Rangers must wait on Rod Brind’Amour and Joel Quenneville before picking a coach

The Rangers search for a coach must wait until the fate of both Rod Brind’Amour and Joel Quenneville are known.

Tonight, the Florida Panthers could be eliminated in their first round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. If Florida loses, we may learn if there’s any truth to recent rumors about Quenneville. Meanwhile, the Nashville Predators just evened their series against the Carolina Hurricanes and are in good position for an upset.

Rangers coach search: Joel Quenneville could become available

Unbeknownst to me, there’s been some chatter in the NHL Rumor mill that Joel Quenneville is looking to become the first coach of the Seattle Kraken. This is really the first I am hearing of it. Quenneville signed a 5 year deal back in 2019, so for this to take place he’d have to work with Florida to part ways. Of course, if he does find a way to become a free agent, the Rangers need to add him to their list of candidates.

Apparently extremely late to the party on this, but there is an undercurrent suggesting Joel Quenneville has his sights set on moving to Seattle to become the coach of the Kraken once his season is over with Florida, which might explain why Seattle general manager Ron Francis has moved so slowly on this hiring.

Larry Brooks, NY Post

While I still have serious doubts, Quenneville would automatically become the top candidate out there. His coaching record is impressive with 961 wins and career points percentage of .611 to boot. In the playoffs, he’s 120-103 which meets Drury’s desire for a proven winner. His Stanley Cup runs with the Blackhawks and what he’s done with the Panthers makes him one of the best coaches in the game today.

One more note, he also had Artemi Panarin in Chicago for two seasons. That familiarity with the Rangers best player could factor in such a decision.

Rod Brind’Amour is unlikely to be available but…

rod brind'amour rangers
Brind’Amour (Getty Images)

The Hurricanes bench boss is the envy of most GM’s dissatisfied with their current coaches or choices. Brind’Amour is lauded as being the next great coach because he’s mastered communication with today’s modern hockey player. In his three seasons leading the Canes, his record is an astounding 120-65-20. That’s good for a .634 winning percentage.

So why has the 50 year-old coach become such a quick success? The Canes are not a perfect hockey team. They have some really good players, but no superstars aside from Sebastian Aho. However, Brind’Amour still gets the most out of the group and keeps a strong positive vibe in the room.

Elliotte Friedman said on Sportsnet’s Headlines, “We’re all expecting Rod Brind’Amour to go back to Carolina – it’s not done yet.” There’s a supposed three-year deal on the table he has yet to sign. “If that goes sideways at all, I would think the Rangers would want to at least ask if he’d be interested,” Friedman concluded.

The Rangers may be looking at Gerard Gallant as their next head coach, but they likely won’t make that choice until they fully understand the landscape of available coaches. Come the end of this week, two more big names could be added.

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