Since it was announced that John Tortorella had been relieved of his duties, while Mike Sullivan remained with the club, Rangers fans reaction has been "what?!?!?" Fear not Blueshirt fans, Katie Strang at ESPN seems to think it's only a matter of time before the Rangers assistant coach is gone...
"Though the Rangers have not made any official decisions on their assistants, Mike Sullivan's close relationship with Tortorella makes it unlikely he'll return."
...it really is amazing that Sullivan lasted this long with how God awful the Rangers power play has been under his tutelage. If there's anyone on planet earth who deserves to be fired, it's Mike Sullivan. At times during his tenure I wondered if Rangers assistant coach was a civil service position which precluded Sather from firing him.
Sullivan could, however, find himself right back at Tortorella's side next season but on the west coast as apparently the Rangers former head man is making a nice impression with the Canucks.
As far as who will join Alain Vigneault behind the Rangers bench, Strang mentions Ulf Samuelsson, who is highly regarded in the Rangers organization, as a possible candidate. Apparently, Samuelsson filled out the Rangers' head coaching questionnaire.
Samuelsson was an assistant coach with Hartford Wolf Pack during the 2005-06 season before becoming an assistant with the Phoenix Coyotes until 2011 when he left to become the head coach of Modo of the Swedish Elite League.
...not a bad guy to run the defense and penalty kill.
Larry Brooks at the New York Post notes that goaltending instructor/assistant coach Benoit Allaire will return, while Jim Schoenfeld will remain as assistant GM.
Hopefully on the board hes holding in the picture, hes showing the players where he is flying to next because hes definitely not using it to show them how to score on the pp.
To make this a little entertaining.... What do you think he showing on the board or telling the players in the picture?
Ulfy can teach them the meaning of toughness - that's for sure. Can't believe Sully's still with them. sometimes I wonder if he's really an android lol
its' good he's gone, the rangers need to get around 19% on the power play.who takes his place?? the games i watched of rangers on power play is that they wasted time passing the puck too much. sometimes you need to just SHOOOOT THE PUCK!!!!!
sullivan was the person i wanted out. with such a bad pp for so long it is a amazing he is still not officially gone. allaire and schoenfeld are tremendous assets to the organization. really glad they are staying.
Finally! I can't believe he wasn't fired last year. He's been in charge of the non-existant power play since he's been here. I love the line about him being a civil service employee. I still don't see Messier as an ass't. Can't believe Vignault would come with Messier waiting in the wings so fans and journalists can start calling for him as soon as the team loses 3 in a row. Fans need to drop their worshiping and hope for the best chance at success.
Sullivan was a disaster coaching the PP, but he was also the defenseman coach and I think they are pretty decent, no? I hope they don't take a step back since he's gone.
I wouldn't mind Ulfie as a assistant, but I would guess that Vigneault (assuming it's him) would want to decide on his own assistant coaches.
Dirty Ulf. For some reason I have always been of the view that defensive defense-men make good coaches. Not sure if facts actually support that view, but i am going to stick with it.
Good to hear that Allaire is staying. Arguably the best goaltender coach in the world. Certainly has a reputation as one of the best. Samuelsson would be a good addition as an assistant. Plenty of experience, would be able to teach our defensemen a thing or two about clearing the crease and playing a physical game, and of course being an alumni of the team never hurts.
@Herman_NYRBlog Clearing the crease? What is that?
@Herman_NYRBlog I also think Lundqvist probably had something to do with Benoit being retained.