David Quinn
Spencer Hazen, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

New York Rangers head coach David Quinn has changed the status quo of this young hockey club with communication representing the main focal point of training camp.  

Frank Curto

Head coach David Quinn has only been with the New York Rangers for five months. He brings an energized and refreshing outlook to a team that desperately needed a change and it’s safe to say the players have welcomed it with open arms.

Practice at the Rangers practice facility in Tarrytown, NY has been loud. The sounds heard are of one voice, David Quinn, as communication has become the most important aspect of training camp up to this point.

Some of the Blueshirts players spoke with Larry Brooks of the New York Post explaining what they have heard at most practice sessions.

Rangers center Kevin Hayes commented on the coach’s voice and technic to get his point across.

“Very vocal,” says Kevin Hayes. “Always teaching.”

Right winger Chris Kreider also mentioned communication as a theme to most practice sessions.

“Communication,” says Chris Kreider. “A lot of teaching moments. Nothing is assumed.”

Defenseman Brady Skjei appreciates and understands the communication but also added the value of the coaching listening to the player’s words too.

“Constant communication,” says Brady Skjei. “He talks to us all the time, but he listens, too, if you know what I mean.”

David Quinn, the former Boston University head coach, was hired for his skills in listening and working with the players. Communication along with player accountability is what the head coach needs his players to accept if the team has any chance of improving from last season.

The players recognize that this is a different training camp from past years. As there are more young players in camp this year, it was essential the organization brought in a coach who can relate to the player’s struggles as well as success on an even level.

Hence the need to let former coach Alain Vigneault go and bring in Quinn this past May.

“There’s a work aspect to this camp where everyone is held accountable,” Hayes said to Brooks. “Things that maybe should have been addressed and weren’t, maybe taken for granted, they’re being addressed now. “You’re going to work hard or you’re not going to play.”

Hayes speaking of things that should have been addressed and weren’t is in reference to how practices were conducted under the former head coach. Quinn had to establish a new work ethic with the players in order to get them to improve from last season’s failure.

Throughout training camp and two preseason games, the players have been using their voices like never before. the coach has stressed how important it is for the players to talk on the ice as the play is happening in order to help improve as five-man units, not just forwards and defensemen.

“There’s a lot of chatter between the players.” said Chris Kreider to Brooks,  “You could hear guys screaming on the ice and that’s good. It was too quiet before.”

The players are buying into the new system Quinn has laid out for them. The communication is essential for the players to know what’s going on in a very fast, physical NHL game. The players seem excited and are thriving in this game plan early in camp.

Could this be the answer to all of the team’s miscues last season? Is it really that simple? In a single word … no.

The Rangers faced many obstacles they stumbled over en route to watching the playoffs last season. Speaking with one another on both the ice and bench is a start in the right direction for Quinn and his staff.

As the Rangers are looking to fix the errors of their ways last season, coach Quinn is doing what he knows best as a coach. Communication is as important to the team as scoring a goal right now. Once he gets the players vocal, he can establish what needs to be done in all three zones to be successful.

The coach is only one voice, but as a team of voices, the New York Rangers will be able to work as one to get the job done.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com