It doesn’t matter which professional sports league people talk about, head coaching vacancies come every year. For the New York Rangers, the dismissal of Gerard Gallant was a message that the team was ready to win now, and would do whatever it took to finally get over the hump for playoff success.
In parting ways with Gallant though, it’s set the Blueshirts on a very tricky path of making sure they get the kind of coach they want, without having to negotiate against other teams looking for leaders in the locker room.
That’s where the need to be efficient comes into the long list of qualities general manager Chris Drury needs to generate over the next couple of weeks. If the Rangers wait too long to find the right guy, they could miss out on the next great coach. If they they choose to quickly, they risk reacting instead of being proactive and hurting the team in the long-run.
Finding the right head coach is a difficult process when you add in the different factors that led to Gallant’s dismissal in the first place. A new coach will have to be able to control a veteran locker room, get the most out of young talent, continue to have dominant goaltening and above-all-else win a Stanley Cup Championship.
Not too much to ask for.
When discussing rising candidates, names like Andre Brunette, Kris Knoblauch, and Spencer Carbery have been tied to several organizations looking for young head coaches. If the Rangers aren’t careful, they could lose out on all of the top candidates and instead have to choose between a number of veterans who all have their own issues.
Other names like Peter Laviolette, Mike Babcock and other veterans have had championship experience in past years, but could be looking for a job with less pressure on their shoulders like New York currently possesses.
It’s easy to say that the Rangers head coaching job is a gig that any coach should want to have. If you can make a winner out of the group, Hall-of-Fame credentials follow shortly after you. But if success doesn’t follow, a coach can be run out of town extremely quickly.
In the end, if the Rangers are to be taken seriously next season with the cast of stars on their roster, finding the right coach to blend with the team is extremely important. And not being late to the party becomes one of the biggest reasons why New York should make a decision in an efficient manner.
The current core depends on it.
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