It is taking some time for the Rangers to hire a head coach for the AHL Wolf Pack and there is a reason for that. The organization is not simply seeking to install a new staff in Hartford but rather is reimagining and pouring resources into the entire development structure.
“That job in Hartford as head coach has huge importance to it — huge,” team president John Davidson told The Post on Wednesday night. “We want someone there who is a great communicator, not only with the players, but with the other coaches and support personnel we’re going to have there.
“We’re putting more of everything into Hartford, from A to Z. You want to have a winning culture there, that’s to everyone’s advantage, you want to bring in high quality and character vets to establish a template for your kids, but the priority is development and you can never emphasize that enough. That’s where it starts. That’s the focus. That’s where it’s at.”
“It’s not only Hartford,” said Davidson, on the job for two weeks as the new head of the Rangers. “We’re adding development coaches so that when you’re drafted and become part of the organization, we’re going to be there for you, we’re going to be at your games all over the world, offering our support.
“As we’re planning, we’re going to have three development coaches. One will be based in Europe. Of course we’re going to work with the cooperation of the teams involved, we’re not going rogue as independent contractors. But we’re going to be a constant presence, not just pop in for a game here and there.
“We want to build up Ranger bloodlines from the time a player is drafted, through his development, until he gets to New York. We’re putting a lot into this.”
Davidson said that he, general manager Jeff Gorton and assistant GM/Hartford GM Chris Drury are going through the process of sorting through candidates, the latter two executives conducting preliminary interviews as the organization goes about fixing the decay that developed last season.
“NHL experience is not a requirement for the job,” Davidson said. “If a guy has it, great, but if not, so be it. We’re looking for someone with great communication skills and embraces the opportunity to develop players — to develop Rangers.