The New York Rangers brought in David Quinn as their head coach, but it appears assistant coach Lindy Ruff is going to remain on the staff.
The New York Rangers decided to move on from head coach Alain Vigneault after a disastrous season in which they failed to make the playoffs. The team hired David Quinn as their head coach after a lengthy search.
It was already announced during Quinn’s introductory press conference that goalie coach Benoit Allaire would stay with the team, which was never in doubt. He’s done great work with Henrik Lundqvist, Cam Talbot, and Antti Raanta, and the team has top prospect Igor Shestyorkin not far from coming to North America.
While it makes sense that the team would want to make a clean break from the rest of the staff, that is not the case. According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Lindy Ruff is expected to remain with the Rangers. He reports this in his 31 thoughts piece (thought 28).
Ruff was the architect of a defense that struggled last season. As a whole, the unit failed to prevent high-quality scoring chances by opposing teams and failed to get the puck out of the zone regularly. One trademark was allowing the opposing offense to screen the goalie while making absolutely no effort to move them from in front of the net.
Ruff, despite vast amounts of experience coaching in the NHL, was passed up for the coaching job in favor of Quinn. He’s spent 19 seasons as an NHL head coach, 15 of them with the Buffalo Sabres.
He took over as the head coach of the Sabres before the 1997 season and led them to the Stanley Cup Finals in his second year coaching, where they lost on Brett Hull’s infamous goal crease violation non-call.
He was fired 13 games into the 2012-13 season and was named head coach of the Dallas Stars that offseason. He spent four years with the team before being fired. He will enter his second year as an assistant coach for the Rangers.
He also played in the NHL, appearing in 83 games with the Rangers over three seasons between 1988 and 1991. He had three goals and 15 points during his tenure with the team.
He’ll need to do a better job handling the Rangers defense under Quinn than he did last season.