New York Rangers defenseman crossed paths with head coach Dave Quinn at Boston University and says he is fair but demanding of his players.

The New York Rangers have hired Dave Quinn to take over as their head coach after a disappointing season. Quinn has spent the past five seasons as head coach at Boston University and was an assistant coach there from 2004-2009.

During his tenure as an assistant, he crossed paths with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who played his college hockey at Boston University. Shattenkirk, in an interview with MSG, called his new coach “fair and demanding.”

The most important quote to come out of Shattenkirk’s interview, however, is this line:

“He treats players with a lot of respect and he expects you to show up to work every day. He’s constantly going to develop you as a player, which is what we need here.”

This is hugely important for a Rangers team that is leaning on young players as it enters a rebuild.

When Quinn was an assistant, his primary focus was working with the defensemen of the Boston University team. His developmental skills will be important in that regard, as young defensemen Brady Skjei and Neal Pionk are expected to play important roles for the team next season.

The Rangers made wholesale changes to their team, adding young talent such as Ryan Spooner and Vladislav Namestnikov at the trade deadline. The team is trending young, which is by design.

Quinn will likely lean heavily on Shattenkirk for leadership, as he is familiar with the coach’s preferences and demands. He is joined by Marc Staal, Henrik Lundqvist, Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider, who ESNY’s Frank Curto feels should be the next captain, as the elder statesmen on the team.

Shattenkirk is coming off of a trying first season with his hometown team. The Rangers failed to make the playoffs for only the second time in the past 13 seasons, and Shattenkirk struggled personally as well.

The offensive-minded defenseman battled a torn meniscus all season, which limited him to only 46 games. He did put up five goals and 23 points in his limited playing time, but struggled on the defensive end as his mobility was severely limited.

A clean bill of a health and a new coach, one he clearly respects and admires, should help Shattenkirk return to the level of play the Rangers were hoping for when they signed him.

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