Rangers News & Rumors: Tocchet, Blackwell, Kadri & More…

Rick Tocchet interviewed for the Rangers vacant head coaching position. Colin Blackwell scores for Team USA. Could hard-nosed Nazem Kadri be coming to Broadway? And more…..

Tocchet Interviewed Tuesday

Tocchet, who was fired by the Arizona Coyotes at seasons’ end, was the second prospective head coach to be interviewed by new Rangers’ general manager Chris Drury since David Quinn was fired on May 12. Tocchet had a 125-131-34 record as the Coyotes head coach. He won a Stanley Cup as a player and two as an assistant coach, all three of those Cups were with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His career record as a head coach is 178-200-60.

Rick Tocchet Arizona Coyotes
Rick Tocchet, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

According to (‘Rangers interview Rick Tocchet for head-coach job’, NY Post, 5/25/21), Tocchet will also interview for the vacancies with the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets. It’s not certain if the Rangers will interview anyone else besides Gerard Gallant, who they interviewed before he left to coach Team Canada at the World Championships in Riga, Latvia.

Blackwell Nets Insurance Marker

Team USA beat Germany 2-0 Sunday in Riga, and Colin Blackwell contributed with an empty-net goal at 59:33 of the third period to ice the game. Blackwell, who’s joined on Team USA by fellow Blueshirts Kevin Rooney and Zac Jones is documenting his trip to Riga, and you can read it here. The empty-netter was Blackwell’s first goal of the tournament. Rooney has yet to record a point, and Jones has two assists. USA is 5-1 and tied with Finland at the top of Group B.

Nazem Kadri to Broadway?

With the Rangers looking to fill a void in their lineup that lacks a bit of stinginess, Kadri may be a perfect fit. Kadri is currently serving an eight-game suspension for a “high, forceful” check to St. Louis Blues’ defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of the Colorado Avalanche’s first-round win over the Blues. The Avalanche and Kadri appealed the suspension, hoping to get it reduced, but Gary Bettman upheld the Department of Player Safety’s decision of eight games which could last until the third round should the Avs beat the Vegas Golden Knights and move on.

Nazem Kadri
Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov)

The NY Post’s Larry Brooks says the Rangers “could use a hard edge or two” on and off the ice (‘Nazem Kadri could be fit for glaring Rangers need’ NY Post, 5/24/21). The Avs may be ready to move on and shop Kadri over the summer after the latest incident, and the Rangers will probably be one of the first phone calls Avalanche GM Joe Sakic makes, given the Rangers’ wealth of young talent.

Kreider Up for Clancy

Rangers’ power forward Chris Kreider was nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. Each team in the NHL has one representative for the award. The award is given “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.” Commissioner Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly head a committee with other senior executives to choose the winner.

Chris Kreider New York Rangers
Chris Kreider, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The criteria to determine the winner includes – Clear and measurable positive impact on the community, investment of time and resource, commitment to a particular cause or community, commitment to the League’s community initiatives, the creativity of programming, use of influence; engagement of others.

Moving Forward

As we move forward into the summer and off-season, the Rangers have some decisions to make both behind the bench and in the lineup. Will Tocchet be what they need? Will Kadri come to Manhattan? And if so, what will the Rangers have to give up? Being nominated is always great, but hopefully, Krieder can win the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.