Joel Quenneville likely isn’t why Rangers’ coaching decision lingers

No, just as I wrote the first two times that the 3-time Cup winner would not be a candidate for head coach, the Rangers’ delay in recruiting head coach had to do with Joel Quenneville. I don’t believe there is.

But I get the theory. Information hates white space. And aside from identifying John Hines and Peter Laviolette as frontrunners and ruling out Patrick Roy, Mike Babcock, Chris Nobrauf, Jay Leach, and Spencer Carberry as possibilities, the The entire vault exists.

It’s hard to imagine that president and general manager Chris Drury, who started the hunt two days after he split with Gerard Galant on May 6, would learn more about Hines and LaViolette at this point. Hines had not become a human. He remained in the spotlight until he was fired by Nashville on May 30.

The 48-year-old coach is more prepared, structured, and meticulous than anyone he’s encountered in the NHL, multiple sources with a history with Hines told the Post. It is said that he is attentive and tactically proficient. In his exit interview with Drury, many veterans said that’s exactly what the team lacked under Gallant.

But in eight seasons off the NHL bench, four-plus seasons with the Devils, and three-plus seasons with the Predators, Hines has never won a playoff round. The Rangers’ next manager’s mission is to win the fourth round next year. Is that giving Drury a pause? It’s impossible to answer that because there are multiple titles executives stationed at SCIF.

Joel Quenneville
SOPA image/LightRocket (via Getty Images)

In fact, Drury is with most of the player personnel staff at the scouting combine in Buffalo. Therefore, decisions and announcements may be delayed. Perhaps there’s a timing issue related to whether or not Chairman Jim Dolan gets to meet the lucky winner.

Part of the delay has to do with the situation in Pittsburgh, which was finally resolved on June 1st. Mike Sullivan was always Hail Mary, but the Rangers were waiting to see if the Penguins’ two-time Cup-winning coach would be available if Kyle Dubas took over. Over the Pittsburgh hockey business. The answer has become “no”.

Drury also would have liked to interview Sheldon Keef if he was fired by the Maple Leafs and incoming GM Brad Treliving, but apparently Toronto is keeping the head coach. That’s another reason why I didn’t have to rush to judge.

John Hines
John Hines
NHLI (via Getty Images)

The Rangers today don’t need a coach. But soon. Perhaps they’ll have to put it in by the June 28-29 draft in Nashville. And they definitely need it before free agency starts on July 1. Would anyone, including impending restricted free agents Candre Miller and Alexis Lafrenière, commit to a team without knowing the coach’s identity?

This is the practical reason why I don’t believe Quenneville is a factor here. Manager Gary Bettmann, who suspended his coach indefinitely in late October 2021 for failing to act responsibly in connection with the Kyle Beach sexual assault scandal in Chicago, met with Quenneville after the final. , although he did state that he would discuss the possibility of a return, the commissioner did not target a specific time frame.

I can’t imagine a scenario in which Bettmann would meet with Quenneville before the draft, or even before July 1, and pardon him. Previously, industry insiders said he was expected to come back later in the draft, if at all. By the end of the summer and past the current coach hiring cycle.

peter laviolette
peter laviolette

Bettmann likes to control the news. In what world would Bettmann want the hypothetical (and controversial) return of Quenneville and hiring by the Rangers to dominate the Nashville press and leave Conor Bedard on the back burner? Because that’s what the draft will be like in Chicago.

I may be wrong. This sort of thing has even happened a few times in his 40 years in the industry. But I believe the delay in the nomination has nothing to do with Quenneville.

Maybe it’s the logistics. Perhaps Drury has another dotted “I” and another intersecting “T”. There is no urgency in making choices. The announcement is not urgent. Anyway, not yet.

The urgency is increasing.

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