Who’s next? Vigneault? Ruff? Messier? Keenan? Me?


Put together this list without doing a lot of checking around. And since nobody ever knows what’s going on in Glen Sather’s world, I won’t even pretend to have a clue about who’s next.

Lindy Ruff: The most obvious choice, has been available since being fired in February after 16 seasons coaching the Buffalo Sabres. A former Rangers defenseman, who had another former Ranger, James Patrick, as an assistant, Ruff is known as a players coach.

Alain Vigneault: Just fired by Vancouver after going 313-170-57 with two Presidents’ Trophies (including the one in which the Canucks nipped the Rangers last season) and one trip to the Stanley Cup finals in seven years. But he had a lot more skill in Vancouver than he’d have here. Vigneault was said to be on the Rangers’ radar, though not officially interviewed, when Bryan Trottier was hired in 2002.

Paul Maurice: The former Hartford/Carolina coach has been out of work since November, 2011. All-around good guy (and close friend of Rangers exec Adam Graves).

Dave Tippett: His name has been mentioned, even though he is currently employed by Phoenix as the Coyotes continue to go through ownership issues. But GM Don Maloney is getting a new extension, so Tippett probably stays. Anyway, he was interested in the job when Trottier was hired and didn’t get it.

Mike Keenan: The Rangers’ only Cup-winning coach in the last 73 years – who negotiated with two other teams during that title run and bolted immediately after winning it —  he also wanted the job when Trottier got it. But he just signed to coach in the KHL. Anyway, he’s more demanding than Tortorella, and not as patient with kids or mistakes. Would butt heads with Sather.

Marc Crawford: An up-tempo coach, he was hired by Joe Nieuwendyk to replace Tippett in Dallas in 2009 and lasted two seasons. Won a Stanley Cup coaching Colorado in 1996.

Mark Messier: The wildest wild card in the bunch. He’s Sather’s special assistant now, but not generally seen as Sather’s heir (Jeff Gorton is). He was interested in coaching the Oilers recently. Not sure he wants to do the full-time coaching grind, and no way of knowing if he’d be good at it. Most great players aren’t.

Ken Gernander: Praised year in and year out by the organization for developing their prospects and minor leaguers as the coach of the Whale in Hartford. Probably not nearly high-profile enough for this job at this time.


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  1. Stranger Nation on

    Not sure where to go with this. Speculated last night that Slats would throw Torts under the bus using Richards as the expensive anvil ($48MM) around his neck. Not benching him until Game 4, down 0-3 was the final straw IMHO. Playing GM/Coach was a losers game since Slats wasn’t going anywhere.

    Very hard to assess the skills of this team given system they have been playing in, but watching other teams play this Spring makes me believe that there has to be a better way to play offense, especially on the PP. Not saying our talent level is the same as chi or la or det or pitt, but there is talent on this team.

    Thought Torts brought out the best in those who bought all in, but that list was a short one. Obvious media relations issues, overall personality disorder, and general distaste for anyone holding him accountable.

    Playing Miller and getting nothing out of him for 2 months
    Not giving Kreider top 6 minutes until the very end when it was too late.
    Overplaying GA Girardi (though not many options at RD, made worse when Staall was out)

    They have one guy signed currently after next season; Nash – only one guy. They can completely revamp this team. Seriously tank this thing; trade hank for a #1++, Trade MDZ for a #2++, trade Staal for a #2+, trade Richards…(Ha!) Not saying they would or should do it, buy they could now…

    Last season they were lucky with pitt and bos getting knocked out early so do not look at ecf as a given this season so no real step back; same style with similar results.

    just surprised Slats/Dolan let him walk. Must have been a hell of a talk between Slats with Hank, Cally, and Nash yesterday…

    safe is work…guess not…

  2. hey, can we pull Scotty Bowman out of retirement. The Sather circus continues. (S)

  3. This oughta be an interesting month….no to ruff, no to the Canucks guy- if hecouldn’t win with that roster he’ll never win.

  4. Carp,

    List of potential GMs? because I still have no idea how Sather is still here

  5. ThisYearsModel on

    Weird when Sean Avery knows more about the conditions in the Rangers locker room than the press. Gabby jumped in today too. Henrik was clearly not happy. Winder who else threw Torts under the bus.

  6. Torts’ wife: “If this means you’re planning to be home every night, I’m history.”

  7. Czechthemout!!! on


    Out of the box completly but what about Keith Allain, head coach of the NCAA national champions, Yale university. Has been an NHL assistant coach for a long time. He built the Yale program from scratch and I have read that he is very highly thought of as the next great NHL coach that is not recycled. I know he is not high profile but boy do the Yale team play an entertaining fast hard forchecking game.

  8. The Other Peter on

    In your heart, you know it’s destiny:


    Thank you, drive carefully…

  9. Czechthemout!!! on

    I have to say no to everyone on that list. If you held a gun to my head, I would pick Ruff.

    Dallas Eakins might also be a good pick.

  10. Torts to Slats:
    “Put out that goddamned cigar if you want to talk to me.”
    Slats: “I’ll put it out up your effen nostril, you pretentious manque.”

  11. Czech, not necessarily advocating Allain (don’t know enough about him), but I wish NYR would try something a little nontraditional in that regard.

  12. EJ Hradek really gave it to Slats during NHL Network show.
    give him credit for being one of the few i’ve heard…so far…who has held him accountable

  13. Carp
    sounds like you’re being a bit hard on yourself
    but then again
    i don’t know who your source is
    so maybe he was completely CORRECT
    until things changed at some point in the past
    48 hours

  14. out of all the possible coaching
    i like Tippett
    but i bet that
    Maloney is going to want some
    sort of compensation
    maybe we could just give ’em
    and not have to worry about him
    finding his game
    until the 1 or 2 games a year
    we play the Coyotes

  15. I will say that every other writer, Micheletti and Maloney and McGuire, and pretty much everybody else in and around the team thought he’d be back … and was shocked today. Just saying. But I was over the top with my “Not Happening” so I’m enjoying a little crow.

  16. and being that it’s more than being hinted that something changed in the 48 hours, I’d say the power play, the lack of offense, the lack of adjustments as some of you claim, whatever, none of that factored into the decision. If that 48-hour thing is true, and I’m led to believe it was, then he wasn’t being fired for any of that stuff.

  17. Carp
    i’m as shocked as you were (of course, minus any sources)
    after you listed all the things that
    could have
    should have
    got Torts fired
    as NOT being the reason behind it
    then this organization is really totally screwed.

  18. sather had his plan and torts had his agenda. i bet sather approached torts in last 48 hours about bringing in a 3rd coach for the pp on the bench and torts said no way.

    the rangers i believe are the only team in league who only have 2 coaches on bench

  19. never mattered to me whether we had
    1 asst coach or 7 of ’em
    as long as elements of the game
    such as the power play
    were improved as the season
    moved forward

  20. i wonder if Sather gave Torts the opportunity
    to discuss what went wrong this season
    and how he planned on fixing it
    and/or changing things for next season

    maybe Torts’ answers didn’t suit Sather
    as in, “I’m not changing anything. Just gotta stress playing the right way from off-season through training camp…”

    maybe Sather wanted a power play coach added or some offensive-minded asst coach. Torts didn’t want that and so he’s now playing with his dogs rather than looking at film and planning on next season.

    reminds me of when ex-Cleveland Browns coach Marty Schottenheimer didn’t want to hire an offensive coordinator so he was fired after too many “almost” seasons

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