5/31/23 | The Rangers have been granted permission to speak with Hynes, according to the NY Post.
5/30/23 | The Predators fired John Hynes today and replaced him with Devils assistant Andrew Brunette.
Brunette was not believed to have been a candidate for the Rangers.
Arthur Staple tweets that Hynes may be on Chris Drury’s list of head coaching candidates.
Hynes was a teammate of Drury at Boston University for three seasons and was an assistant coach at BU, after getting injured, in Drury’s senior season.
Hynes has been an NHL head coach since 2015-16 with New Jersey until he was fired in December of 2019 and then hired by Nashville, after they fired Peter Laviolette, in early 2020.
He has a career 284-254-63 record as an NHL head coach, made the playoffs with the Devils once (2017-18 and lost in the first round) and with the Predators twice (2020-21, 2021-22 losing in the first round both times).
Hynes was an assistant for Team USA at the 2019 World Championships when Drury was the team GM.
Adam Rotter: Hynes and Drury have a big connection, but other than that I’m not sure he’s the right fit. He’s got experience, but he’s never gone deep in the playoffs, doesn’t have big market experience, hasn’t really coached superstar players, outside of Roman Josi and the year Taylor Hall won the Hart Trophy, and he’s always been a bit more of a defensive coach.
He’s an NHL caliber coach and nearly got the Predators, after they sold at the deadline, into the playoffs, but there would have to be something special or unique that he brings for him to beat out Laviolette or whoever else might still be in the running. Drury obviously knows him well, but there would have to be more to it than just that. Having a relationship that goes back nearly 30 years would likely eliminate, at least at the start, some of the friction that Drury had with Gerard Gallant about personnel moves or player usage, and that must be a big appeal to Drury, but it would be a very hard sell to everyone, James Dolan probably included, if that was at the crux of his potential hiring. It would just seem that if you are going to go with an experienced/recycled/retread coach, that you’d go with the one with deep playoff experience, a Stanley Cup ring and a history in big markets and/or with superstars.
Ultimately, my guess though is that Hynes is being interviewed as part of due diligence or potentially as an assistant/associate coach. The Rangers are pretty far along in their process and while Hynes adds a wrinkle, I don’t believe he is someone who could/would jump ahead of those already interviewed.