Brett Cyrgalis at the New York Post spoke with former Ranger Mike Mottau about his ex-coach and Blueshirts head coach candidate Dallas Eakins...
“He was able to look at certain guys and let them play to their strengths and work on their weaknesses. Other coaches promote themselves and their system, but he was looking at the betterment of the group. He was just a breath of fresh air for me.”
Eakins is expected to have his second interview with the Canucks this week.
...hmmm, don't know of any coaches that only promote their systems. (cough) Torts (cough).
...well if Sather is looking for an anti-Torts, Eakins definitely fits the bill. One constant I've heard about Eakins is his impressive communication skills with his players. Obviously, that seemed to be a big problem with Torts (see Hagelin stinking on the power play).
...while Eakins is a guy who can adapt to his team and players, his inexperience in the NHL is still an anchor around his neck. Throwing a rookie coach into the New York media market can be overwhelming to say the least, so I think it's fair to have concerns that the Rangers might be better off going with someone who has more experience dealing with big city media.
Which brings us to another candidate at the top of the Rangers list, Alain Vigneault, who has plenty of experience dealing with the scrutiny of a rabid media market in Vancouver, which is at the very least on par with New York (via Daily News)...
“He was a pleasure to deal with for the most part,” one Vancouver beat writer told the Daily News of Vigneault. “He can be charming. He’s used to working in major media centers, first Montreal and then Vancouver. The Canucks get New York Yankees type coverage up here, and his success speaks for itself.”
As far as Vigneault's coaching style, his assistant for seven years in Vancouver, Rick Bowness, said this....
“Alain gave the players a lot of ownership for what was going on, and the players absolutely had to respect that. Whether you like him or any of us — (coaches are) never the most popular guys around — but he always gave players ownership of what was happening, on the ice, in the locker room, the whole thing, so they always respected that.”
...Vigneault, to me, is the safe pick. He's has a proven track record in a tough media market. Based on the above comment, he seems like a hands-off coach, which not every player thrives under. Team could feel that he is detached from goings-on in the locker room, which apparently became a negative in Vancouver.
...while I obviously have concerns about Eakins lack of NHL experience, I am beginning to warm to him more than any other candidate. I think I'm just a fan of bringing in a young, energetic coach to jump start this team.
Eakins will let his offensive players play and keep def assignments without using a system. If you look at some of the MARLIES games he is an all out balls to the wall coach who will have his players drive to the net. O yea he likes gritty players too. And has no problem using them on PP. I like this guy ..new energy to a young team!
Do people seriously think Glen Sather Mr Western Canada would actually hire someone who is a French Canadian? Glen Sather who avoids using first round picks on players from the QMJHL (go look for yourself over his career).
Glen Sather who would rather have a totally inexperienced Brian Trottier over a guy who coached the Montreal Canadians?
Stop looking at what the coaches have and look at what Sather will accept to find the next Ranger coach
I've noticed that their had rumors jeff skinner cud be had for a top pair defenseman. Under Torts this would never work but assuming Staal has a real interest to go to carolina the rangers may want to get something back for him like the Pens with Jordan Staal. I've seen some carolina fans say they wud do the trade straight up. I thought it may take a little more maybe Staal and the rights to Zucc for Skinner? Our defence was not the issue this post season without Staal despite how good he is. And if they buyout richards they may be able to bring in a Gonchar for the power play and as an extra defender if Mcilrath isnt ready. This is all assuming Marc has a legitimate interest in leaving NY and going to Carolina which may not be the case.
what does everyone think.
I'm with you on this Kevin, I'm worried about Vigneault track record in the playoffs.Eakins sounds like a better selection to me also.
I still would love to hear about the style each coaching candidate promotes. I get that they have their way of dealing with players and systems, etc. But, has anyone read any articles that actual break down the candidates based on the overall team identity they would instill/promote? What type of players they'd go for in free agency? The draft? You knew with Torts that he was creating a franchise that was big, tough and fast. What will Eakins build? Vigneault? I'm worried the organization will not look to get grittier in the off-season which is something they desperately need next year.
As soon as the news broke Ted Nolan came to mind. I've recently seen his name come up here from other fans so I figured I'd put it out there. Does anyone know what Nolan's status is and if the organization is even considering him? He's a guy who knows the game like Torts does but has greater insight into the unseen dimensions of hockey from what I've observed, including the "human element" which Torts was apparently sorely lacking. He's not perfect as we saw in Buffalo but I believe his insights, willingness to adapt and coaching style would help get the most out of our guys and our team. I like that he's of Native American roots as well. Anyone know???
Cally is just a different type of leader the Mess. Is he the most outspoken probably not but he has the respect of every player in the locker room bc he will do anything to win nobody gives more effort then he does. Plus we all know that the true leader of the team is Hank.
Another thing I didn't realize until I read Post article, was that Eakins was an assistant coach with the Maple Leafs. So he does, while not the head coach, have NHL coaching experience.
I agree on AV...by far the safe pick. He's not a consolation prize; he's got an excellent record and has seen the SC finals. As far as this year went, he didn't have the best team he's had by a long shot. The Sedins, Kessler and Luongo are not what they once were and the rest of the cast was underwhelming and still they did okay. Given the prevailing attitudes of MSG and Sather I doubt Eakins has a chance any more than Ken G. does. The longer this goes, however, the more likely that Tippett is in play. If he's let it be known that he wants to come to NYC, the Rangers will wait, assuming he's their first choice.
I've been critical of Cally since the season ended, but it sounds to me like Vigneault would be the guy that would be best to help him become the captain we all hope he is. No doubt Torts was the vocal leader of this team. I think that might have squelched Cally's ability to take over the room. Remember back when Messier came, he took over that room immediately from Nielsen, which is probably a big reason why they clashed. If Vigneault is OK letting the players police themselves, then it definitely gives Cally a chance to blossom into a strong locker room presence, or other for that matter (i.e. McDonagh, Stepan, Nash). It also might explain the Vancouver issues, because I doubt Henrik Sedin is a tremendous locker room leader and if your coach is counting on that, things can spiral pretty quickly since there's no player to nip them in the bud or even keep the coach aware of what's going on..
@TheProspectpark You make some interesting points about western Canadian prejudice against French Canadians, could be valid. But I think Sather will go through the process from a management point of view in order to get the best result for the team.He is also a professional manager, so the process is important to him.AV will get the same treatment as the other candidates, whether Sather is prejudiced or not.
@TheProspectpark Then why would Sather even bother to ask permission to interview him?
jgaray, I think you got that backword, I think a trade of Staal for Skinner plus maybe a second round pick going to the Rangers. If Staal can return to his previous form, he is a much more valuable player then Skinner.Good defensman are harder to come by then offensive players and Staal is better then just good.He is great. Skinner is just very good.
jgaray, where did you hear that Staal wants to go to Carolina? I know people assume that he wants to go but I never heard hm say so. Just because his brothers play in Caroline it does not make it a fact that mark wants to go there.Maybe he can get his brothers to sign with the Rangers LOL.
@GiveGartneraCup agreed under torts many scorers were off limits to the rangers because the didnt fit torts system. The new coach and his system will dictate what the rangers do in the offseason
@Betweentheworlds Last I heard he was coaching the Latvian team. He tried to undermine the GM in Buffalo, which was John Muckler, who is one of Sather's friends. Ted Nolan is not coaching the Rangers as long as Glen Sather is GM.
@Betweentheworlds Apparently Ted Nolan gets along with no one except other players' wives (so I hear)
jgaray, please do not mention Cally's names in the same sentence with Messier.Cally is an O.K caprain where Messier was the Greatest Captain and leader in the thistory of any sports. Anyone who tries to draw comparison do not know Mark Messier.
@jgaray agreed. Like I said below, Cally is like Chris Drury. Drury is viewed across the league as a great leader. He's not the Messier type, but don't think you need to be the Messier type to be a great leader. Plenty of great "speak quietly and lead by example" leaders.
@KevinDeLury The team that made the playoffs this year for the first time in a century and then blew a 3-1 series lead, that Maple Leafs team? Probably nobody knew because he keeps that off his resume ;-)
Knowing that Don Maloney want to re sign Tippett, given the background between Sather and Maloney, I don't think that Sather will try to sign Tippett.There must be a gentlemans agreement between the two guys. At least I hop so.
@shishya100 Posted a report from Elliotte Friedman the other day that stated Sather was willing to wait out the Tippett situation in Phoenix.
@gravey94 That's a great point. Wonder if given that opportunity, how Callahan would respond? No guarantee he would flourish.
@scrangersfan I agree Staal is great but Skinner's upside is a little higher given its a huge risk especially his struggles this year however he is only 21. he is younger then Krieder which is something to keep in mind. But our defense held up in the playoffs and maybe adding Gonchar for the power play Staal absence won't be as significant. Putting Skinner with Nash and Step has the ability to be a primer 1st line plus stepan and Nash both two way players can help offset Skinners shortcomings defensively.
And a Krieder Brass Cally 2nd line has great potential as well. Its fun that we may have consistent lines again.
@scrangersfan Staal going to Carolina is just an assumption and may very well be true. But Marc is a classy guy and I feel he would let Sather know that him leaving is a legitimate possibility just as Jordan did. IF that is the case then I think you have to make the call.
Torts certainly did not like soft goal scorer's. He'd take a Perry or a Getzlaf over Gabs any day of the week. But still, only asking this because I'm curious if anyone has seen anything approaching an analysis of the candidates according to the styles/team identities they promote! Anyone?
@gravey94 @Betweentheworlds That certainly would explain it - didn't know Muck and Slats were tight. He must have fucked up royally to be out of the NHL for so long - he seemed like a really good coach but there were a lot of "internal problems" in Buffalo that cost him his job, and apparently his reputation. Thanks Gravey
Thank God fer that gravy94. The guy must have way too much baggage. Can't get even an assistant job in the NHL.Something must really be wrong with that guy.
@scrangersfan Did i Say him and Mess are on the same level by any means. He is the greatest leader in nhl history as far as I'm concerned. All I said is not all successful leaders have the same leadership style.
@KevinDeLury @gravey94 I was also under the impression -- and please correct me if I'm way off -- that Cally, Richards and Staal were sort of a 3-headed captain under Torts. You know, the Rangers' politburo. If I'm right about that, and Richards leaves, Staal can't play, etc., I'm curious how Callahan will do leading on his own.
@KevinDeLury @gravey94 Cally offers a lead by example presence more than perhaps anyone I have ever seen, but he is not a leader per se. People fall in line behind a leader and we have seen that the NYR do not fall in line behind Cally - though they should be ashamed of that. How many times have you watched Cally literally singlehandedly dominate a shift with unfathomable sacrifice only to watch the rest of the team play soft on the boards for the rest of the period?
To be a true leader one must be an alpha personality; must play meaningful minutes and must be at, or near the top of the team in one of the following: production, toughness, or skill.
Name someone who is not and don't say Derek Jeter b/c he is not a leader - never has been.
The NYR don't have that on their roster right now from what I can see.
I disagree with gravey in that while leaders are not born, that the alpha requirement is set LONG before they enter the NHL.
I was goofing. I really don't care how big Boston is either, as long as they beat Shitsburgh. Theo Fleury is my all time favorite player and I'm Zucc's biggest fan.
@_Jackthat 3rd line with miller is a little small I admit but having a 4th line like
Pyatt Boyle dorsett line can be used as a checking line when needed
@_Jack If torts was still the coach skinners size and defensive short comings would be more of a issue but with a new system skinner may be a great fit. With skinner the top 3 lines could be
Skinner Stepan Nash
Kreider Brassard cally
Hags Jt Miller Boyle? zucc(or maybe Ryder if possible)
@_Jack Who thinks that? lol
I jest on this blog all the time that players are "too small" because some people think that if a player is not over six feet and two hundo then he's too small. Skinner is a damngood hockey player...as is MZA ;)
@_Jack Well if he goes to the KHL then I guess the point is mute. But that was rumored 2 years ago so who knows.
But about skinner is he small sure but he is the same size or larger thansome of the best players in the NHL
Martin St. Louis
so could size be an issue sure but that does not prevent him from deleloping into a great player. His rookie year his size didnt hurt him
@scrangersfan I agree about Gonchar's age but at 39 I would think he isn't looking for more then a 1 year contract similar to Jagr's last two contracts so its not real risk. He still gives up a SHOT FROM THE POINT on the PP. but if he want more then 1 year no way.
jgaray, interesting observation defenetly have an appeal to it. I don't know abut Gonchar though,he maybe a little long on the tooth and not nearly as effective as he once was. I like to see the Rangers to give John Moore a chance on the powerplay.he is young and got ptential.
@KingHenrikRocks That's the one. Thanks, King.
@GiveGartneraCup @KevinDeLury See this article from a Canucks blog on Vigneault http://canucksarmy.com/2013/3/11/the-pros-and-cons-of-alain-vigneault
@GiveGartneraCup Anyone would take Perry or Getzlaf over Gaborik, I would think.
Someone posted a nice link in the comments of an earlier post on Vigneault's coaching "style". I can't remember which post, but that might answer some questions for you.
He has a rep for being a great game tactician, putting his players in position to succeed and adapting his "style" to the players on the ice.
He's supposedly a bit intellectual in his approach, but that might be overblown.
I, too, share your concern about his inability to get his teams consistently farther in the playoffs, but that might very well be a matter of team building; for example, offensive reliance on the Sedins -- who seem to be easily shut down by the kind of tight-checking physical play you find in the playoffs.
@Betweentheworlds @shoot_the_goalie Ok...so I don't know if the Nolan rumors of him and Hasek's wife is true, but what is true is that his feud with Hasek got really nasty, and that he tried to undermine John Muckler. You're gonna have a tough time finding work in the NHL if you alienate your best players and try to go over your GMs.
@gravey94 @jmacwilli @KevinDeLury Disagree. You are generally not going to be a pro athlete without being incredibly competitive, but that has nothing to do with alpha personality type. It is the difference between Kevin McReynolds and Thurman Munson. Or....Mark Messier and Brian Leetch. Competitiveness may have brought them both to the NHL, but only two of those four are alpha. Alpha is simply a dominant personality type and it is a must for a leader. It is biological. When the alpha walks into a room every other person in big, or small, or barely discernible ways defers to him. The NYR do not seem to have that right now.
@shoot_the_goalie @jmacwilli @AnnoyingJoe @KevinDeLury @gravey94 That is total revisionist history on behalf of the Mets players. Carter was a class act, but he was by all accounts treated like a goofball by the Mets during that time. (i.e. the Christian kid in Bull Durham) Add 25 years of maturing to the players and then his death and they all start to sing a different tune. Age and wisdom may have enlightened them to how good a man he was, but he was not the leader of that team by any stretch. It was Keith and Ray - though a warden would've substituted nicely. Carter was also very extroverted, not quiet. He was literally an enthusiastic and loud kid his whole career, but no...he was not alpha.
@AnnoyingJoe @jmacwilli @KevinDeLury @gravey94 Cally reminds me a LOT of Chris Drury. Put up similar numbers, gave a 100%, and puts team first, and for that, extremely respected in the room and the entire league. Didn't Brian Burke say, when someone asked why Drury made the Olympic team - "cause he's Chris Drury".
For all the grief Drury got in his time with the NYR, he was always a professional and gave it his all (even though he basically had no more knees) It's not a surprise that Cally says that Drury was a huge mentor to him.
@jmacwilli @KevinDeLury @gravey94 If they are playing in the NHL, they are alpha personalities. You're not going to be in the top echelon of hockey players in the world by being relaxed and easygoing. The leaders at the NHL level are the ones who supercharge that personality in a way that gives other alphas no choice but to follow them. Think guys like Messier, Stevens, Montana, Magic, etc. Cally, no question has the lead by example trait (so does Girardi), but he has not yet shown the ability to influence other alphas. I always thought Dubinsky had that potential, but he didn't have the skill to back it up. Cally needs to add some fire and motivation to his leadership and he''ll be a great captain.
@jmacwilli @AnnoyingJoe @KevinDeLury @gravey94 I think Carter was actually the leader of the 86 Mets. When he passed away, Keith H. literally said that Carter kept the guys in check and helped keep them focused on baseball that season, when most of them were just into partying. Carter was quiet, hardly "alpha", but was very well respected in the room.
@AnnoyingJoe @jmacwilli @KevinDeLury @gravey94 It may be that it is tough to thrive under the shadow of Torts, but that also may speak to that certain something lacking from the start. I defer to the eye test for Cally and unfortunately he doesn't pass. He is like Lenny Dykstra, or Wally Backman on the 86 Mets....tough as nails, but the leader personality was Hernandez, or Ray Knight - they literally forced their will on the team (and that was a team filled with alpha's...jeez)
The Rangers seem strangely devoid of that type of player. My kingdom for a Claude Lemieux..haha. On the other hand their youth shows promise. McIlrath seems to have the personality (and perhaps JT Miller as well), but we will have to see if they can develop into one of those essential areas I spoke of earlier. Plus - they are a few years off in terms of taking the reigns to the heart of the team.
@jmacwilli @KevinDeLury @gravey94 You are right in saying that Callahan sets a tremendous example in how he performs and the effort he puts forth. You MAY be right about whether or not he has the prequisite "alpha" personality to be a true leader, but we won't know if he does until he has the the opportunity to lead without the strong/overwhelming personality of Torts getting in the way.