What Ruff’s possible retention means for the Rangers coaching staff

AV and Ruff (Getty Images)

There’s been a lot of speculation and talk that Lindy Ruff will remain in some capacity on David Quinn’s staff. What does that mean for the rest of the openings to assist the new coach? Let’s dig in.

Ruff Staying?

It started with Larry Brooks‘ latest saying Ruff “remains in the mix” to be on Quinn’s staff. That was followed up a day later when Elliotte Friedman added this nugget to his 31 Thoughts, “It’s expected Lindy Ruff will stay with David Quinn in New York.”

None of what was mentioned above is set in stone, but it does lend credence to what I’ve said before about Ruff not being let go with Alain Vigneault. The Rangers obviously feel after their exit meetings that Ruff can bring something to the table.

I wrote a few weeks ago that he would be perfect to bridge the gap from last season to this one. Lindy Ruff would be an excellent choice to be the third assistant as the eye in the sky coach.

Ruff is the only one on the staff that was in the foxhole last season and can provide Quinn with the insights as to what went wrong. He can also assist Quinn in transitioning from NCAA coaching responsibilities to the NHL.

Ruff’s Experience Opens Up More Possibilities

If Ruff does become part of Quinn’s staff, that takes care of having someone with experience to help the new coach make the transition. It also opens up the possibility to bring in fresh faces with little no NHL coaching experience to round out the team.

Names like Martin St. Louis and Brian Leetch could become viable options. Maybe even Jeff Beukeboom gets another chance under Quinn’s system. At the end of the 2017 season, Beukeboom was moved on to a new role, which apparently he was open to.

“We met with Jeff, and we agreed on both sides to offer him another job. He wanted to do something else and we’re going to put him in another role, yet to be defined,” Gorton said.

Why would a coach want to do something else? This was an early warning sign that things were likely to only get worse with AV at the helm. Subsequently, the Rangers brought in Ruff and missed the playoffs this season.




  • I would have Scott Stevens as associate head coach Ken Daneyko as D-coach and Rikard Grönborg

    • I’d love to see Stevens here as well, but with LL taking over on the Island, I expect Stevens will find a seat with the Islanders.

    • Ooh! Al, those are excellent choices, and I agree with them wholeheartedly, but, number one, do they want to coach? Number two, do they want to coach in NY where they are under relentless scrutiny, pressure, and conjecture, and a need to win ownership and fan base. Sitting in a studio doing game analysis is a much cushier job with a lot less pressure to perform than being behind the bench game after game.

      I also think Brian Leech would be an excellent addition to the coaching staff. Get rid of Ruff and his baggage. Many other people with NHL experience and a more progressive approach than Ruff.

      Time also, unfortunately, to let go of Marc Staal. Too slow and lumbering for today’s fast-paced game. A great Ranger in his prime, but doesn’t pass the eye test anymore.

    • Scott Stevens wants to be closer to his family .Ken Daneyko would be too. I think the Two of them would work together

    • Scott Stevens has a contract with NHL network and Ken Daneyko has been part of the Devils broadcast for years now. Both have stated to have a desire to be closer to their families, so why would they now go back to the grind of a NHL season?

      Just because they were very good defensive players playing in a system that choked the offenses of the 90’s what makes them great coaching prospects? Daneyko hasn’t had 1 hour of coaching at a high level and Stevens failed miserably in New Jersey and wasn’t retained in Minnesota. What they did on the ice doesn’t mean it will translate to being a great coach. Wayne Gretzky was the greatest offensive player this league has ever seen and one of the top 2 players in the history as well, how did that aid him behind the bench?

      Let’s get coaches that have a track record of success either in college, minors or the pros.

      • Scott Stevens House showing in the past his willingness to be a coach. His willingness to be a teacher is not questioned. Plus he’ll be closer to his family. Ken has said he wasn’t to try something different also he will be closer to his family plus from watching him on TV he loves to teach and will also be in the locker room environment . Having Stevens there helps

        • Stevens help the Devils d so much he was let go twice by them. Stevens was a great player and nothing to write home about as a coach. How exactly will he be close to his family traveling for 41 games a year and spending a majority of his free time away from them being at the rink?

          Stevens is NOT a viable option. He clearly walked away from the coaching lifestyle for a reason.

          Brian Trottier, Ulf Samuelson and Jeff Beukeboom had long and very successful careers being a leaders on multiple Cup winning teams. How did they work as coaches with New York. Get guys who have a proven system and not some rival player who has name recognition and nothing else. Been there and done that already. If a guy like Brian Leetch wants to coach then go find a junior team or minor league team to gain experience and learn how to implement a system, teach players to grow their game and have the ability to change on the fly. Until he does that guys like him or Messier have ZERO chances of being behind the bench in New York.

  • Ooh! Love those choices, Al, but do they want to coach, number one, and do they want to coach in NY where there is relentless pressure to win?

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