For the first time since 2009, the New York Rangers are looking for a new head coach after firing John Tortorella. There a few candidates they should be looking at for their vacant head coaching job.
The most likely replacement is Lindy Ruff. Ruff was the coach of the Buffalo Sabres for 16 seasons, the longest tenure by a coach in the NHL. He is a coach who is very similar to Tortorella, and he’s a rugged coach who likes to play good defensive hockey. He also allows his skilled players to play their game, but I don’t think Ruff is the best candidate for the Rangers as he is too similar to Tortorella.
The next coach is Alain Vigneault who was recently fired by the Vancouver Canucks. Vigneault is a coach who was within one game of winning a Stanley Cup back in 2011, but the Canucks fell short and have been bounced in the first round the two years after that. With this being said, Vigneault is more of an offensive coach who lets his skilled players do their thing. With a goalie like Henrik Lundqvist and skilled players like Derick Brassard, Rick Nash, and Chris Kreider the possibilities could be endless. I think Vigneault would be a good fit for the Rangers.
The next coach is Dave Tippet who is currently the coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. He is another defense first coach who had a great goaltender in Mike Smith, but no one knows what is going to happen with him and the Coyotes as his contract expires soon. I think Tippet is a great coach just not for this Rangers’ team as they need to become more offensive minded.
Now this last candidate is my personal favorite. There is virtually no chance of this happening, but as a lifelong Rangers fan, I want them to get Barry Melrose to be the next coach of this team. Melrose is the definition of an offensive coach. Since you have the best goalie in the world in Lundqvist, he could just let his skilled players go. Again, there is about a .01% chance of this happening, but I would love it.
The Rangers’ coaching search is going to be an interesting one. General Manager Glen Sather said he wants to have a new coach by the NHL Draft so we will all have to wait and see.