May 19, 2018

Getting to know David Quinn, the next Rangers Head Coach

Quinn (Boston Globe)

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After original reports of Boston University’s David Quinn not interested in the head coaching job for the New York Rangers, new reports have come out that Quinn is now the leading candidate for the Blueshirts coaching vacancy, and the two sides are rumored to be very close to a deal.

Rangers get their man

This is certainly good news for the Rangers, as they are the last team in the NHL without a man behind the bench. Previously, the Rangers sought out University of Denver coach Jim Montgomery, but Montgomery accepted the offer to coach the Dallas Stars instead. Now that Quinn is essentially on tap to be named the new coach, it seems that Jeff Gorton and company have found their man that fits the new vision going forward. Lets take a look at David Quinn and what the potential new coach can bring to Broadway.

 

Quinn began his coaching career in 1994 after retiring from playing hockey due to a disease that doesn’t allow blood to clot properly. After serving as an assistant coach for Northeastern University, Quinn joined the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

In July 1996, When Quinn was named an assistant coach and recruiter for the University of Nebraska Omaha, he helped establish the school’s first Division I men’s ice hockey program, which began playing during the 1997-98 season.

After helping build the program at Omaha for six years, Quinn left to become a developmental coach for USA Hockey, joining the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team at four IIHF World Championships, two men’s teams (2007, 2012) and two women’s teams (1999, 2000). He then worked as an assistant at his alma mater, Boston University, helping the Terriers reach the National Title in 2009. He would also coach numerous other junior teams for USA Hockey down the line as well. 

Quinn would begin his foray to coaching in pro hockey, as on June 22, 2009, Quinn was introduced as head coach for the Lake Erie Monsters, the AHL, affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. Then, on June 14, 2012, Quinn was named as an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL. On March 25, 2013, Quinn returned to his alma mater and was named the eleventh head coach of Boston University, replacing Jack Parker.

Overall, Quinn boasts a 105–67–21 (.598) record, which is impressive and the Rangers know this and is part of what is drawing them to Quinn.

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Quinn’s Style

Alain Vigneault’s coaching style would be considered relaxed. He allowed the players to police the room and in that, his demise was imminent with the influx of youth coming in, as that kind of coaching style was more suited for a room full of veterans. Quinn, on the other hand, seems like the complete opposite of that style, as he is vocal and commands the room, putting players on notice whenever they are not performing and puts himself out there when the team does not do well.

He also requires his team to play a smart and physical style game, a style that has been lacking on many Rangers teams for numerous seasons. That and the emphasis on defense and being responsible is something Rangers fans should be excited to look forward to if he indeed does get hired by the club.

On the ice, Parker famously snarled at players or refs who didn’t meet with his approval. Is Quinn different? “Nooo, I don’t think he’s less stern,” says Noonan with a smile. “If you’re not doing something right, everybody sees it, and he lets you know it. There are so many similarities with Parker. They’re both hard and get on you, but at the same time, they love you and want what’s best for you.”

“On a bad day,” he adds, “you’d know they were in the building.”

The new coach has managed to put his own fingerprints on BU hockey. Peek at practice Mondays and you’ll likely glimpse a drill that, players say, arrived with Quinn: defensemen skating backwards while maneuvering the puck. MacGregor calls this “extra skills.” That’s not a euphemism for remedial work with knocked-silly athletes. The drill is one of the ways that Quinn, the team’s first new leader since the Nixon administration, has crammed a lot of teaching into his first few months on the job. “All of the defensemen have benefited from these extra skills days,” MacGregor says.

If Quinn takes no excuses, neither does he make any. (“I certainly don’t think I did a good job coaching our team or preparing for tonight,” he said following a November loss.) In fairness, the challenging season owes much to the inexperience of a team with nine freshman players. A first-year coach with a large first-year bench makes for a daunting learning curve, Quinn says, with “them getting used to me and what I’m looking for. Usually, when you’re recruiting Division I athletes, they’re the best player at their high school level or junior level just because of God-given ability. Here, everybody’s good. And if you’re going to have success here, you need to approach every day with a gamelike mentality, and that’s what we’re trying to create.” Rich Barlow/Boston University

Seems to me that Quinn fits a lot of what the Rangers are looking for in their new coach. Someone who can be stern with youth, but can develop them in the right way. One of the problems with the previous man at the helm was properly catering to the youth. Not that one must give way in the sense that the youth can do whatever they want, but rather, show them and guide them in the right way into becoming professionals who can play the game right. The direction the Rangers are heading in now, this team is in dire need of someone who can help cultivate the younger players who are coming in. If all goes right, the potential hiring of David Quinn could help this franchise for many years to come.

New York is looking for someone to help build a team led by young talent cultivated from within, with tons of developmental experience, some professional experience and a different style of coaching from his predecessor, David Quinn could just be what the Rangers need at this point in time.

 

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