Rosen: Leetch almost returned to Rangers

Dan Rosen at had an interesting nugget of information this morning, noting that “Brian Leetch was prepared to move back to New York to join Mark Messier on the New York Rangers’ coaching staff” should Messier win the head coaching job in New York. Leetch would have been one of Messier’s assistants, likely –my assumption– working with the defensemen and the powerplay.

Instead, Alain Vigneault was named head coach, and Leetch wound up working in Brendan Shanahan’s Department of Player Safety office.

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  • Leetch went to the DPS Office and Messier is back with the Oilers. Those are two guys who you’d really want with the organization; I really wish Sather found a way to keep them around.

  • I know that there are going to be a load of guys who will want to kill me for the following remark, but what in the world makes anyone think that Leech would make a good coach?? For that matter, you can include Mess as well!!

    Over the course of history, be it in baseball, football, or hockey, great players for the most part make terrible coaches, while marginal players make great coaches!!!

    • I can’t believe it but I agree completely with you Walt.

      Personally I don’t want Messier or Leetdh as a coach because I would hate to see them fail. I can’t think of anything worse as a Ranger fan than a losing record and half of New York calling for Messier to be fired. It would be a fairy tale story that Mess came in and guide us to a cup but the chances of that happening are pretty slim and the impact of that failure is not something I want to see.

      Look at Wayne Gretzky in Pheonix.

      • Agree… and all the people pointing to Roy’s early success in Colorado, don’t overlook the years of coaching Roy accumulated coaching in Quebec Major juniors. Not any different from Dale Hunter earning his stripes behind the bench.

        I’m not for or against Messier and Leetch coaching at all… I just don’t think that The Show is the proper litmus test. Gotta prove your worth.

  • I’ll say the unpopular thing here: Messier, while undeniably a great player, is a prima donna. He left the Rangers when he didn’t get the coaching job citing that he needed to focus more attention on his rink project. Now he’s a consultant for the Oilers? Come on, this is pretty transparent. It would seem he felt entitled to the Rangers coaching position because he’s “The Messiah” and now he’s bitter. He ran back to the Oilers because they’ll hire anybody who’s ever worn their jersey, even for a position as vague as “consultant.” I could understand if he left the organization to pursue a coaching gig somewhere to get experience with the hope of someday coming back to lead the Rangers but this just reeks of sour grapes.

    • The key word in your post is “Entitled”, and I hate to agree with you, but you are spot on. If coaching was so important to Mess, he would have gone to the Wolf Pack and learned the trade!!

        • No, I’m just saying that if he wanted to coach, he would have gone somewhere to learn the trade. Sorry if you misunderstood me!!

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