The latest on Rangers search for a new Wolf Pack coach

McCambridge was let go (AHL)

As we approach August, the Rangers have limited time to find a coaching staff for the Wolf Pack. Since the termination of Keith McCambridge and Joe Mormina on April 15th, news regarding the next coaching staff is sparse.

Going into the off-season, what are the Rangers looking for in the next caching staff for Hartford. Is it just experience? Do they also look at coaching records from previous seasons? We have some answers, but not enough to wonder why a coaching staff is still not in place.

This is becoming a red flag, despite a successful off-season for acquiring players for Hartford. To have a great 2019-2020 campaign, a solid coaching staff must also be in place. According to Howlings, the Rangers have interviewed two candidates regarding the position.

“Several hockey sources have stated that two people who applied and were interviewed but turned down the Rangers’ offer. Needless to say, that’s a highly unusual circumstance.”

Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

The name of the two candidates remains unknown. A third candidate for the Rangers was known recently, reported from Rich Coppola of Fox 61 News in Hartford.

“Multiple sources tell me that while he wasn’t offered the job in Hartford, the NY Rangers did speak with former Whaler Kevin Dineen about the vacant Wolf Pack head coach position. Dineen signed with Anaheim to become the head coach of their AHL team in San Diego..”

Rich Coppola, Fox 61 Hartford

Despite a great resume and history, Kevin Dineen was not offered the job. He would be the ideal fit for Hartford, considering his history for the Hartford Whalers and coaching experiences. The move would be a win for all parties involved.

The other two candidates rejecting the offer is concerning. Other AHL teams had vacancies and was filled in a short time span. For instance, Charlotte and San Diego had vacancies for the most a month before finding a new coach. The Wolf Pack are going on a few months.

“The need to clearly get this issue resolved in time for the Traverse City, Michigan prospects tournament coming up in just seven weeks with the Wolf Pack training camp starting just 3 weeks later. It becomes more and more important with each passing day that the vacancy gets filled.”

Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

New York must have someone on board before August in order to get acclimated with the Rangers management, expectations, and views on development within the AHL. The Traverse City Tournament will come fast, which the Rangers are participants.

A route that I would not want to see, but is possible is to hire within the organization for a interim head coach until a permanent coach is found. Changing a coaching staff during a season could be dangerous for the players. As you get used to one coach, they would have to readjust and find their game under a new system.

If the Rangers go in house, I could see Jed Ortmeyer on the bench as a head coach. If that is permanent or temporary would be the question to ask. Ortmeyer was on the bench often last season with McCambridge. There would still be the need of an assistant coach. Could Chris Drury pull double duty and be on the bench as well? If so, those two will be quite busy during the season if they have to run the show and be the coaching staff.

Another route that is possible is to hire another Hockey East coach, similar to David Quinn. Hockey East has produced quality coaches and they have developed players for the next stages in their careers.

By now, I was hoping to write about the next head coach plus assistants. That has not happened. The Rangers know this situation is not ideal for the farm. We are approaching nearly 100 days without a Wolf Pack coaching staff. There is roughly 70+ days until the AHL season begins. The time crunch is on.

Ricky Milliner is a Hartford Wolf Pack season ticket holder. While growing up, he discovered hockey by attending a... More about Ricky Milliner

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