Rangers coaching rumors: does Kyle Dubas hold key to potential 2023 hire?

Does Kyle Dubas hold key to Rangers coaching search?
Toronto Maple Leafs

Coaching changes in the NHL work in mysterious ways sometimes. While the New York Rangers continue to search for a new head coach, the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll on with several prominent names on the hot seat if their teams don’t turn their series around. 

One of those names is Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. While Toronto may have ended a 19-year playoff series win drought, their subsequent 3-0 series deficit to the Florida Panthers leaves many questioning surrounding Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe’s future with the organization. 

With those rumors circulating, a team like the Rangers may be the beneficiary should a move be made. 

First, Keefe would be an interesting replacement for recently-fired former head coach Gerard Gallant. He’s been to the playoffs every year he’s been the head coach and has experience with top talent. He was also a hot commodity before Toronto took a chance on him. 

But it’s Dubas that may hold the secret to a potential hire in New York. 

If Dubas is fired, the expectation is that he would land another job as an NHL executive pretty quickly. He’s well-liked within NHL circles and has shown to be willing to spend top dollar for top players. While there are rumors circulating that he could go to the Islanders, the prevailing theory is that Pittsburgh would be a team that would want to bring in the 37-year-old executive. 

Should Dubas go to Pittsburgh, he could ultimately decide to bring in his own head coach and leave Mike Sullivan out the door as a two-time Cup Champion. 

Mike Sullivan has won two Stanley Cup championships with the Pittsburgh PenguinsWikimedia Commons

The Rangers would then likely swoop in for Sullivan should that move happen. As coaches go, Sullivan is arguably at the top of the list of veteran coaches available with the likes of Peter Laviolette and Darryl Sutter. He’s won with top talent, has gotten production out of young players, and has been able to adjust in-game better than Gerard Gallant has ever done. He’s also had experience as an assistant coach and player with New York so he’s well familiar with the pressures of coaching an Original Six franchise. 

A lot of things need to happen before the Rangers even think about hiring Sullivan as he’s still under contract with the Penguins. It’s not too hard to connect the dots though if Toronto is eliminated in Game 4 Wednesday night. Should that happen, and Dubas is subsequently canned days later, the wheels should begin to turn for the Blueshirts to potentially get one of the best veteran coaches in hockey. 

Welcome to the coaching rumors carousel Ranger fans, it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride. 

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