Once this dismal and disheartening season is over, the New York Rangers must continue to clean house. This time, the target will be the coaching staff.
First, please give a look to an in-depth rant on this subject right here!
Alain Vigneault, Scott Arniel, Lindy Ruff and Daryl Williams, all must go.
This season started slow with glimpses of a stable team and a lot of promise, but now that stability is crumbling. It is crumbling on the ice, as well as behind the bench.
AV must be the first to go. If this team wants to commit to a full rebuild, then going with a new skipper must be included. AV helped build one of the most fun and successful teams over his five years as the Rangers head coach, but he lost it this season. Pointing fingers in the wrong direction, lack of emotion and inexplicably terrible line combinations has been seen all season from his authority.
Firing AV now does not help the team. Then again nothing is going to help this team play better. However, firing AV will help the team’s frame of mind that a fresh start is coming. Something I think Lundqvist desperately needs to see. #NYR
— Forever Blueshirts (@4EverBlueshirts) March 9, 2018
Scott Arniel, Lindy Ruff and Daryl Williams, additionally need to be replaced as well. This is essentially a brand new team, much younger and faster, and strategy must change to accommodate that. Implementing new personnel to teach and develop a new game plan for the coming seasons should be a major focus.
This rebuild will not be quick, and it may get worse before it gets better. For right now, fans and management need to be behind the team and hope for the best to end this season. Find new combinations that work, possibly giving Georgiev some more time, and the emergence of some more guys from Hartford are some areas to start. Both Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil will be called up to play the last 5-9 games, so as not to burn a year off their ELC.
The Rangers are ten points out of a wildcard spot, and with only 13 games, the playoff dream is beyond bleak. They should take this time to refine some edges and get ready for the long road ahead of a rebuild. The eyes are toward the future, so the past must be erased.
The Goalie Master
The only member of this coaching staff that must stay, is goaltending and assistant coach, Benoit Allaire. Allaire has been around Lundqvist the entirety of his career and coached him to being the franchise’s most winningest goaltender. With Lundqvist, seemingly, being on the tail end of his storied career, the Rangers must look toward someone that can split time with him.
Alexander Georgiev can be that guy, especially if Allaire stays on to teach and coach the 21-year-old. I’m certainly not saying that the rangers should 100% go all-in on Georgiev, but he has shown some promise. He, as well as Lundqvist, have been peppered with shots night-in and night-out, and fought off a significant number of them. Georgiev has faced 128 shots in four appearances. Transitioning into splitting time between Lundqvist and Georgiev, under the direction of Allaire, should be a key component of the rebuild.
Allaire has also been keeping close tabs on the Henrik’s heir apparent, Igor Shestyorkin. In preparation for his arrival, Allaire has been watching all of Igor’s games on film. In an article back in 2016, Larry Brooks wrote that Allaire “was gushing over his technique and ability”. Based on his track record with goalies like Lundqvist, Cam Talbot, and Antti Raanta, it’s a no brainer to keep him.