The latest on the search for a new Rangers coach

Gorton, Schoenfeld and Sather (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Rangers management is in Palm Springs California, preparing for their biggest offseason in years. One of their primary tasks is searching for a coach.

Coaching Search

Officially off the list is Jim Montgomery, who took the Stars job in Dallas. Unofficially, David Quinn of Boston told those close to him that he wasn’t leaving B.U.. Rick Carpiniello who covers the Rangers for the Athletic noted that he believes Lindy Ruff, and Wolf Pack coach, Keith McCambridge are not up for the job. He also highly doubts that Dave Tippett is not either, although our Editor in Chief disagrees.

One interesting name that he mentioned was Minnesota-Duluth’s head coach. Scott Sandelin played seven seasons in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadians, and Minnisota North-Stars before getting into the coaching biz.

Sandelin’s Credentials

Sandelin accepted the job as the head coach of the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs on March 20, 2000. As head coach, he has led the Bulldogs to six 22 plus win seasons and four NCAA tournament appearances (2003–04, 2008–09, and 2010–2012). In (2008–09) he beat his former North Dakota team to become the Final Five Champions of the WCHA. Then in (2010–2011) the Bulldogs made a run in the NCAA tournament to become the 2011 NCAA Champions, beating Yale, Union, Notre Dame and Michigan for the title. Last year, Sandelin led the Bulldogs to the NCAA finals, and this year Duluth won the NCAA championship. Below you can find his coaching record, courtesy of

Coaching Record.png

Sandelin also coached Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk, so while it’s a small connection, there is one there. Sandelin has also has helped develop many NHL players such as Justin Faulk, Alex Stalock, and J.T. Brown.

The Rangers are in the process of rebuilding so we should be seeing an influx of young players making their way to the Rangers in the near future. A fault in Alain Vigneault’s coaching style was that he did not let younger players grow, and opted to play older players over younger ones (a la Buchnevich). We know that finding a coach that can develop young talent is a priority for the Rangers, and given Sandelin’s track record, this may not be a bad option.

Not Interested in Keefe?

While many Rangers fans sound like they would sell their souls for Sheldon Keefe, Carpiniello isn’t biting. He believes that the Toronto Marlies coach is not a serious contender. That flies in the face of all the speculation, but Carpiniello has been following the Rangers for years and comes a close second to Larry Brooks for Rangers insights.

No Rush to Hire

Carpiniello then says this: “At this late date – and though Gorton said it’s not necessary to have the coach in place at the draft, but it certainly would be advantageous to have one a week later, for free agency – I would not be surprised if the Rangers’ next head coach comes completely out of left field.”

Given the fact that Montgomery was hired by the Dallas Stars and there are not that many “high-profile” names available, this makes sense. Who knows if the Rangers will hire a coach before the draft and free-agency, but it would certainly make sense to.

As the playoffs come to a close, more and more Rangers news will surface. This offseason is setting up to be an exciting one. Stay tuned to Forever Blueshirts for all your Rangers news. Thanks for the read! Make sure you check out Rick Carpiniello’s article here.



  • William R Christian

    Thanks for update. I still feel they might be thinking Europe for new coach.

    • That would definitely be “completely out of left field” like Carpinello stated. That statement doesn’t bode to much confidence at all.

      If it’s true the Rangers are not in contention for Sheldon Keefe I would like to know why. This would be a monumental mistake if they never reached out to the Leafs about talking to him. But then again when was the last time this franchise did something right. I did think Sheldon Keefe was biding his team to be named by his best bud Kyle Dubas as Leaf’s head coach but even to see one beat writer say Keefe wasn’t a contender is very alarming.

      • You mentioned when was the last time this franchise did something right and I really can think of that time. That’s why I get so worried when it comes to going after a FA or a draft pick or anything really. We both think it’s nuts to go after Kovalchuk and today I heard it mentioned that it doesn’t make any sense for the Rangers or for Kovalchuk. I can’t remember who made that statement but he definitely thought it was somethings the Rangers should not be doing. Also we’re seeing articles still to this day about how AV didn’t play the kids enough and would lean on his veterans if he were here still. Well after trading all the veteran players we traded he wouldn’t have much of a choice. I just hope we didn’t fire AV just to just to bring in any old coach that’s available

  • Mike, you are so correct, again. I have been saying this ad nauseum. This management team would screw up hiring a new coach and that alone. However when you compound that whith this alleged total rebuild the total screw up factor compounds expedentillaly. I used alleged due to all of the talk around here regarding the need to go after all of the free agents on the market. Which again would not at all suprise me. Unload the players to be named later for aging soon to be also rans. Unfortunately with this team history always tends to repeat itself. For those younger than me,64 , look back from John Ferguson on , both coaching and personal . It can get very ugly.

  • Douglas Peters

    Why is Carpiniello not interested in S Keefe? Or, why does he believe NYR are not interested in S Keefe?

    • Not sure, maybe due to lack of NHL experience, but none of the other coaches he mentioned have any either. Keefe has had some great talent to work with as head coach of the Marlies, so maybe the Rangers’ management feels like that’s why Keefe has been so successful.

  • keep waiting we’ll hire a guy like Therrien !!!!!!

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