What Ruff’s possible retention means for the Rangers coaching staff

AV and Ruff (Getty Images)

There’s been a lot of speculation and talk that Lindy Ruff will remain in some capacity on David Quinn’s staff. What does that mean for the rest of the openings to assist the new coach? Let’s dig in.

Ruff Staying?

It started with Larry Brooks‘ latest saying Ruff “remains in the mix” to be on Quinn’s staff. That was followed up a day later when Elliotte Friedman added this nugget to his 31 Thoughts, “It’s expected Lindy Ruff will stay with David Quinn in New York.”

None of what was mentioned above is set in stone, but it does lend credence to what I’ve said before about Ruff not being let go with Alain Vigneault. The Rangers obviously feel after their exit meetings that Ruff can bring something to the table.

I wrote a few weeks ago that he would be perfect to bridge the gap from last season to this one. Lindy Ruff would be an excellent choice to be the third assistant as the eye in the sky coach.

Ruff is the only one on the staff that was in the foxhole last season and can provide Quinn with the insights as to what went wrong. He can also assist Quinn in transitioning from NCAA coaching responsibilities to the NHL.

Ruff’s Experience Opens Up More Possibilities

If Ruff does become part of Quinn’s staff, that takes care of having someone with experience to help the new coach make the transition. It also opens up the possibility to bring in fresh faces with little no NHL coaching experience to round out the team.

Names like Martin St. Louis and Brian Leetch could become viable options. Maybe even Jeff Beukeboom gets another chance under Quinn’s system. At the end of the 2017 season, Beukeboom was moved on to a new role, which apparently he was open to.

“We met with Jeff, and we agreed on both sides to offer him another job. He wanted to do something else and we’re going to put him in another role, yet to be defined,” Gorton said.

Why would a coach want to do something else? This was an early warning sign that things were likely to only get worse with AV at the helm. Subsequently, the Rangers brought in Ruff and missed the playoffs this season.