Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun reports that while Rangers are interested in former Canucks’ coach Alain Vigneault, many think if Mark Messier really wants the job and is willing to commit he’ll get it as Glen Sather is said to be seriously considering "The Captain."
A league executive told Garrioch...
“If they surround Messier with a strong staff – a strong associate coach who can help with the X’s and O’s – then it could happen.”
...i know Garrioch is known for his wild rumors, but he was on the Gaborik trade before anyone else, so I have to at least acknowledge this report.
...as far as Messier goes, the only way I'd feel comfortable with him behind the bench is if the associate coach was Scotty Bowman. I really can't believe that Sather would take this leap of faith knowing it could ultimately lead to another Cupless season and Lundqvist signing with another team next offseason.
Meanwhile, Elliotte Friedman at CBC gives us a glimmer of hope that a Messier regime could work by giving us this quote from one of his sources...
"Being a head coach now is about delivering a message. And no one delivers a message better than Mark Messier. You have to find good people around him, but that can be done."
Former Penguins head coach and Rangers player Eddie Olczyk agrees that Messier needs to be surrounded by a great support staff (via New York Post)...
“He’s going to need to have people around him that have a lot of experience. I don’t care how many Cups you’ve won or how many games you’ve played or where you come from, you need to have that experience alongside you and that trust factor.”
...i'm sorry, but if you have to bring others in to hold Messier's hand on the bench, he shouldn't even be in the conversation. Period.
Finally, Friedman adds that before Sather makes any move on Messier, he is expected to wait a bit to see what happens with Phoenix Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett.
Last week, Coyotes GM Don Maloney said he has every intention of re-signing Tippett and has not given any team permission to speak with him.
The two sides are said to be close on a new deal, but Tippett wants more ownership clarity in Phoenix.
...Tippett has done an amazing job out in Phoenix under very adverse circumstances, so if things don't workout in the desert, I'd love to see him on the short list.
...sure, his Phoenix teams are very similar to the Rangers in that they like to play close, low scoring games, but with the lack of offensive talent in Phoenix, Tippett has almost been forced to play that way. Give him Nash, Stepan, Kreider and Callahan and I think he'd be more willing to open things up.
Only way Messier is even a possibility is if Sather gets Hank's blessing in advance. Otherwise not worth the risk that it causes him to leave.
Like I've said earlier I like Mess behind the bench. I know it goes against all logic but this is a guy who wins. Simply put Messier is a winner and a strong character who knows how to get the job done. He's done it at every level of his career so coaching would be a new frontier that he has not conquered yet and would give it his all to do so. Sometimes character is more important than experience - much more important. We all know Mess's character and he's a guy who would drive an elbow in the face of his own granny to score a goal. His focus, and attention to winning is unparalleled. He knows the game inside out and did have some indirect coaching responsibility as cap't in -94 when the ship was going down under Keenan. Having said that I understand this team is in a precarious position now and the coaching decision needs to be made carefully, and this move would be a huge gamble, but one with a potential huge payoff. So I understand the argument against this but I would be thrilled to see him behind the bench next season.
If tippet doesn't work out and its going to be Messier we need Eakins as 1 of 2 assistant coaches. Any thoughts on the other maybe Jeff Beukeboom?
Kevin, I agree with your comments on Messier and Bowman. Quite a deep thinker....that Friedman!!.....with his J.H. S. comments about delivering a message.
I still do not understand this concept of "opening things up more." Opening things up does not win Stanley Cups unless you are playing in the 70's and 80's.
Do Ranger fans ever watch other playoff series? Are they aware that every coach in the playoffs does not want to play "open things up more" kinda hockey?
Are they aware that every coach wants responsible goal scoring for their teams..........which means they want all their players to work as hard at preventing goals as they do scoring goals?........and that means a powerful hard-nosed approach in all THREE ZONES?
Do Ranger fans realize the attitude that the Crosbys and the Malkins have towards "opening things up more" will probably lead to the demise of The Pens in this year's playoffs?
Do Ranger fans realize that every coach for the last 20 years has tried (with different degrees of success) to get The Pens to play in the playoffs, more responsible DEFENSIVE hockey????? LOOK IT UP!....LOOK IT UP! (I think Johnson was the first one....I think?)
Do Ranger fans realize that Quennville is trying to get his Hawks to play more responsibly defensively because he knows that way of playing wins cups?
Do Ranger fans realize the Pierre Maguires of the Media world are under contract with NBC to push for more goal scoring in the playoffs and not to focus on the glaring defensive lapses of "the super stars". They dare not mention the atrocious lack of team leadership that Crosby, Malkin, Iginlia are demonstating in CRUNCH time!
Do Ranger fans realize in the playoffs winning teams generate plenty of offense OFF OF A 3 ZONE COMMITMENT............just like the bigger, stronger, faster and meaner Bruins are doing!......where did we all hear that one before??
I think you are talking up Callahan's offensive talents a little too much. There are certainly players on Pheonix who are equivalent to Callahan. In addition, while I do believe Kreider will be an unbelievable goal scorer, its a little premature. I will give you Nash and Step though
There's no name next to the one comment I didn't like. If someone has to hold his hand? Messier doesn't need anyone to hold his hand. He just could use some help since he has no NHL coaching experience. He has his ideas I'm sure. A guy like Eakins would make a good coach next to Messier. Eakins is meticulous
I really don't think Mess is the right person at this point in time and I'm saying this as a huge Messier fan. But let me just say that every Coach needs a strong supporting cast. I suspect Torterella (who I despise) would still be around if he had someone better than Sullivan running the power play. Which brings to mind, how did Sullivan survive so long? He was running a woeful PP before Torterella even arrived!
Like it or not I have a feeling that Messier is the next head coach of this team. With the relationship he has with Sather and what he has done for this franchise I think if he says he wants the job its his.
I don't understand all the hype over Dave Tippett and all the trepidation about Alan Vigneault. Tippett's taken teams to the playoffs 8 of 10 seasons and gotten out of the 1st round 3 times. Vigneault has taken his teams 7 of 11 times and made it our of the first round 5 times, including a Finals appearance. If it's a choice between those 2, I'm taking Vigneault!
As far as Mess, the coach needs to be the head motivator and strategy guy. He would absolutely need someone strong as an assistant (Shoney maybe). The best thing that Mess would bring would be his ability to bring Cally's leadership to the next level. If the stories are true that the players stopped responding to Torts, then thath falls squarely on the shoulders of Cally. As a captain you need to be able to get in their faces and tell them to shut up and play. Cally doesn't strike me as that kind of leader, yet.
I absolutely agree. He has no coaching experience and if we have to have someone come in and show him how to do it WTH did we fire Torts for?
I can absolutely see him as PP coach. Boy, do we need one! But as head coach? I think it's a set up for disaster. I'd gladly eat my words, if it comes to pass that he's head coach AND brings us a Cup.
Hard to believe Maloney refusing to let Tippett interview. If Tippett is interested in moving, he can certainly let suitors know surreptiously so why not let him interview. I would think Tippett wouldn't be to happy being restrained in this way.
" if you have to bring others in to hold Messier's hand on the bench, he shouldn't even be in the conversation. Period."
I'm still convinced this Messier talk is a curve ball being thrown by the organization because Sather never let's out his moves before they happen. But maybe I'm just hoping that. I love Messier as much as the next Rangers fan, but he's not ready to take over a team in win-now mode. Rebuilding? Yes. But Rangers aren't rebuilding last I checked.
Also agree on Tippett. He is my choice if available. Love what he's done in Phoenix and he's the right mix of player friendly but hard when he needs to be. But I would be absolutely shocked if he isn't behind the Coyotes bench come October.
Im not sure I like the idea of Tippett, hes a good coach but he still played an overly defensive style with Dallas even when they had Modano, Lehtinen and Zubov to provide scoring so things wouldnt really change much.
Oh and stop giving Brucies wacky world of trades credit for anything-he was spreading rumours about a Gaborik deal for 18 months before one happened, if that counts as a prediction then Im officially predicting that the Rangers will win a cup some time in the next 1000 years
I agree in a way because I'm a Ranger fan and I know how much Hank means to this team. However, as a GM in the NHL how can you let a player tell you who you can or can't hire. You can't. I don't think Hank is involved in any of this nor is Sather asking for "His blessing" when hiring a coach. That will send a message to the league that the NY Rangers are a Mickey Mouse orginization that can be pushed around and Hank runs the team. If that's the case ( I doubt it is ) then Hank can go or play a year and go. I don't care what any writer says about Hank not wanting Messier. He may be a great coach. He was a great player and does well working as Sathers assistant. I think Hank was tired of Torts picking on players and stuck up for them through his statements to the Press on breakup day. That tho I think is as far as Hanks influence will go. He just wants to win and Sather obviously felt Hank was important enough to fire Torts.
Bro that is so true. I think most fans in NY don't watch the playoffs after the Rangers. To open things up is to lose in the 1st round. Even the offensive minded AV changed things up this year for his team so they could make a playoff push. They tried to play 3 zone hockey and in the regular season it worked. They weren't the offensive juggernaut as in years past and PP% was down as well. Defense wins a championship. Not more offense. Teams win in the playoffs with the right mix of grit and structure along with a solid mental makeup. You can't have players making mental mistakes with bad penalties. You make more mistakes than your opponent in the playoffs and you lose.
@EHBIGAPPLE Amen, brother.
For decades the trend has flowed against wide open hockey. Defensive responsibility, tight checking in all 3 zones, has been the hallmark of every winning team since the before all the major rule changes that came in to help open things up. Before the prior lockout, trap schema turned weaker teams into contenders. Now, aggressive, tight play dominates -- this playoff year especially. As you imply, it's no longer about collapsing, but pressuring all over the ice.
I'm getting pretty tired of hearing people talk about "opening things up" when that's not winning hockey.
Anyway, you said it better than I can right now, so cheers.
I don't know where I over exaggerated Callahan's offensive abilities but he has improved in that part of his game many times the last few years. Last year he scored 29 in Torts North-South hockey. Thats pretty good offensive output from a guy of his ilk. This year he played injured for a majority.
Where I think Kreider will be an offensive weapon some day he has a lot to learn about the NHL team game. In collage they got him the puck and he went. In the playoffs last year and to start this year he didn't know how to play without the puck and wasn't responsible in the D zone. I think Torts handled him fine. If not for injuries he may have spent the entire season with Whale. In this years playoffs I did see improvement in him and hopefully that carries over into next year and the new coach can get an NHL player out of him.
I like Boucher for NYR next coach tho haven't heard his name much. A top 9 guy the Rangers should look to add is RFA Wheeler from the Jets. Maybe DZ straight or another piece is needed. Thoughts Kevin?
@dsclaw88 Callahan's offensive abilities are very under-rated and I feel in a more open offensive system he could be a 30 goal scorer.
I think if he wanted to be the assistant coach he would have been an assistant under Torts. Also with the power that he has in the organization already it would be a weird dynamic with him working for a brand new coach
Those are both head coaches. Neither is gonna just bow down next to the other and be an assistant. Tippet is with Phoenix and the Rangers want/need to have a coach in place before he will be a FA. In saying that, I do like Boucher. His 1-3-1 is a real nice Forecheck and can be used as a trap as well with a lead.
@gravey94 Not sure the team is properly built for Vigneault, we are not built for speed but grind... Vigneault if I am not mistaken is a team of speed, Tippett on the other hand is a grind it out team
@shishya100 Tippett doesn't want to leave so I'm sure he has no problem with this. If he wanted to see what was out there, Maloney wouldn't stop him.
@pkh33 there's literally nothing more to it. No Messier.
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) Yeah, from everything I've read Tippettt re-signing with Phoenix is almost a foregone conclusion.
@craig_atherton I hear you on Garrioch, but not only did he have the Gabby trade he said the return was going to be grit. I guess even a broke clock is right twice a day. lol
All teams collapse in the D zone. It's referred to as the low zone collapse but teams use it at either different times of the game. Or when the puck is in a certain part of the zone. That's what separates one team from another. The Rangers used it unless the puck was along the boards. Then they went to the "Overload". Bylsma does much of the same as Torts except when the puck is above the hash marks. Then he would send a forward to challenge the Dman. This is usually call a Man to man strategy. All teams use a collapse at some point of the game. Most do. All teams use a neutral zone trap too. Just at different points. Torts trapped during a line change which is smart. Some do it with a lead and some Trap at the end of each period.
then don't be a coach. he's gotta realize how bad this could hurt a team that should be contending for a cup.
@KevinDeLury @craig_atherton Thats my point though, if that was the only time he'd mentioned a trade Id say fair enough but he was throwing out Gaborik for _____ rumours for a long time then eventually one came true. If you swing a sword randomly for long enough you'll cut something eventually, doesnt mean I want you performing my vasectomy though.
This year the Rangers won 5 playoff games and last year they won 10 and won the East. Messier knows the game has changed. Hockey is still his job. He has worked under Sather for years now and he has seen what wins and what looses. How can the team just flop? We have the best goalie in the world and one of the best back ends in the NHL. He handled pressure well and that is just in him. I'm sure he will use a system that he knows works. I don't think there is a better motivator in the NHL right now. The game hasn't changed that much and you nay Sayers think Messier has no idea what parts of the game have changed? His job is still to know hockey. The only thing he may need help with is the special teams play. It will be easier to get that guy than to find a coach. Plus the Rangers have to pay Torts for 3 more years. They aren't gonna want to pay the most expensive coach out there. Sather was a coach himself and he knows what a coach needs to be.
@KevinDeLury @craig_atherton No its not really that far fetched, but if Brucie's reporting it I find it less likely to happen if anything. The guy might be right about other stuff but pretty much every trade rumour seems to be made up off the top of his head. My ideal situation would be Messier as assistant to an experienced coach for a couple of years, but my ideal situations never come true either