Rangers need new Wolf Pack coach, Kris Knoblauch hired by Oilers

Kris Knoblauch
Kris Knoblauch (Photo: John Mrakovcich / Hartford Wolf Pack)

The New York Rangers will need to find a new head coach for their AHL affiliate the Hartford Wolf Pack after the Edmonton Oilers have hired Kris Knoblauch.

On Sunday morning, the Oilers relieved Jay Woodcroft of his duties with multiple reports indicating that Knoblauch will be taking over in Edmonton. It should also be pointed out that Knoblauch has a history with superstar Connor McDavid, whom he coached in juniors with the OHL’s Erie Otters.

Per the Edmonton Oilers:

Hartford Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch will assume head coaching duties with the Oilers & will be joined by assistant coach Paul Coffey.

Related: Hartford Wolf Pack picking up points despite injuries

Rangers lose Kris Knoblauch to Oilers

kris knoblauch
Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Knoblauch, was named the head coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack back in 2019. Since that time, he has gradually improved the team and finally broke their Calder Cup Playoff drought last season.

The 45 year-old has a record of 119-90-32 in four plus seasons behind the Pack bench.

Per multiple reports, assistant coach Steve Smith will take over as interim head coach.

HARTFORD, CT – New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury and Rangers Assistant General Manager and Hartford Wolf Pack General Manager Ryan Martin announced today that the club has named Steve Smith as interim Head Coach of the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack.
Smith, 60, is in his third season with the Wolf Pack. He was named an Assistant Coach with the club on August 24th, 2021, and spent the last two seasons in that role under Head Coach Kris Knoblauch. Smith spent two games as the Wolf Pack’s interim Head Coach during the 2021-22 season while Knoblauch was with the Rangers due to COVID-19 protocols.
Prior to joining the Wolf Pack, Smith served as an Assistant Coach with the NHL’s Calgary Flames (1997-98), Edmonton Oilers (2010-14), Carolina Hurricanes (2014-18), and Buffalo Sabres (2018-21).

Hartford Wolf Pack

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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