Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports that Mark Messier wants to become the 35th head coach in New York Rangers history.
Meanwhile, Nick Kypreos at Sportsnet not only reiterates Leonards report on Messier, he adds that Wayne Gretzky is also interested.
In four seasons coaching the Coyotes, Gretzky compiled a 143-161-24 record and failed to qualify for the playoffs.
...hold on to your hats Rangers fans, this could get interesting. If this was pre-2004 lockout, I'd say it would be a slam dunk that one or even both of those guys would be behind the bench this fall. But I'm going to give Sather the benefit of the doubt and assume he'll do the right thing and at least consider other candidates.
...having said that, because of Messier and Gretzky's obvious relationship with Sather, I have to think they're at the very top of the list.
...ok, deep breath. Instead of freaking out about what a complete and utter debacle that would be for the Rangers franchise, I'm going to try and put a positive spin on it. The negatives of both guys are obvious, but how about this idea....hire both of them. I know, you must think I started drinking early this morning. I have, but that's besides the point. Listen to me out. First off, Gretzky would have to be the head coach with Messier as the assistant. I just don't see how throwing Messier to the wolves like that can benefit anyone. Back to Gretzky. Yes, he had a rough time out in Phoenix, but those weren't good teams and I'm not sure many coaches could have gotten them into the postseason. Plus, just because he failed in Phoenix doesn't automatically mean he'd do the same for another organization. If you remember, Joe Torre wasn't exactly Casey Stengel before coming the Yankees. I know that great players don't usually translate into great coaches, but having this goal scoring challenged Rangers team learn from the greatest offensive player the NHL has ever seen can't be a bad thing, can it?
...to me, having Messier as Gretzky's assistant coach could be a perfect fit. He'd gain valuable and much needed experience behind the bench for an eventual promotion and, in my opinion, is the ideal candidate to be the bad cop to Gretzky's good cop. When the team needs a kick in the pants, Gretzky can send one of the most intimidating players to every lace them up into the locker room to get the team re-focused. I'm not even sure he'd have to say anything to the team, he'd just give them that Messier stare. I think I just crapped myself thinking about it. And we all know the passion and heart he'd bring to the table on Day 1, which would hopefully rub off on a Rangers team sorely lacking it last year. As far as his responsibilities go, even if the power play sucked under his guidance it would still be an upgrade over what we had to endure the last few years under Sullivan.
...so who would run the defense, you say? Jeff Beukeboom, of course.
If anyone watched the pens game yesterday... I would blow my entire load on Malkin besides hank. If it meant buying out Nash, let it happen... The guy was the best player on the ice last night and he showed the toughness that is sorely missing from Nash. Crosby may be the best but Malkin is second and he is an animal. Rangers have to take a run at him he is a beast
On another site i read this and I really agree... I think Sather threw Torts under the bus with the moves he made...
"Look at the 18 dressed skaters from Game 6 in the ECF against the Devils and Game 5 in the ECSF against the Bruins to compare. That bottom 6 was a helluva lot better and we were much deeper of a team last year compared to this year.
2012 ECF Game 6:
Michael Del Zotto
2013 Game 5 ECSF
Michael Del Zotto
Only 8 players played in both games, there are 10 different players on the roster 365 days later. While there are some injuries that stopped players from playing in both (Staal, Stralman, Zuccarello) that is a huge turnover, this team lost it's identity during the post-season and key players, solid bottom 6 players were never replaced. You can't blame the (former) coach on that one!
once again, there is a window, created by the cap, to win the cup with the players that we have. that window closes after next season. hiring our favorite former players to coach for next year is not the way to go. an offensive minded coach, with some WINNING experience is a must. sadly, this is a time to think with our minds and not our hearts. i hope sather gets this. there is no time for anything else. just ask hank (although there are others).
I know my heart, and not my head, is talking....but I would be excited to see Messier behind the Ranger bench. Maybe I just have a blind faith in Mess because i am a Ranger fan and he is the only one that has ever come through for us. If he feels he can do it....I believe him. Let's Go Rangers!
I guess we have our coach... Sather is not turning him down if he wants it...
I'd be okay with The Great One...to a point. I mean, it'd be interesting to see what he could do with a real team, instead of the laughing stock Phoenix was during his time there. And if Mess joins the coaching staff, I don't want to see him as a head coach. He just doesn't have the experience.
While either Mess or Gretzky/Mess would be a great story, I don't think either options gives us as much chance to win as hiring an established coach who can put a system in place such that we can compete with teams more talented than us like Pitt and Boston.
I'm sure, as time goes on, I can warm to the idea, but I worry that as soon as things start to go south -- as they do for EVERY team over the course of a season and the playoffs -- not only will the media bury the "Great Ones", but the team will look to them for answer only to hear "play harder!".
Mess yes - The Great One no. Gretz can be on his staff for special teams or something like that. Honestly I've been seeing Mess behind the bench for a while now for our stanley cup run either next season or the one after. When the news came down I got excited about the prospect. Granted his lack of experience is going to be looked at but he'd make a fine coach IMHO. He's got all the tools and personality to match. He learned a lot from Keenan and I truly believe he filled a piece of the coach's roll as capt when Keenan lost some respect in '94. We'll see if they take that gamble but i for one would be stoked.
Out of 30 teams the NYR are 24!!! in all-time winning percentage. LOL Just thought i would back up the fact that NYR fans do not watch them because they are good.
Messier and/or Gretzky could hardly do worse than what generations have witnessed before them. It's not like the radical approach of bringing in a legend with little experience is tinkering with a successful model. Haha. Screw it. Give it a try. What's the worst that could happen?...the Rangers become 25th???
If Mess wants to get behind the bench I can see the Rangers hiring a coach with expierence and have Mess as a assistant if he agress to that. He can be groomed to take over one day becasue as we all know every coach has a " shelf life ". But I can'r see Gretzky, to me he seems too laid back which would be the exact opposite of the dictator that just got canned. Besides if the team gets off badly how do you fire Wayne Gretzky?
Huh.... It would be amazing! Kinda like when Drury AND Gomez both got hired to play for NY.... What's that you say? Failed horribly?
i dont want Gretzky, he comes across as being such a prick these days. if its going to be one of them, and i dont think it will be, i'll take Messier. Messier is and always will be a Ranger
Nothing takes away from the legend. I watched Gordie Howe play when he came back to join his sons on the Whalers at 50. Was he even remotely the same player? Not even close. Was it awesome?....HELL YES!
Talent is not what made these guys special. There are millions out there with talent and maybe even thousands that have the talent of legends. It was talent AND dedication....passion....that made them the legends they are.
Personally, I would watch Messier do anything competitive that his heart embraced, because it is THAT, which makes him great.
I have been a rock/mountain climber my entire life and had I the chance to watch Sir Edmund Hillary (RIP) climb 30 years after he climbed Everest, or Reinhold Messner, after their storied careers I would PAY to see it and it no matter how they performed it wouldn't take one bit away from their legend.
So pardon the expression, but this is impossible to mess up. Sure, the media may play the public that way, but anyone who knows what they are watching would tell the media to pound sand in a way which would make Tort's proud.
Bring e,' both in....as player/coaches ;-)
I've been dead set against this, but after thinking more about it, it's making more sense to me. Listen, I know neither guy has burned it up as a head or assistant coach, but they've probably actually been coaching since they started playing hockey. Besides, Adam's article in THN hit on the fact that today's coaches are more about managing players than X's and O's. Seems like Messier, in particular, would be pretty good at that. I'm not sure 99 with 11 as an assistant would work, but I could see Messier as the head and possibly bringing in Gernander so they have someone that can relate to the younger players, and if Messier was the head, I can pretty much guarantee that Leetch and/or Graves would be somewhere in the mix as well.
The BIG question is what the players would think about this. All of us are Rangers fans so we have a nostalgic feel about Messier as coach. Not one player on the team was anywhere close to the NHL when Messier cemented his NY Rangers legacy so quite frankly they probably don't give a crap about any of that when it comes to who is going to be the best coach to get them their own Cups. If things go badly out of the gate, it could get ugly quickly and Sather/Clark will be seeing if they can get a high 1st round pick somewhere to pick a goalie in the 2014 draft. It would be a risky move for sure. Messier will coach and/or run this team someday. Whether or not that day is within the next 30 will be a fascinating ride! Hold on!
I still say it'd be a shame to tarnish Messier's great and storied career with anything less than an outstanding campaign coaching. Gretzky's career is already tarnished by his activities after playing .....
Shit is gettin' real!: https://twitter.com/katiestrangespn/status/340832256140640257
Wow. Just wow. As a number of you may have already read, I've been pretty vocal that Messier would not be our coach. What the hell do I know? This, however, puts an interesting twist on things. Gretzky, and the team he coaches, could benefit greatly from his second time around -- the whole "knowing what I know now" things goes a long way. Gretzky had time to learn from his experiences. And, this way, Messier doesn't have to be the top man, starting with almost zero coaching experience. It's a pretty interesting scenario.
I heard Messier was pretty much coaching the team in '94 after the players gave up on Keenan. Might as well hire him.
Okay, Devil's advocate here. In the 40 years I have been watching hockey the NYR have only won...ONCE. During those years they have rarely even been considered in the group of favorites to contend. Yet, people still watch them...and most love it. Ergo sequitur....IT AIN'T ABOUT WINNING. It is about entertainment - just SOMETHING worthy of watching. NYR fans have gladly watched teams with just heart; teams with immense talent, but no heart (on the hope that something magical could happen on any night); teams with zero of both (just watching the uniform.)
Having Messier and/or Gretzky, or BOTH behind the bench would assuredly be wildly fun to watch. Name a Ranger (or for that matter hockey fan) who is not drawn to anything either of these guys do near the rink even now! The team would be amazingly easy to cheer on and I would tune in for all of it. These guys are living legends. So far as the results? Well...I have watched them for 39 of 40 years without winning the Cup WITHOUT Messier/Gretzky coaching and seemed to be okay with that. Surely I could watch them WITH Gretzky/Messier for the same result and be okay too, right?
Go get a seasoned coach and you MAY on paper coax out a few more wins - Still won't dramatically affect the odds of winning over the next few years. Talent on the ice is WAY more influential. And...we don't know if the gravitas of Mess/Gretz wouldn't contribute to those same few extra wins not by virtue of coaching, but players may be not wanting to look at the God's of their sport while not playing hard enough. Who knows.
I'm for making the Rangers WORTH watching. For me, Messier and Gretzky certainly add up to that...
Sather himself said, "All coaches have a shelf life." Could you imagine if he had to fire Mess? It would be a disaster.
@Josh6 Also.... don't think for a second that Tort's didn't have his hands all over the trades made especially this years trade with the Rangers farm team in Columbus.....
@Josh6 Other than Prust which one of the " key players" would you have liked to have kept? YIKES they all sucked.....
@Josh6Sather may have only had 8 hold-over players, but it was Tort's fault that he only played those 8 every night LOL. Did he not get the updated player list???
Def not closing all are either in prime or up and coming. The key Is buying Richards out and adding a final piece with that money a PP QB
I disagree... I honestly think our window is open until hank leaves or gets to old... Like 38. With him we will always be a threat in my mind. He can just get hot, like quick, and win a cup by himself in my mind
@Josh6 that's thin at best.
@Josh6 If only they could still play.
@jmacwilli Being a Rangers fan = suffering from chronic Post Frustration Stress Disorder!!!
@jmacwilli yeah, i agree with all of this. still doesn't mean i want either of them coaching the team.
@_Jack I know! Kevin should drink early more often.
@KevinDeLury Wow and I scroll down to your written, "shit is gettin' real!"
@jmacwilliPerfect point!!! Bring them on. This team isn't contending for a Cup with Vinneuakt or Ruff or Aikins so why not have Mess run the PP & TGO coach!!! Who cares what the results will be; our boys aren't challenging for the Cup anytime soon!! Sorry Hank!!!
Ha...they should come back as players! Can you imagine? Nash wouldn't dare skate away from Luic after he knocked Messier on his ass. Damn...the stick boy would come out to fight. Having them on your team coaching, or LOL playing....would be like going into battle with Obi Wan at your side. "You just made me stronger than you could ever imagine." hahaha. GAME ON!!