The New York Rangers took the next step in the shakeup Wednesday, firing head coach David Quinn and three assistant coaches.
This is the first major move for new general manager Chris Drury and the first chance to make a solid first impression, as the Rangers find themselves on the outside looking in at the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Quinn’s task was never easy with the Blueshirts and he posted a 96-87-25 in the midst of a rebuild.
Quinn is now the fourth NHL head coach to be fired this season, joining Montreal’s Claude Julien, Buffalo’s Ralph Krueger, and Calgary’s Geoff Ward.
The firing comes on the heels of a difficult few days for the Rangers.
The team started last week by opening a can of worms by criticizing George Parros, the NHL’s head of player safety, and calling for his removal. This came after he didn’t suspend Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson for his role in a scrum that injured Rangers forward Artemi Panarin. New York felt this lack of punishment, beyond the fine, was unacceptable and made no bones about it.
A day later, the organization fired general manager Jeff Gorton and team president John Davidson, bringing in Drury as the replacement.
And now, this.
The Rangers did make the expanded post-season last time around, but this season handed its own dose of challenges. New York finished with a 27-23-6 record, good for fifth in the East Division and definitely not good enough for the playoffs.
Drury said the search for a new head coach will begin immediately for the Rangers.
Assistant coaches David Oliver, Greg Brown, and Jacques Martin were also released, while goaltending coach Benoit Allaire was retained.
There are quite a few options for replacements in New York. John Tortorella is finished with the Columbus Blue Jackets after six seasons, for instance, and he knows the terrain. Gerard Gallant and Rick Tocchet are among those available, plus Patrick Roy has been kicking the tires on a new coaching opportunity in the NHL.
Pic: Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press