Sometimes being patient has its benefits. The New York Rangers have not named a new head coach yet, and several head coaches have recently become available to add to the growing pool of qualified candidates.
The latest example of this is John Hynes.
Hynes spent the last few years in Nashville but was unceremoniously fired by Barry Trotz to allow for Andrew Brunette to take the job. Several analysts have spoken out about the way the firing was handled, but it’s left a very strong coach on the market for teams to consider.
That is great news for Chris Drury and the Rangers. Drury and Hynes played together during their NHL careers and have a personal connection few have in this sport. Hynes’ dismissal means the team doesn’t have to make a decision as quickly as possible – they can afford to wait to see if other teams end up parting ways with their head coach.
And with any veteran coach like John Hynes, there is both a positive and negative side to his story.
Coaching Profile: John Hynes
Past Title: Nashville Predators head coach
NHL Experience: Nine years as head coach for the Devils and Predators
Pros to hiring Hynes
- A personal connection to Drury
- Defensive mindset
- Experience with younger players
Cons to hiring Hynes
- Has not won a playoff series in nine years of coaching
- Might not be the best fit for the current Rangers roster
- Struggled at times to connect to older players
As head coaches with experience go, a team can do a lot worse than John Hynes. He may have nine years of coaching experience but his work in the developmental league, and with the Predators showed that he can take a young core of players and build them into prominent NHL starters. That’s something the Rangers sorely need in their new head coach. If he could get the most out of young players like Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere, the Rangers would be in excellent shape for the 2023 season.
There are obvious downsides to a coach like him though. While he has shown to get the best out of younger talent, he has struggled with veterans in the locker room. New York is one of the rare teams with a combination of both youthful enthusiasm and veteran savviness so finding a coach that can blend both is important.
Many people have been upset with the way Hynes was taken care of in Nashville but the fact he hasn’t won a playoff series isn’t a major vote of confidence for a Rangers team that is looking to end a near 30-year championship drought.
Time will tell if Drury ends up going Hynes’ route but the longer the team waits, it seems the more veteran coaches could become available in the near future.