April 5, 2021

New York Rangers David Quinn’s job secure heading into next season

Mar 9, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers head coach David Quinn (left) talks to his team during a time-out against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third period at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Rangers hired David Quinn out of Boston University in 2018 there was a ton of excitement in the air. He replaced a successful coach in Alain Vigneault who took the Blueshirts to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season behind the bench and an ECF game 7 a season later. The problem with the team was they were getting older and needed to infuse youth into the lineup, which was something Vigneault was not good at.

Upon his hiring, Jeff Gorton made it a point to call out Quinn’s ability to connect with young players and help them grow.

“In a coaching career that has spanned over two decades at the collegiate, pro and international level, David has helped his teams achieve success while simultaneously teaching the game and helping his players develop on and off the ice,” Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said. “He is the ideal choice to bring our loyal and passionate fans the winning hockey they deserve.”

NHL.com

David Quinn’s drawing the ire of Rangers fans

David Quinn
Feb 18, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers head coach David Quinn against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Fast forward the clock to today and the fanbase is calling for his head. One group is already fed up with losing despite the fact the Rangers have gotten younger on average all three seasons Quinn’s been behind the bench. Another group pretends like they don’t care about winning and are screaming about playing the kids more regardless of whose ice time it may cost.

Quinn’s far from perfect, but the Rangers have gotten better in each of the three seasons he’s been here. Continuously screaming about how he’s handling ice time of players like Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafrenière is getting louder. Throw in freshly added Vitali Kravtsov and the calls about playing the kids are only going to reach a fever pitch.

The fact of the matter is this; Quinn is constantly teaching and making the kids earn it. If you want to see his resume for player development you can’t ignore Pavel Buchnevich who wallowed under Vigneault. Adam Fox is now a Norris Trophy candidate in his second season. K’Andre Miller has hit the ground running and Kakko is night and day better than last season. All that’s missing from Kakko’s game is burying his chances.

If there’s one justifiable complaint it was Quinn’s penchant for immediately shuffling lines at the first sign of trouble in game. Since his return from COVID protocol he’s tempered that down drastically. Another potential major issue I have is the Rangers first PP unit’s refusal to get off the ice or his unwillingness to take them off. That’s not a good look for him either way. He needs to get kids like Lafrenière; Kakko; and Kravtsov PP ice time.

David Quinn is not going anywhere for a multitude of reasons

The question many fans are asking is if he’s the right coach going forward. From what I gather talking to people around the organization – the answer is yes. He’s Jeff Gorton’s guy and although John Davidson was announced team president after his hiring, he believes in both Jeff and David.

When it comes to teaching the kids, Quinn is always working with them. He doesn’t leave it to his assistants; he gets in there and works one-on-one with many of them. He’s respected for that and the kids have been responding well.

Finally, another big reason Quinn will be the head coach heading into next season is to try and lure Jack Eichel here. Let’s be clear on the fact Eichel has no say as to where he goes. He has no trade protection in his deal at the moment. While there’s been no public demand to be traded; the speculation around the NHL is that he will end up on the Rangers. Should he go public it could force Buffalo’s hand this summer.

Eichel played one season for BU and David Quinn was his coach. The two had a great relationship and Eichel was grateful to Quinn before leaving. “This past season has been one of the best years of my life,” he said. “I’d like to especially thank Coach Quinn and his staff, all of the equipment and medical personnel, my teammates, my academic advisors, and the entire athletics department. I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter in my life with the Buffalo Sabres, but I will always be indebted to BU.”

I wouldn’t discount their relationship if a blockbuster deal for Eichel was going to be made. I also believe Quinn having coached him for even one season holds a lot of weight on how far the team is willing to go in acquiring him.

The day may come where the Rangers feel Quinn can’t take them to a Stanley Cup. They may feel an older more experienced coach is what’s needed for that step. However that is not today; and from what I can gather it won’t be next season either.

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