CoachingIrresponsible Rumormongering

Messier/Gretzky interested in coaching the Rangers

If you missed it yesterday, the whole Twitter/blog-o-sphere was talking about how Mark Messier was interested in coaching the Rangers, and was on Glen Sather’s short list of potential candidates. About two minutes after that was reported, Wayne Gretzky’s name was thrown out there as well. It was, well, interesting to see those names mentioned, because neither really make sense for the Rangers given their current state.

The Rangers are a team that is right in their window to win. They have the best goalie in the world, they have a young core that is entering their prime, and they have a game breaker in Rick Nash. This is a team that is constructed to win a Cup in the next few years, and they need the proper coach to do that. The proper coach does not mean someone who didn’t have success previously (Gretzky) or has not coached at any level in his career (Messier).

This is no slight to the greatest player ever and the greatest captain ever, it’s just in the professional world you need to be qualified for the job. Gretzky is more qualified than Messier, but Gretzky didn’t really do much with a Phoenix team that saw great improvements under Dave Tippet.┬áThe best players don’t necessarily make the best coaches, and it’s something that should be kept in mind as the Rangers look for a coach that will take them to a Cup.

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  • As much as I love both of these guys as players, both need a lot of time as assistant coaches and learn before anything else. Even though the great already has experience as head coach does not mean he should be one again…..just yet.

  • Sometimes you need to see the talent. And let them make their mark.

    I would love for messier and Gretzky team up on the bench.

    All the other coaches out there have made their history.

    It would be great to watch.

    • I am not by any means endorsing either of these two guys. In fact, I think it a scary prospect. However, it is intriguing. maybe this is exactly what we need, going against the norm with proven cup winners. Maybe scary is what we need!! Instead of normal. What do you guys think? Please for just a few minutes throw logic and caution to the wind.

      • I can’t see many panties getting into a twist if they indeed went the route of Messier/Gretzky combo behind the bench, heck, I’d even make it a trio by giving Leetch a job to handle the PP, even if it didnt work out. Its not like there is a clear cut no-brainer out there, so why not?

        I will say that it would make for great television, thats for sure. Besides, if they bomb they will bomb quickly so it shouldn’t be too bad…

      • Joe

        Let’s think with our brains, not our hearts. Again I have to say that super stars make bad coaches because they can’t teach what comes naturally, and usually fail. That stated, I would be OK with them as assistant coaches, earning their stripes, and learning the job.

        Let’s also remember, Hank is not getting any younger, why waste another year not winning, and possibly having the King walk? It makes no sense to me.

  • Ugh. I would look forward to Gretzky coaching us with as much success as he brought the team when he played for us – not much.

  • Part of me wants to see the spectacle of Gretzky coaching the Rangers, with Messier and Leetch as his assistants. That part of me is in direct conflict with the part of me that wants to see the Rangers win hockey games.

  • I just want the best coach for this team. Do I think Messier and Gretzky could as a coaching tandem help lead this team to a cup? Possibly!… I mean they have won 10 stanley cups between the two after all, and even if it was during their playing days it’s not like they’re a hot dog vendor from outside the garden or something interviewing for the job. Fans shouldn’t worry about another Bryan Trottier situation. This Rangers team, led by their captain, has shown the ability to play disciplined, smart, and good hockey. They’re ready to take the next step. I have faith in Glen Sather… a guy who’s won 5 rings himself, to bring in a good coach. His coaching choices since taking over the helm in 2000 have been getting better and better. I realize that statement leaves me open for a lot of potentially justified backtalk, but there’s no reason for doom and gloom, it’s not like we don’t already have the players that are good enough to at least compete for a cup. We have the talent. Regardless of the coach if we win all of us as fans will be happy. As nervous as we all are as fans, we all can’t wait for the offseason to really commence.

    • Torts was the perfect hire for the time. Glen knew exactly what the team needed then. I’m sure he’ll get the best coach for this team. Someone with experience and a resume.

  • Watching Rick Nash, I don’t see a gamebreaker – I see Alexei Kovalev. Like Kovalev, he has the talent to be a really great player. I’d like a coach who makes him what he can be – and that may be a natural, not an experienced coach.

    The idea that we can’t trust Messier to coach in this crucial time is the same as the idea that we can’t trust Kreider and Miller to play. That said, Sather needs to carefully evaluate coaching talent of any candidate.

    • I’m sorry, but I see no correlation between trust in Kreider and Miller to play at a consistent NHL level and trust in Messier to coach our team.

      You can ease players into their projected roles on the team. If by chance they don’t meet expectations, you can give them more time in a reduced role or send them elsewhere for more seasoning. Organizations don’t have the same luxury with coaches.

      By throwing Messier into a position in which he has no experience (to my knowledge) will be a complete trial by fire. If he can’t cut it, the team as a whole either has to deal with an ineffective coach for the remainder of the season or shake everything up and take a step backwards by replacing him.

      A comparable scenario to that of easing prospects into the game and letting them earn trust is that of Mess being brought on as a tertiary coach. As the season progresses and he learns a craft in which he has no previous experience, he can earn the trust necessary to play a larger role.

    • I don’t know what player your watching, Ray. Nash is absolutely a game breaker by any definition. I’d be weary of trying to judge his talent level by a 12 game sample in which he was double or triple teamed 90% of the time…

      • A player who doesn’t use his teammates effectively can be stopped by double teaming him. A player who uses his teammates effectively can’t. At least that’s my take.

        I was a strong supporter of the trade when Sather made it. I would not criticize the trade and hope that it still works out well. So far though, it has hurt not helped the Rangers.

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