The latest on the search for a new Rangers coach
Rangers management is in Palm Springs California, preparing for their biggest offseason in years. One of their primary tasks is searching for a coach.
Officially off the list is Jim Montgomery, who took the Stars job in Dallas. Unofficially, David Quinn of Boston told those close to him that he wasn’t leaving B.U.. Rick Carpiniello who covers the Rangers for the Athletic noted that he believes Lindy Ruff, and Wolf Pack coach, Keith McCambridge are not up for the job. He also highly doubts that Dave Tippett is not either, although our Editor in Chief disagrees.
One interesting name that he mentioned was Minnesota-Duluth’s head coach. Scott Sandelin played seven seasons in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadians, and Minnisota North-Stars before getting into the coaching biz.
Sandelin accepted the job as the head coach of the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs on March 20, 2000. As head coach, he has led the Bulldogs to six 22 plus win seasons and four NCAA tournament appearances (2003–04, 2008–09, and 2010–2012). In (2008–09) he beat his former North Dakota team to become the Final Five Champions of the WCHA. Then in (2010–2011) the Bulldogs made a run in the NCAA tournament to become the 2011 NCAA Champions, beating Yale, Union, Notre Dame and Michigan for the title. Last year, Sandelin led the Bulldogs to the NCAA finals, and this year Duluth won the NCAA championship. Below you can find his coaching record, courtesy of Wikipedia.com.
Sandelin also coached Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk, so while it’s a small connection, there is one there. Sandelin has also has helped develop many NHL players such as Justin Faulk, Alex Stalock, and J.T. Brown.
The Rangers are in the process of rebuilding so we should be seeing an influx of young players making their way to the Rangers in the near future. A fault in Alain Vigneault’s coaching style was that he did not let younger players grow, and opted to play older players over younger ones (a la Buchnevich). We know that finding a coach that can develop young talent is a priority for the Rangers, and given Sandelin’s track record, this may not be a bad option.
Not Interested in Keefe?
While many Rangers fans sound like they would sell their souls for Sheldon Keefe, Carpiniello isn’t biting. He believes that the Toronto Marlies coach is not a serious contender. That flies in the face of all the speculation, but Carpiniello has been following the Rangers for years and comes a close second to Larry Brooks for Rangers insights.
No Rush to Hire
Carpiniello then says this: “At this late date – and though Gorton said it’s not necessary to have the coach in place at the draft, but it certainly would be advantageous to have one a week later, for free agency – I would not be surprised if the Rangers’ next head coach comes completely out of left field.”
Given the fact that Montgomery was hired by the Dallas Stars and there are not that many “high-profile” names available, this makes sense. Who knows if the Rangers will hire a coach before the draft and free-agency, but it would certainly make sense to.
As the playoffs come to a close, more and more Rangers news will surface. This offseason is setting up to be an exciting one. Stay tuned to Forever Blueshirts for all your Rangers news. Thanks for the read! Make sure you check out Rick Carpiniello’s article here.