James Dolan is making a whole lot of sense

Getty Images

Yes, you read that headline correctly. James Dolan, the often maligned owner of the New York Rangers and New York Knicks, has actually made incredibly insightful comments about the Rangers search for a new head coach, as well as what led to the firing of Alain Vigneault. For much of his tenure as owner of the team, Dolan hasn’t been liked by many fans, with many accusing him of just caring about the money and not building a perennial Stanley Cup contender. His recent comments show that he has altered his thinking drastically.

In an article released Wednesday by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, readers got to see exactly what Dolan has been thinking over the course of the last few months. Instead of the usual thoughts that fans have come to expect from the team’s owner, Dolan had some great insight on what qualities he wants the next head coach of the Rangers to have.

“We’re looking for someone who can develop players and develop a team,” Garden executive chairman Jim Dolan told The Post during a conversation at his MSG office on Wednesday. “We want someone who is going to be able to work with young players — all of our players, really — so that they and we improve from one stage of the season to the next and we’re better at the end of the year than at the beginning.


“We need a coach who is going to be able to coordinate with the assistants and the training staff in putting a program in place. He’s going to have to be able to delegate authority in identifying deficiencies and fixing them. Scolding a player doesn’t fix the problem. He can’t try to do everything by himself. The job is just too big.” – NY Post

Dolan went on to say that while a coach with NHL experience would be good to have, the Rangers organization isn’t ruling out any potential coaches from the NCAA and/or junior hockey. As Dolan so meticulously put it, “We want to get the best guy available, I don’t care where he comes from. We’ve got a list of candidates but it’s not closed.”

Rumors and speculation have been running wild about who the next head coach of the Rangers will be with names like Boston University’s David Quinn, Denver’s Jim Montgomery, German national coach Marco Sturm and Toronto Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe all seemingly in the mix. If Dolan’s words are any indication this coaching search is going to be handled with extreme care and not rushed in the slightest.

“The guy we hire has to be a developmental coach, I can’t stress that enough.” – NY Post

Dolan admitted that former head coach Alain Vigneault was a great coach for the team that they had. but he wasn’t the right fit for them going forward. Vigneault is a much better coach for an established team rather than one going through a rebuilding process and Dolan and upper management knew it was time for a change. Dolan made sure to address the rebuilding process and why it was important to be open with the fans of the team. He said he doesn’t regret the decision to start anew. No second thoughts about giving the green light for the Rangers to begin building the right way. Obviously, if the Rangers win the lottery or got a top three pick in upcoming entry draft this rebuild will be accelerated with the acquisition of a franchise talent but it’s nice to know that Dolan is, dare I say, ready to trust the process. No matter how long it takes.

Finally,  Dolan addressed the fact that the Rangers are in need of a new captain and had some interesting things to say about former Rangers Captain Ryan McDonagh.

“We need strong leadership in the locker room. I don’t think we had great leadership last year,” Dolan said. “I think maybe we added a burden to Ryan [McDonagh] when we made him captain that affected him on and off the ice and kind of changed his own perception of himself. But he was a really good player for us for a long time.” – NY Post

Many fans have pointed out that McDonagh’s performance was a bit up and down after receiving the captaincy but it seems management noticed as well.

One last thing of note that Dolan had to say was something that is sure to put the rumor mill into full swing.

“…And I know we need that one great player who can make a difference. We’ve identified some who might become available, and if they do, we want to be in position where we’re able to get them.” – NY Post

Hmm… now I wonder who he could be talking about? *cough* John Tavares *cough* *cough Erik Karlsson *cough.* Now it’s highly unlikely that the Rangers get either one of those two players, but at the end of the day. this is New York and it’s the New York Rangers.

It’s going to be a summer of change, a summer of optimism and a summer of intrigue for the Rangers. Stick with us at Forever Blueshirts for all Rangers news as it develops.

Editor’s notes: For the full NY Post article, click here.

For our article on Dolan offering Lundqvist an escape from the rebuild, click here.

For our article on the next potential head coach of the Rangers, click here.


Mentioned in this article:

More About: