Bob McKenzie at TSN says if Mark Messier is interested, he can't be ruled out as a contender for the Rangers vacant head coach position, but there's no hurry to get him behind the bench.
McKenzie adds that Edmonton talked to Messier about considering their head coach opening last offseason, however, he declined because he either wasn't prepared to commit to coaching or he didn't want to leave New York City.
...just like the rest of Rangers Nation, I'd love to see the Messiah swoop in here and lead the franchise to another Stanley Cup. But I'm sorry, putting nostalgia ahead of what's best for the success of the franchise could have devastating ramifications. Messier's only head coaching experience was for Team Canada in the Deutschland Cup and Spengler Cup in 2010. Not exactly Scotty Bowman. With the Tortorella firing and Lundqvist not getting any younger this team is obviously in win now mode, so I've got to think Sather isn't going to be willing to take a chance on Messier learning on the job. Can you say Brian Trottier?
...even with the Tortorella dismissal, I think Lundqvist is going to wait and see what the Rangers do this offseason and how the team responds to those changes to start the year before even thinking about an extension. If it gets ugly quick, you can count on Lundqvist's agent blocking all of Sather's calls and likely signing with another team next offseason. Yes, that's how huge this coaching decision is. If the wrong person is chosen, the Rangers franchise player is gone. I know Lundqvist loves the Rangers and New York, but from observing him during his eight years on Broadway, I can confidently say he loves winning more than both. Which is why, yes, taking a chance on the man who slayed "1940" could literally put the Rangers into another 54-year Cupless drought. How ironic.
...Messier is untouchable in this town, why even take a chance messing (no pun intended) with his legacy.
Meanwhile, Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that another former Ranger and current assistant coach Doug Weight.
Weight was in charge of the Islanders' 11th ranked power play.
...to be honest, I'd be more interested in Weight than Messier, because, while not having any head coaching experience, he has now stood behind the bench as an assistant for two seasons.
Kevin, I think you are wrong: "I know Lundqvist loves the Rangers and
New York, but from observing him during his eight years on Broadway, I
can confidently say he loves winning more than both."
He loves NY, Rangers, and winning, equally. You think he'd be more happy losing in Raleigh? He's always said that the difference between the worst and best teams are not that big. Rangers will be a contender next year. And even if they lose, he'll still have NY. However, I WISH he'd go somewhere else. He deserves to win which he, unfortunately, won't do in NY.
The NY Post just said that there are reports that Messier is interested in coaching the team...can we all say that this will only end badly?
Don't bring in an experimental coach. Alain would be a breathe of fresh air, different style, or even Crawford. The will be prime with a few tweaks. Namely Mark Striet at the point on the PP.
If it is getting to the point that making Hank happy is the teams ONLY concern then it is time to ship hank's ass out of here!
This is not something I want to happen, but if the Rangers underperform and are not looking good to secure a top 5 Playoff spot (e.g. they come out flat to start the season and have a losing record after 20 games), would it not make sense to trade Lundqvist? Any team, particularly skilled teams vying for the Cup, would kill for a goalie like Lundqvist. Sell high on Lundqvist and get the skilled players that coaches like Vigneault who employ an open-style of hockey need to be successful.
I'm hearing Mike Eaves might be on the B List. Most will say he doesn't have enough NHL experience, he looks good on paper though especially being McD and Stepans former coach. Interesting anyway.
I have no idea if he would be a good choice, but while we're on ex-players, how about James Patrick? (If he's available...I feel like he is....)
I agree, Kevin. Messier is not the answer. I hear Guy Boucher's name being mentioned a lot. I loved him here in Tampa and felt he got a raw deal from Yzerman when he fired him. What are the odds of Guy landing in NYC?
I just hope that they do a good process for hiring, accept aplications, talk to peope they would like to have and have a short list and interview process. This is a decision that is ultra important so when they finally decide, I hope its someone who can do what they are hired for, take the Rangers to the Stanley Cup.
Kevin, there's been way too much talk about the Messier option from big-hitting hockey commentators (McKenzie & Dreger to name two) for him to not be in serious consideration. A very scary thought. And it's got me wondering if Hank’s “we’ll see” heard ’round the world is more of a shot across the bow regarding the selection of the NEXT coach instead of the popular opinion that he was expressing a need to dump Torts. (Although I’m sure he wasn’t thrilled with the guy. That act got old.) Hear me out: There were several news reports that many of the players knew on break up day that Torts was going to get fired. As a veteran with all his inside contacts, Hank had to be one of these players. And, there were many rumors flying during the Boston series that Torts might get the ax if they lost to Boston. (Check news feeds/blog posts on May 23. You guys posted about it.) I, too, had heard from a source I trust before the regular season ended that the Dolans had had it with Torts and wanted him gone after the season ended, no matter the outcome. So, if any of this is true, I think it just might be possible that Hank’s comments reflected his concern about the future of the team instead of the current situation. And, if any of the Messier talk is true, if I were Hank, I’d send a signal that I’d like to see an experienced man at the helm, not a fan/Sather favorite who hasn’t really coached at any level in his life. Yeah, it's a wild theory. Just throwin’ that out there.
I might be one of the few fans that is not on board with the Messier as coach campaign. I am so much more for the Doug Weight move.
I like the Doug Weight option, kind of reminds me of Adam Oates, who turned out to be great in his first year for the Capitals. Also, the one thing I hear every time his name is brought up is that he is a PP genius, and the Islanders did have a pretty good PP last year...
Weight's a pretty fiery guy. Capuano is the calm one behind the bench. Weight also has no problem with getting in player's faces if they're not getting the job done.
I love Weight...but for our club at this point and time....don't think its the right mix.
Since Messier turned down the job before Tortorella got it I would be surprised if he took it now. However, they have more talent now so maybe he thinks he can be the difference.
@maxie I'm gonna defend Kevin here. I think almost all pro athletes (not all), but most care about winning over where they're playing and who they played for. (well, some just care about the money, but I digress) Hank, with his statement, pretty much said it, he would rather go somewhere with a chance to win a Cup. It's a great PR move to say things like "I can't imagine playing anywhere else", but winning is the motivating factor to most of these guys. (again, some it's money) I think we as fans, fall into this myth, that pro athletes are blindly dedicated to their fans and the team they play for. Look at Ray Bourque. He genuinely loved playing for Boston, but winning the Cup eventually became more motivating for him, so he left for the Avs.
The exceptions to this rule I think are guys who've already won a championship with said team and then are loyal cause they want to finish their careers with the same team (i.e. Brian Leetch) I'm pretty sure that if Hank had already won a Cup with the NYR, we would not be remotely concerned about his signing with someone else.
@mlsranger with the right assistants messier will work.
one thing for sure he would never loose the room and no matter what the entire nhl respects him. its also a perfect segway into taking over for sater
@Skunkman With all due respect, Hank has carried this team since he started his NHL career. If it's not for Hank, we're probably a perennial "out of the playoffs" team.
@rangersfan92 If they're going to trade Henrik, they have to do it soon. They can't let his contract run out, and they'll probably get more from him if they trade him early so the new team gets him for a full year. That being said, I want to see him finish his career in New York. Trading him is essentially giving up on the season.
@rangersfan92 I think that Hank needs to be signed this summer for a career long deal. If he plays next year without a contract extension then I would be pretty surprised if he stays a Ranger.
@rangersfan92 Unfortunately, it absolutely would and I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen. He wouldn't be the only one traded next year if Rangers aren't in contention at deadline - I would expect to see Callahan and Girardi out the door with him. Honestly, if next year isn't a good year, it could get really ugly next summer...
Because, let's face it. If the Rangers do not make it to the Finals next year, Lundqvist is walking.
@Iron Mike I have no idea if it would work or be a good idea, but I would LOVE if they tried it. Yes it could fail miserably, but that is someone I would take a chance on so I really hope he is on the list.
Josh when u think about it now great was Oates. With Hunter they made it to 2nd rd w-Oates they lost in 1st. We need a coach that has a proven track record. Weight may b great but we cannot take the chance w-a proven guy. Hank has a short Window to win a cup
@Josh6 Oates had a few years as assistant coach in the NHL, coach in the AHL, and then finally head coach of the Caps. I think hiring a former superstar player like Messier would be a huge mistake, as the history of players-turned-coach has rarely been a successful endeavor. We need someone with a proven record of success as a coach. My bet right now is on Vigneault.
@McPhee37 I agree.
@ThrSage Hope you're right.
@Skunkman @shoot_the_goalie I understand what you're saying, but don't think Hank is being above the team here. If he demanded all defensive guys playing a trap who could bring him shutout after shutout to pad his stats, that's one thing, but he just wants a team that he feels can win a Cup, and isn't that what any team collectively wants? Seems Hank doesn't think they can have a Cup caliber team with Torts (as other players felt). Not much different from how Mess felt about Neilson, and Mess turned out to be right (though he was vilified for it at the time in fairness) So, ask yourself this question...in retrospect, do you feel that Mess was all about himself for helping to get Neilson fired?