David Quinn reveals frustration with Panarin losing MVP, impressed with Lafreniere the person, and a harsh player exchange in his rookie season

David Quinn was a guest on a recent episode of the Up My Hockey podcast with Jason Podollan. The insightful interview touched on a myriad of topics about coaching but had some golden nuggets to report on.

David Quinn on Alexis Lafreniere, the person

We all know the on ice accomplishments and talents of #1 overall pick Alexis Lafreniere. There’s been also reports about his high character and David Quinn revealed how the young man impressed him.

When discussing his not well known playing career, including being a first round pick, and his hemophilia diagnosis, he brought up an interesting tidbit on Lafreniere. “I was stunned by how much he knew about me,” Quinn referred to a Lafreniere Q&A done by the NY Post.

“This kid took the time to find out about the guy who was going to coach him. It might get him so more ice time out of the gate,” Quinn joked. “it gives people insight into what type of human being this kid is.”

Quinn argued with a writer who was picking Draisaitl over Panarin

david quinn artemi panarin
Quinn upset Panarin did not win Hart (NYR)

“I had an argument with one of the writers who was voting for Draisaitl,” Quinn revealed. “I have so much respect for Draisaitl, but when you are talking about playing hockey, [Panarin] led the league in 5 on 5 points.”

“He was +36 and he doesn’t win the MVP…I don’t understand it,” a bewildered Quinn explained. “If we’re just going to give it the guy who leads the league in points, we already got an award for that. It aggravated me.”

Quinn on his relationship with players

The podcast does center around coaching in the NHL. Discussing many aspects from what he looks for in players and how he tries to hold himself accountable.

At one point he did reveal the difficulty of trying to balance relationships with players. Quinn admits that he obviously doesn’t treat Artemi Panarin or Mika Zibanejad the same as his 4th liners. He gives them more freedom and leeway to do what they do.

He did recall an early heart-to-heart with Panarin about his responsibilities now with the Rangers. It was at beginning of the year when Artemi tried to go through four players and turned over the puck. Quinn went to him on the bench and told him to not do that, and wanted others to hear.

A subsequent closed door meeting took place where they ironed it out. Quinn stressed to Panarin we brought you in to win the Stanley Cup and to be an example for the kids around you.

Quinn had a heated exchange in his rookie year

One of the most interesting tidbits came late in the interview. The discussion continued with regards to dealing with players and how the limited shelf-life of a coach could make it difficult.

“My leverage with players is my personal relationship with them,” he began. Quinn stressed about communication and doing things eye-to-eye.

“I said this to one of my players in my first year when I thought things were getting a little out of hand with him,” the coach recalled. “I called him in my room and said, I’m 53 years old and I’m not going to let a 31 year-old treat me like that. I don’t care how many F’ing points you scored in this league.”

This prompted me to look back at his first year roster and the only 31 year-old player that fit the bill was Mats Zuccarello. As we know, Zucc struggled under Quinn and throughout the Rangers rebuild.

Quinn did finish with, “after that we never had another problem and I love the guy to death.”

RELATED: Mats Zuccarello discusses trade from NYR

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