The New York Rangers are currently without a head coach. Owner James Dolan spoke about what he is looking for in the next Blueshirt bench boss.
James Dolan has spoken.
“We’re looking for someone who can develop players and develop a team,” Dolan told Brooks. “He’s going to have to be able to delegate authority in identifying deficiencies and fixing them. Scolding a player doesn’t fix the problem. He can’t try to do everything by himself. The job is just too big.”
What Dolan is describing is basically what was missing the last few years under the leadership of Alain Vigneault, whom the Rangers fired on April 7. Vigneault did great work with a team when it was ready to win like he did with the Rangers during his tenure. But that isn’t the case for the Rangers right now and Dolan admitted to it.
“I think Alain was a great coach, but a great coach for a developed team. He sort of affirmed that himself when he talked after the last game about how he didn’t have the players this year.”
Dolan’s description of Vigneault couldn’t be more perfect. Looking at the growth of the Rangers young players the last season, it was simple, the growth just wasn’t there. Brady Skjei regressed this season under Vigneault while Pavel Buchnevch and J.T. Miller had to fight for ice time.
The Rangers decided to go in a new direction in the 2017-18 season. They brought in an influx of new, young talent while trading away some veterans. The club missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years, but Dolan doesn’t regret the decision to sell.
“It was the right time for us and we did it the right way. We were straightforward with it. We didn’t want to be in a situation where we had our own people guessing about it.”
Even though the Rangers went in this direction, Dolan reiterated that the plan is not to be at the bottom of the league every season. He expects the team to compete and trusts the plan the general manager Jeff Gorton.
When talking about the Rangers captain vacancy, Dolan admitted that the Rangers might have handled it wrong in the past with Ryan McDonagh.
“I think maybe we added a burden to Ryan when we made him captain that affected him on and off the ice and kind of changed his own perception of himself. But he was a really good player for us for a long time.”
The next captain isn’t necessarily on the roster right now, but Dolan knows that the team needs a strong leader. He also knows that the team is missing a player who can make a difference in games. How the Rangers get that type of player can be in different ways. Dolan said they have some names out there and will use analytics to see how they fit in with the club.
The Rangers might be rebuilding, but like Dolan said, “it doesn’t have to take forever.”