New York Rangers getting closer to naming a head coach

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The New York Rangers are apparently getting closer to naming a head coach based on the latest rumblings. Elliotte Friedman noted on Friday’s 32 Thoughts Podcast that the Rangers along with the Columbus Blue Jackets may be making a decision soon.

“I was asked the other day who could be first,” Friedman began. “A lot of us thought it might be Columbus but someone said to me that the Rangers could be moving closer to that list.”

So who might be the next Rangers coach? Based on conversations with league sources, Peter Laviolette is the most logical fit.

New York Rangers closer to naming a head coach

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When the Rangers dismissed Gerard Gallant, the immediate favorite became Laviolette. The 58 year-old was fired by the Washington Capitals after they missed the playoffs this past season and he’s eager to get right back behind an NHL bench.

Barring any shocking turn of events, such as the Pittsburgh Penguins letting go of Mike Sullivan or the Toronto Maple Leafs relieving Sheldon Keefe, Laviolette is very likely the next head coach of the Blueshirts.

Arthur Staple of The Athletic reported on May 19 that Laviolette had interviewed for the Rangers job. Mollie Walker of the NY Post also wrote that Drury has a connection to Laviolette having played for him at the 2006 Olympics for Team USA.

While Laviolette seems the safest choice because he’s a veteran coach with a Stanley Cup ring won in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes, it’s been a long time since he had any real postseason success. The last time he won a playoff series was 2017-18 with the Nashville Predators so this isn’t an easy decision.

That being said, who is available that checks the boxes of having experience and winning a Cup?

Darryl Sutter has already been ruled out. The same can be said for Joel Quenneville and Mike Babcock. While I’ve mentioned Claude Julien, his name has not been discussed.

At the end of the day, it’s hard to see the Rangers handing the reins to someone with little or no NHL head coaching experience. Not when they believe a Stanley Cup is within reach.

Laviolette has a career coaching record of 752-503-25-150.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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