After a tumultuous ending to what became a disappointing season for the New York Rangers, it’s now up to Chris Drury to determine the franchise’s future.
Finding a new coach, adding and subtracting players, and trying not to run into an iceberg is only the beginning for him. Despite having been a player, and captain, for the Rangers, any moves he makes will be scrutinized fastidiously by the fans. Many are concerned they are possibly going back to the win-at-all-costs mentality, which has plagued the franchise for a long time.
You’re Not a Real Fan If…
Every Rangers fan has an opinion about what needs to happen next, but what do Rangers fans think of the players’ job this past season? Who do they think should be the next coach to lead the Rangers back into greatness? To answer these questions and others, I randomly posted requests in Rangers groups on Facebook, MeWe, and Twitter to fill out a survey asking for their opinion. The response was promising, and a total of 148 fans took the time to let their voices be heard.
17 & Under: 0%
75 or Older: 2%
Length of Fandom
10+ Years: 21.6%
6-10 Years: 4.1%
Not a Rangers fan: 0.7%
How Did the Boys Do This Season?
Instead of giving a grade for their performance during the season, it’s interesting to find out if fans are in sync with one another or divided on how they believe the players performed over the season. On the survey, information was given for each forward and defenseman regarding their games played (GP), goals (G), and assists (A). For the goalies, games played, save percentage (SV%), and shutouts (SO) were listed. The grade listed is the one that received the most votes.
Morgan Barron (5GP, 1G, 0A) C (38.5%)
Colin Blackwell (47GP, 12G, 10A) B (35.8%)
Jonny Brodzinski (5GP, 1G, 0A) C (52.7%)
Pavel Buchnevich (54 GP, 20G, 28A) A (44.6%)
Filip Chytil (42GP, 8G, 14A) B (33.1%)
Phillip Di Giuseppe (31GP, 1G, 7A) C-/D+ (23%)
Julien Gauthier (30GP, 2G, 6A) C (25%)
Timothy Gettinger (2GP, 0G, 0A) C (43.9%)
Brett Howden (42GP, 1G, 6A) Ugh…Get the bum outta here (31.8%)
Kaapo Kakko (48GP, 9G, 8A) B (29.1%)
Vitali Kravtsov (2GP, 2G, 2A) B (29.1%)
Chris Kreider (50GP, 20G, 10A) B-/C+ (27.7%)
Alexis Lafreniere (56GP, 12G, 9A) B (31.8%)
Artemi Panarin (42GP, 17G, 41A) A+ (58.8%)
Justin Richards (1GP, 0G, 1A) C (43.2%)
Kevin Rooney (54GP, 8G, 6A) B (33.8%)
Ryan Strome (56GP, 14G, 35A) A-/B+ (37.2)
Mika Zibanejad (56GP, 24G, 26A) A (29.7%)
Anthony Bitetto (14GP, 1G, 4A) C (34.5%)
Adam Fox (55GP, 5G, 42A) A+ (91.2%)
Libor Hajek (44GP, 2G, 2A) C (22.3%)
Jack Johnson (13GP, 1G, 0A) Ugh…Get the bum outta here (39.2%)
Zachary Jones (10GP, 0G, 4A) C (31.1%)
Ryan Lindgren (51GP, 1G, 15A) A (41.9%)
K’Andre Miller (53GP, 5G, 7A) A-/B+ (30.4%)
Tarmo Reunanen (4GP, 0G, 1A) C (45.9%)
Brendan Smith (48GP, 5G, A) B (33.8%)
Jacob Trouba (38GP, 2G, 10A) B (25%)
Alexandar Georgiev (19GP, 1A, .905 SV%, 2SO) B (30.4%)
Keith Kinkaid (9GP, .898 SV%, 1SO) B (26.4%)
Igor Shesterkin (35GP, .916 SV%, 2SO) A-/B+ (38.5%)
Who Should be the Next Coach?
Many fans didn’t like David Quinn’s lackadaisical or easy-going attitude, both in interviews or behind the bench. On May 12, Rangers Head Coach David Quinn and Assistant Coaches David Oliver, Jacques Martin, and Greg Brown were relieved of their duties. Benoit Allaire has been retained by the Rangers and will continue to be the goaltending coach.
There are plenty of coaches available for the job, but picking the right one who has the same vision as the Rangers’ front office is an enormous task to undertake for Drury. It will be a tough decision, but the franchise’s future success will be found through the decisions made, starting with the head coaching position.
Here are the top six choices for head coach, as voted for by the fans.
This past week the Rangers asked the Las Vegas Knights for permission to interview Gallant for the head coaching position. They were able to fit in an interview with him before he left to coach Team Canada in the men’s worlds. The Rangers hopefully have three or four more candidates they would like to interview for the position.
What’s Next for the Rangers?
6/2/21 – NHL Draft Lottery
7/17/21 – Deadline to submit a protected list for the Expansion Draft
7/21/21 – Expansion Draft
7/23/21 – Round 1 of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft
7/24/21 – Rounds 2-7 of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft
7/28/21 – Free Agency Begins
Follow Liz Pendergraft on Twitter @lizzibear824
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images