January 5, 2021

Rangers Roundup: Braden Schneider and Brett Berard to face-off at WJC for Gold, former coach John Muckler passes away, and more

John Muckler was Wayne Gretzky’s last coach (CP PHOTO/Paul Chiasson)

Hockey and the Rangers lost one of the game’s great coaches as John Muckler passed away at age 86. He coached the Rangers for only two and half seasons, during a tumultuous time for the organization.

In 185 games for the Blueshirts he recorded 70 wins, 88 losses, 24 ties, and 3 OT losses. He was Wayne Gretzky’s last coach.

John Muckler passes away at 86

The Rangers released a statement that read:

The Rangers organization mourns the passing of John Muckler. His distinguished career spanned more than 5 decades as a player, coach & executive in professional hockey, including head coach of the Rangers from 1998-2000. Our thoughts are with John’s family & friends at this time.

The Edmonton Oilers and legendary star Wayne Gretzky wrote a beautiful note to his former coach. It genuinely captures the impact Muckler had on him and the game.

“On behalf of the Edmonton Oilers organization and John’s many friends in the game of hockey, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to Audrey and the entire Muckler family. When you have 22 pretty good hockey players and have enjoyed some success it’s hard imagine that the addition of an Associate Coach would be the final piece to getting the Edmonton Oilers to the top of the mountain, but that’s exactly what happened when John joined the team.

He was tough, strict, but most importantly fair, and he helped lay the groundwork to make our team more accountable to each other which propelled us to become champions. A wonderful family man and great friend, he personally took my career to another level, and I will always cherish the hours we talked, from breaking down defenses to raising a family. Rest in peace, John, you will be missed.”

Wayne Gretzky / Edmonton Oilers

USA vs CANADA for WJC Gold

Brett Berard
Brett Berard USNTDP (Photo: Photo by Rena Laverty)

Team Canada dominated Russia for a 5-0 victory, while the U.S. edged Finland 4-3 on a late third period goal. The two national hockey powerhouses will go toe-to-toe for Gold at 7:30 PM ET.

The Canadians really took it to the Russians for the entire game. It was a show of force led by Dylan Cozens who notched a goal and two assists. Devon Levi’s 27 save shutout was just icing on the cake. They go in to the final game as the favorites to win it all.

NYR Prospect, Braden Schneider scored a goal on an absolute blast to make it 4-0. He finished the game with two points (1G, 1A) and a +4 rating in 17:26 TOI.

The U.S. looked like they had a firm handle on the game until the relentless Finns mounted a comeback to knot it at three. That’s where the Arty-Party started. Arthur Kaliyev scored the game winner with about a minute to play to send the U.S. to the Gold Medal game.

Rangers prospect, Brett Berard played 12:12 and finished with a +1 rating.

Three AHL teams have opted out of play

Three teams will not play the AHL season. It should be noted they all have NHL affiliates. At this time Blues affiliate, Milwaukee Admirals will be sending players to Vancouver’s affiliate, Utica Comets.

The other two teams are still making plans. We will have more on the Wolf Pack and the upcoming AHL season soon.

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