New York Rangers make assistant coaching staff hires official; add Steve Smith to Wolf Pack

rangers assistant coach
Mike Kelly with Gerard Gallant in Florida (NHLI/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers officially announced the hiring of Mike Kelly, Good Murphy, and Jim Midgley to Gerard Gallant’s staff. They have also added Steve Smith to replace Murphy as Kris Knoblauch’s assistant with the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Per Team Release:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced today that the team has named Gord Murphy, Mike Kelly, and Jim Midgley Assistant Coaches with the Rangers, and that Steve Smith has been named an Assistant Coach with the Rangers’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack.

New York Rangers coaching staff

Gerard Gallant, Head Coach: He was a star player in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings prior to becoming a head coach. He scored 480 points in 615 games before a bad back forced him to retire. As a bench boss, he’s been successful in all three NHL stops which includes the Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, and Vegas Golden Knights. The 57 year-old has a record of 270-216-4-51 which is good for a .550 points percentage. Gallant’s biggest strength is his in-game management. He has a feel for the ebbs and flows, and understands how to get the most out of his matchups.

Mike Kelly, Assistant: Mike was Gerard’s assistant in Florida and Vegas in the NHL. However, the two also worked in QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs. Kelly was an assistant to Gallant from 2010 to 2012 while there. Kelly has also worked as GM and head coach in various other stops, including winning Gold with Team Canada in 2003 at IIHF World U18. He’s really a great choice, and the history of success for the two working together is undeniable.

rangers coaching staff
Gord Murphy joins the Rangers (Getty Images/NHLI)

Gord Murphy, Assistant: He who was hired by Chris Drury to help Kris Knoblauch in Hartford now joins the big club. He and Gallant are no strangers as they worked together with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Murphy will act as a bridge between the previous coaching staff under Quinn and now Gallant’s. He was on the bench during the Rangers hot stretch when the prior staff was out on COVID protocol. Both Murphy and Drury got an up close view of what was and wasn’t working with the Rangers.

Jim Midgley, Assistant: He has been a coach in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for nine seasons, including one season as the Head Coach of the Halifax Mooseheads (2017-18). Midgley’s record as a Head Coach, is 43-18-6-1, helping his team advance to the second round of the QMJHL Playoffs. This past season, he served as an Amateur Scout with the Philadelphia Flyers, and he currently an Assistant Coach with Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship.

Rangers add Steve Smith to Wolf Pack staff

Per the team’s press release:

Smith, who is a native of Glasgow, Scotland and grew up in Cobourg, Ontario, played parts of 16 seasons in the NHL (1984-85 – 1996-97; 1998-99 – 2000-01). A defenseman, Smith skated in 804 career NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Calgary Flames, registering 72 goals and 303 assists for 375 points, along with a plus-139 rating and 2,139 penalty minutes. He is a three-time Stanley Cup Champion, as he helped the Oilers win the Stanley Cup in 1986-87, 1987-88, and 1989-90. Smith played in the 1991 NHL All-Star Game and helped Canada win the 1991 Canada Cup. He was inducted into the Cobourg and District Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.

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