Jay Leach granted permission to speak with Rangers
The New York Rangers have officially added Seattle Kraken assistant coach Jay Leach to their list of candidates.
First reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and relayed by the NY Post’s Mollie Walker, it’s unclear if the Blueshirts already interviewed him for the job.
The Kraken granted the Rangers permission to speak to their assistant coach, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, which puts Leach on a list of options the club is known to be interested, along with the Maple Leafs’ Spencer Carbery and ex-Capitals coach Peter Laviolette.NY Post
This is also coming off the heels that the Rangers may be closer to selecting their head coach than originally believed.
Rangers coach candidate: Jay Leach
Leach, 43, played parts of 5 seasons in the NHL as a defenseman for the Devils, Bruins, Lightning, and Sharks. The Syracuse, New York native recorded 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points in 70 games with 60 penalty minutes.
The up-and-coming coach was a late season replacement for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who lost in the second-round of the Calder Cup playoffs in 2015-16. He was then named the head coach for the Providence Bruins in 2017-18 for the next four seasons before joining Dave Hakstol as an assistant in Seattle.
As a head coach in the AHL, he’s amassed a record of 138-77-0-27.
While Leach is an interesting choice to interview because he has no NHL experience as a bench boss, his tutelage under Hakstol is likely a consideration.
Hartford Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch was also a Hakstol assistant with the Philadelphia Flyer from 2017-18 to 2018-19.
Hakstol is known as one of the more detailed head coaches in the league with an emphasis on structured play. Something the Rangers certainly lacked at times during Gerard Gallant’s tenure.
At the end of the day, Forever Blueshirts believes that Peter Laviolette is the most likely candidate to be names the 37th head coach of the New York Rangers.