2023 New York Rangers Coaching Search

The latest on what the Rangers may be looking for

6:40 PM: Mark Messier said on ESPN of the Rangers firing Gallant, The Rangers were in a tough position because their kids weren’t ready to take on a top-six role so they had to go out and supplement their top-six forwards because they weren’t good enough and all the expectations from last year and going to the conference finals and it just didn’t work for them this year. They couldn’t get on the same page for whatever reason, the chemistry didn’t seem to be there, they never looked comfortable, to me, going into the playoffs and that is a horrible place to be as a team, trying to find your game going into the playoffs and it ultimately cost the Rangers in this years playoffs.”

6:03 PM: EJ Hradek, in speaking about the Rangers, said “when you hear people talk about it, they feel like wanted someone that could make in-game adjustments better and strategy was, they felt like it was a weak point. So I guess you gotta add somebody that can do that.” (NHL Network)

11:42 AM: Elliotte Friedman spoke about the Rangers on the 32 Thoughts podcast and said:


  • “There is no doubt to me that whoever is going to be the next head coach of the New York Rangers is going to have to be somebody who can reach the likes of Panarin and Lafreniere. Someone said to me that those are the two players, and they weren’t the only ones, those are the two players that the Rangers were most concerned about after the playoffs.”

  • “Panarin, the way he played, and Lafreniere the way he played and it’s not all on Gallant, I’ve been very consistent about that. I think the players have to take responsibility, but I do think that whoever takes over this job is going to be someone that they think can light a fire under those two players.”
  • “Panarin is a little bit different, he’s a veteran. I think Lafreniere is actually the bigger project, he’s still a young plyer, was a number one pick overall just a couple years ago. He’s had a very concerning run in terms of, ‘okay, what exactly do we have here? Are we going to get the most out of this player?’ And while, again, I think that Lafreniere has to take blame for that, I do think that a priority is going to be ‘can we find a coach who can reach him, who can get the most out of him’ and I think part of the interview process is going to be how you think you can accomplish that?
  • Friedman added, “I don’t think the Rangers want to trade this guy. I say this all the time, you can trade your problem or you can solve your problem and it’s always better to solve your problem. I think that will be a focal point of the search.”
  • When Jeff Marek brought up the report that the Rangers were not going to pursue Joel Quenneville, Friedman said “Yes, that is true and that name wasn’t coming out by accident, there was a lot of smoke around it during the series against the Devils. Ultimately it’s up to the Rangers to say why they aren’t doing this, but I know one of the theories going around right now is that there is no guarantee that the NHL and specifically Commissioner Bettman would be willing to consider making Quenneville eligible to coach in a timeline that made any sense for a team that would be looking for him this year. I think that is one of the reasons, I don’t know if that is all of the reasons.” (32 Thoughts)
  • “One of the other names, I think, over the year that the Rangers thought about was Barry Trotz and obviously he’s not available, he’s got another job now and that is GM of the Predators. I think everybody is curious to see where it’s going here.”
  • “One of names that has kind of been talked about is Kris Knoblauch, who has done a really nice job with Hartford in the AHL, they are in the playoffs, had a big run at the end of the year to get there. I had a couple of people mention him to me.”
  • “I think there is a general feeling about the Rangers and that is ‘are they a team that is willing to go for someone who has never had NHL head coaching experience. That is kind of not their MO and sometimes that has worked for them and sometimes it hasn’t, but I think there is a lot of ‘we’d have to see it to believe it,’ the Rangers going with someone new. Maybe they’ll surprise everybody…I just think that there is so much at stake. They just fired a coach who had back to back 100 point seasons and they went to the Stanley Cup semi-final last year. I think there is a lot of skepticism that if that is the guy you are going to fire, are you really willing to try something that is more of a wild card than that.”