There are rumors afloat that Martin St. Louis is looking to get back into the NHL, which would be behind the bench. Would the New York Rangers benefit from having him there?
Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote that he wouldn’t be surprised if Martin St. Louis emerges as a legitimate candidate for an assistant coaching job for the New York Rangers. St. Louis, who still lives in the area, would be the “Type A” personality that the Rangers had seemed to be missing well, since St. Louis’ retirement.
With Marty and guys like Dan Boyle, Brad Richards and even Dominic Moore, the team flourished and enjoyed serious success during both the regular season and postseason. This, as most of us know, is how Alain Vigneault approaches the game. He sits back and allows the players to run the locker room, as he should.
But since those days, and the moving on of players like the aforementioned, the team has crumbled, looked lethargic, and uninspired.
Yes, it can be argued that there were too many type b personalities in that locker room. Pair that with Vigneault and there’s a recipe for little success. But would adding an assistant coach like St. Louis be the missing piece to the Stanley Cup?
No, actually most definitely not. But it can certainly help.
The way this team is headed, they’re going to be a young, dynamic, energetic group. They need someone in charge that can harness that energy and put it to use in the right ways, or as some will say “press the right buttons.” St. Louis could be that guy. He can help the younger skill players develop. He can be the motivational voice in the locker room. The kids will respect him and listen to his advice.
— Kel (@liverbirdkop) May 25, 2017
As assistant coaches, they often develop stronger bonds and relationships with the players as they spend more time together. Assistants run film sessions, hold line meetings, and become more personal while the head coach remains out of the discussions while simply overseeing. St. Louis would be an excellent choice as an assistant whether Vigneault is here or not.
Hockey players are creatures of habit and for a guy like St. Louis, who’s played 1,134 games in the NHL and is now retired, habit is now gone. Hopefully, the itch and desire to get back to the NHL level is high enough for Marty at this juncture. However, it could be difficult to pry him away from his sons and their hockey careers as well.
Adam Oates represents another name who’s not necessarily involved in any rumors linking him to the Rangers, but would be a great hire would be Adam Oates.
The former NHLer and Hall of Famer is out of coaching at the moments, focusing his time and efforts on more one on one skills with players. Oates, who has only one and a half seasons of head coaching experience, might be better suited as an assistant evidenced by his work now. He has been training and working with established stars like Steven Stamkos and Ryan Suter while his most recent body of work has come with young Mark Scheifele. Scheifele has blossomed into an NHL superstar in the past year.
Adding someone like Oates to the coaching staff could be a huge benefit to players on the ice. Oates is also a power play wiz. Alex Ovechkin led the team with 24 power play goals and the team clicked at 23 percent, well over the league average that year of 17 percent.
The New York Rangers are poised to become a fast, young, inexperienced, but exciting team in the next coming years and change has to be made. The new generation kids don’t respond well to traditional ways. That is why a change has to be made. Whether they decide to fire Alain Vigneault or not is one thing.
But adding quality assistant coaches can change the dynamic for the organization. St. Louis and Oates, one in the Hall of Fame and the other posed to do so, would be fantastic adds.
Players like Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson and even Jimmy Vesey could break out and become extremely important pieces to this club.