Rangers Close to Signing Quinn as Head Coach

The New York Rangers’ search for a head coach seems to be coming to an end. Boston University Terriers’ (B.U.) head coach David Quinn is reported by multiple sources to be close to signing a five-year, $12 million contract to replace recently terminated Alain Vigneault. Quinn would become the 35th head coach in Blueshirts’ history.

Rumors of potential replacements began swirling after Vigneault was relieved of duties on April 7. Quinn had been connected to the Rangers’ open coaching position alongside Toronto Marlies’ head coach Sheldon Keefe, former Arizona Coyotes’ head coach Dave Tippet, and former Denver head coach Jim Montgomery who has since been hired by the Dallas Stars.

Early in the Rangers’ coaching search, it was reported that Quinn was thought to be more interested in remaining at B.U. Fans and pundits alike moved Keefe to the front of the list of likely candidates after Quinn was named head coach of the 2018-19 U.S. National Team.

Late Saturday night social media rumors began to swirl that the Rangers were closing in on Quinn, though. By Sunday morning his hiring and contract were all but confirmed.

Quinn has connections to the Rangers. In 2009, Rangers offensive defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk played for B.U. when Quinn was an assistant coach to Jack Parker. The Rangers also host a standout B.U. player on their management team. Former Rangers’ captain and current assistant general manager Chris Drury won the Hobey Baker Award while he played for the Terriers.

What to Expect from Quinn

Known as a “no nonsense” coach, Quinn is expected to help develop a Rangers’ team that is in the midst of a rebuild. Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan made it clear in an interview shortly after the Rangers’ break-up day that the next head coach of the team would have to be able shepherd in the young talent the team had and will acquire.

…the next coach is going to have to be able to take the players we have, the young guys we have, and get them to the next level. I liked what I saw in the young guys and so did the staff.

Quinn has a great deal of experience coaching young players. As an assistant coach at B.U. his team won a national title in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. He was tasked with running that team’s defense which included Shattenkirk.

Boston University NCAA 2009
Boston University poses with the trophy after a victory over Miami (OH) University during the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship held at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. Boston University defeated Miami (OH) University 4-3 to win the national title. (Greg Fiume/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

He followed that up with a three-year stint as the head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL, amassing a 115-94 record. After a season as an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche in 2012-13, he returned to B.U. as their head coach. At the helm of the Terriers his team won 115 games with only 59 loses and 20 ties across five seasons.

Quinn has Experience with Future NHL Talent

As head coach at B.U., Quinn has mentored a number of budding NHL stars in Buffalo Sabres’ forward Jack Eichel, Boston Bruins’ defenseman Charlie McAvoy and the Arizona Coyotes’ forward Clayton Keller. Last season he coached prospect Brady Tkachuk who is projected to be selected near the top of the first-round in the upcoming 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Related: Brady Tkachuk – 2018 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

This experience with elite young talent will serve the Rangers well as they attempt to form a new core to the team. While the Rangers’ ultimate goal is getting back into Stanley Cup contention, the selection of Quinn seems to indicate that they will take a patient approach to developing their prospects. One of the knocks against Quinn would be his lack of experience as the head coach of a championship team. If they were planning to fast-track their rebuild, a head coach with more NHL experience would have likely been on their menu.