brian Leetch join the Rangers coaching staff?
Ulf Samuelson has departed to become the head coach of the Charlotte Checkers. At this time the Rangers have not named a replacement and do not appear to be in a rush to do so. It is expected and logical that Jeff Beukeboom make the move up from Hartford to the Rangers bench.
“Beuke” was a key member of the Rangers last Cup winning team in 1994 and works with the defense down in Hartford. He has been given a tremendous amount of credit for the progress of Dylan McIlrath, who had an eye-opening season this year. In addition, he is very familiar with up and coming star blue-liner, Brady Sjkei.
My gut tells me that he is the next assistant coach of the Rangers but let me tinker with the idea of adding a Rangers’ all-time great to the staff – Brian Leetch.
Rewind back to the summer of 2013 and the Rangers were entertaining hiring Mark Messier as the next head coach. They eventually opted to go with experience and brought in Alain Vigneault instead. It was assumed however that Messier would automatically add Brian Leetch and possibly Adam Graves as his assistants.
In an episode of CenterStage with Michael Kay, Leetch acknowledge that he was already preparing plans to address the defenseman. Here is that clip.
Now the question is, would Brian Leetch join AV’s staff instead of Messier’s? We know that he was ready to become an assistant then, would he do it now? The other question and it is the most obvious one is this, if it’s the Rangers front office pushing this on AV, would that be a recipe for disaster? Could they make it work?
As I said earlier, I truly doubt it will happen. If it does, you would have to also assume two things.
- Vigneault is on a short leash this season.
- This could mean that if A.V. falters, the Rangers are preparing for a Mark Messier coaching run.
Interesting to say the least. Talk about it around the water cooler and in the comments section below.