5/3/23 | 5:35 PM: EJ Hradek said on NHL Network “when they struggled in November, there was one source that told me that they had been making calls for a couple of other coaches and I hear that they are very, very interested in Joel Quenneville. That is just what I hear from people that I trust. It doesn’t mean anything that he hasn’t done a great job, we’ve seen this before with coaches who do well in big markets with ownership groups that are eager to be successful. Sometimes even if you do well it’s not good enough. He went to the Final with Vegas and what was it? 18 months later he had been fired. I don’t know how it’s going to play out, he’s done a great job in my mind with the Rangers, but there is just too much smoke around this story that it’s just something the media is making up, nobody is making it up. The Rangers are considering what to do and we’ll see what happens.”
11:34 AM: Elliotte Friedman said on 32 Thoughts “all the tea leaves say that they are going to make a change. In a lot of ways it’s the easy thing to do. I’ve said this many times this year, you know who the owner of the Rangers is. He’s a volcano and not a dormant volcano, one that actually tends to erupt from time to time. This year I think there were times that Gallant knew he was in trouble, I absolutely think that there were times this year where the Rangers looked around and said ‘okay, who is going to replace him if we make a change?’ I think they sent out feelers and I think they were looking into who could be out there and who might be interested, but Gallant righted the ship and I really liked the way the Rangers went into the playoffs.”
Friedman continued, after a brief discussion about Artemi Panarin’s struggles, “I think that is why you are hearing a lot of Joel Quenneville. We don’t know if the Rangers are going to be able to do this, they have to go through the NHL and the NHL has to decide whether or not they are going to reinstate Joel Quenneville. In addition to the fact that Quenneville won three Stanley Cups in Chicago, the fact that Panarin had enormous success under Quenneville is why I think you are hearing his name. I don’t know where this is going to go, I’m going to wait to let it play out and see if it’s going to be possible, but, I think the Rangers are looking at this and saying that Panarin had huge success under this coach and that is one of the reasons they want him there.”
He added, “But I heard, after one of the games in the series, there was like a huge argument behind closed doors, and like everybody could hear it and they could hear the coaches and management and everybody was so frustrated with the way it was going and I guess there was a big argument going on and everybody could hear the fact that tempers were boiling over and so when that happens there are consequences out of it and when you lose in the first round there are consequences out of it and I do agree that Gallant is going to take some of it, but I think it’s bigger than the head coach.”
7:35 AM: Emily Kaplan writes at ESPN.com that Gallant is expected to be the fall guy for the Rangers.
5/2/23 | 6:54 PM: On ESPN’s The Point, Kevin Weekes wondered if the Rangers would move both Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko.
5:44 PM: Darren Dreger said on the Ray and Dregs Podcast that “I see a name like Joel Quenneville out there and I’m just wondering. I like Gerard Gallant and think he’s a good coach. He’s been through some tough situations. Not advocating for a coaching change for the New York Rangers, I can just kind of smell something developing there.”
5:38 PM: Arthur Staple said on his podcast “the name that I’ve heard mentioned quite a bit already, he’s not even eligible to hired by anybody yet, still sort of an unofficial suspension with the league, is Joel Quenneville. This is what I hear from the people that I talk to: James Dolan and Chris Drury are not making a change just to go for another veteran coach who is good, affable, whatever, they are not making what you’d think is a lateral move. They had plenty of success with Gerard Gallant in the regular season, haven’t been able to get over the hump in the playoffs, they want a name, a guy who has proven it, won it, been there and the one guy that is out there right now is Joel Quenneville.”
5:26 PM: EJ Hradek said on NHL Now that “I’d be really surprised if Joel Quenneville isn’t the coach of the Rangers next year. I think there has been a little bit of a rift between the management team and the coaching staff, particularly Gerard Gallant, who I think is a terrific person and has been a really good coach in this league, took Vegas to the Final and the Rangers to the final four, but when you have that kind of internal rift that goes on, difference of opinion, things change and the Rangers lost in the first round and they have guys under significant money contracts, they expected to do more. I expect, and I wouldn’t be surprised if even by the end of the week they make a coaching announcement that there is going to be a change and Joel Quenneville is the number one candidate on a list of one and they are going to do everything they can to make sure that they can get league approval to bring him in. We’ll see how it plays out, but I’d be surprised if he’s not the guy.”
12:31 PM: On The Jeff Marek show on Tuesday, Elliotte Friedman was asked about the Rangers and said “I think we all know what is going to happen…it sounds like there is going to be a biblical sacrifice here. There is too much noise not to think that there isn’t going to be a coaching change.”
He adds, “you look at the production last night, of the Rangers in this series and I’m not sure that any coach survives players like Panarin and Lafreniere having the series that they had. People can complain all they want about ‘oh, he didn’t adjust,’ fine. When you lose nobody gets away unscathed, but you could get the best adjusting coach in the NHL and if that is the production you get from some of your top players, particularly at 5-on-5, you are not going to win. It’s that simple and while Gallant may end up taking the fall, I think they are going to have to look at some of the players on their roster and say ‘do we really think we can win with these players performing like this?’ (After talk about how Hughes and Hischier were ‘buzzing’ last night from the first shift)….I just thought too many of New York’s best players, especially the forwards, were not there. It’s amazing how lifeless New York went down last night.”
Frank Seravalli wrote at Daily Faceoff that “industry executives” have been linking the Rangers to Joel Quenneville “even before the Rangers fell in Game 7.”
Seravalli writes that “opposition staffs” see Gallant as “lacking the creative approach to make appropriate in-game or in-series changes.” (Daily Faceoff)
Darren Dreger tweeted that Quenneville hasn’t been “cleared” by the NHL yet, but a “formal interview request will likely encourage the commissioners approval.”
He adds that with the current coaching availabilities and “speculation” around the Rangers, it’s a “strong possibility” that Quenneville returns.
Greg Wyshynski tweeted that “the chatter around the Rangers and Quenneville “was deafening” during the series against the Devils and that Game 7 potentially being Gerard Gallant’s last game as coach was as well.