David Quinn
(Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The New York Rangers could be zeroing in on their next head coach, as Boston University’s Dave Quinn appears to be the front-runner.

The New York Rangers fired head coach Alain Vigneault after a tumultuous season in which the Rangers failed to make the playoffs for only the second time in Henrik Lundqvist’s career. The team will no doubt be looking for a very different coach, as judging from the reactions of players, Vigneault had no goodwill remaining in the locker room.

It now appears that the Rangers have found who they want to take over, as Bob McKenzie of TSN reports on Twitter that, while not a done deal, Boston University’s Dave Quinn is down the road towards being hired.

Quinn has been Boston University’s head coach since 2013, and he was previously an assistant for the Colorado Avalanche. Under his coaching, BU was the 2015 NCAA runner-up, losing in the finals to Providence, and he was named the Bob Kullen Coach of the Year (Hockey East’s coach of the year championship).

That was the first of four straight seasons he led the team to the NCAA Tournament. He won the Hockey East regular-season championship in 2015 and 2017, and he won the conference’s playoff tournament in 2015 and 2018.

Quinn has never been a head coach at the NHL level, so hiring him would be a drastic change for the Rangers. Between Vigneault and John Tortorella, the past two Rangers head coaches have had a combined 19 NHL seasons under their belts.

Tortorella technically had an eighth, as he had served as interim head coach of the Rangers before being hired by the Tampa Bay Lightning, but that was only a four-game cameo.

Coming from the college ranks, Quinn should be somewhat more patient with young players than Vigneault was, with Pavel Buchnevich’s comments about his former coach showing how difficult it was to be a young player with the Rangers last season. This change is important for the Rangers, as their roster is skewing younger as they attempt to rebuild.

Quinn was an assistant coach at Boston University from 2004-2009, where he coached defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

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