Changing of The Pack
After missing the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five years, the Rangers relieved Ken Gernander of his head coaching duties with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Gernander, who is the only player to have his number retired by the Wolf Pack, has served as the bench boss in Hartford since the 2007-2008 season. Gernander got as far as the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals as head coach but had five seasons of not making the postseason. Gernander helped mold some of the NHL’s finest talents including, Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Mats Zuccarello, and Ryan McDonagh to name a few.
“We want to thank Ken for his service and all of his contributions to the Wolf Pack and the Rangers organization, We wish him and his family all the best in his future endeavors.” – Jeff Gorton
In addition to having a new head coach, the Wolf Pack will now have a new general manager as Jim Schoenfeld will be returning to the Rangers front office, allowing Chris Drury to take over the post. After some rumors linked Drury to potentially taking over as GM in Buffalo, he quickly denied them and said he was staying with the Blueshirts. But one can only imagine that it put some pressure on the Rangers brass to promote Drury within the organization. Drury has an eye for talent and was one of the key members in the Rangers pitch to land then free-agent forward Jimmy Vesey in the summer of 2016.
After a disappointing season in Hartford, a little changing of the guard may help boost the Rangers AHL affiliate for the coming seasons. A new head coach will be named in the near future, but after staying with the same formula for the last decade, it was time for a shakeup.