On Monday, the New York Rangers announced that they have hired Keith McCambridge to lead the Hartford Wolf Pack next fall. Find out all about the new Wolf Pack bench boss right here with ESNY.
— Hartford Wolf Pack (@WolfPackAHL) June 12, 2017
The Hartford Wolf Pack announced Monday that Assistant Coach Keith McCambridge was hired as the Head Coach of the team. McCambridge originally joined the Wolf Pack in August of 2016, as an assistant to former head coach Ken Gernander, who was relieved of his duties May 16.
The Wolf Pack were abysmal last season finishing with only 54 points by way of a 24-46-4-2 record. Now, there’s no question there’s a lack of high-powered prospects on the farm, obviously mostly due to trades and lack of draft picks. But McCambridge will have some young talent to work with next season as it looks like players like Nicklas Jensen and Adam Tambellini will return to lead the offense. McCambridge will also have the task of developing youngsters like Cristoval Nieves, Ty Ronning, Swedish League Star Malte Stromwall, Robin Kovacs, and Ryan Graves.
Prior to joining Gernander’s staff in Hartford, McCambridge was the head coach of the Winnipeg Jets farm teams, the Manitoba Moose and the St. John’s Ice Caps. In his first season with the Ice Caps, he led the team to a first place division finish as well as a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals. Prior to becoming the head coach, McCambridge worked with a familiar name in Manitoba, as he was an assistant for current Rangers Associate coach Scott Arniel.
McCambridge is said to be a great teacher one on one and great mento for young prospects. Still, only 43 he is on the younger said of things to be a head coach, and not terribly far removed from his playing days. In terms of systems, it appears McCambridge will attempt to implement a very structured system that features tempo and pace.
“My coaching philosophy is to have a team that plays with a lot of structure,” McCambridge said. “I want a team that plays with pace and energy. And my expectation is that my teams will have work ethic in place from early in the year. Those are non-negotiable even in practice. … We are here to get better every day.”
Seems like a decent and safe hire for new Wolf Pack GM Chris Drury. My hope is to see the Wolf Pack add some veteran AHLers into the mix to help along these prospects and strengthen the team. It can be awfully difficult to stick to systems when the season is going so bad. McCambridge will also have some fresh faces to work with as players like Ryan Gropp, Gabriel Fontaine and maybe even Neal Pionk could start the year with the Pack.