Since 2013-14, the Hartford Wolf Pack have missed the AHL playoffs in five of the past six seasons.
Over the last three seasons the Wolf Pack have had records of:
- 2016-17 – 24-46-4 (30th in the league)
- 2017-18 – 34-33-6 (20th in the league)
- 2018-19 – 29-36-7 (28th in the league)
Ken Gernander (career record of 388-304-84) was replaced as coach after the 2016-17 season and his assistant Keith McCambridge (179-158-43 prior as a head coach prior to Hartford) was promoted to head coach.
The Rangers fired McCambridge (63-69-20) earlier this offseason after two seasons as head coach.
Rangers President John Davidson told Larry Brooks that the position of coach in Hartford has “huge importance” and they are looking for someone that communicates well not only with the players but with the rest of the organization. (NY Post)
Davidson said that the Rangers are putting “more of everything” into Hartford and are looking to build a culture of winning that can help foster development. (NY Post)
Davidson said that in addition to finding a new coach for Hartford it is “vital” to have veterans who want to set examples and take on big leadership roles.
He pointed to Mark Letestu, 34 and a regular NHLer from 2012 to 2018, who played 64 games this season with the Columbus AHL affiliate and scored 21 goals and 29 points.
Letestu had a cap hit of $750,000 if he played in the NHL this season and a guaranteed salary of at least $350,000. (Cap Friendly)
Last season in Hartford the Rangers had veterans like Peter Holland, Cole Schneider and Matt Beleskey as older players with the Wolf Pack.
Adam Rotter: Hartford has struggled for the last number of years and a new direction was needed. They took the brunt of the Rangers trading picks and prospects to contend and fielded teams that were not always up to par. That is starting to change though as many of the picks and prospects accumlated over the past couple of years are starting to turn pro. The Rangers will have more skilled players in Hartford and the right kind of situation around them so that they can progress and develop into Rangers. If they could clone David Quinn and have him coach the Wolf Pack they would, but it will be interesting to see if his assistants (Greg Brown and/or David Oliver) are being considered. Former Isles coach Jack Capuano is close with Quinn and I thought he might be a consideration to coach Hartford but he just joined the Senators as an assistant. This is a situation where the Rangers can flex their muscles a little and pay to possibly convince an NHL assistant or former NHL head coach to take the job.