Does Lindy Ruff’s hire put pressure on Alain Vigneault?

lindy ruff

It’s been a bit of a wild offseason for the Rangers, but one of the less talked about moves was a change behind the bench. Jeff Beukeboom fell on the sword for the poor defensive play, and was replaced by Lindy Ruff. Ruff has been a head coach in the NHL since 1997, mostly with the Sabres before a stint with the Stars.

Ruff is an interesting hire. When he was in Dallas, he ran very similar systems to Alain Vigneault. Specifically, his Stars teams were big on a 1-2-2 forecheck with a hybrid zone/man defensive zone coverage. Special teams play isn’t all that unique anymore, but it’s worth noting that his penalty killing style was also aggressive, like AV.

This brought up a major question: Is Ruff here to put AV on the hot seat? If so, how hot is AV’s seat and when will Ruff take over?

It’s tough to gauge whether Ruff was brought in to put pressure on AV, but it’s worth noting that AV reportedly pushed for Ruff’s hire. It could be a simple case of bringing on an experienced coach who plays the same system to help what is likely going to be a young blue line with at least one rookie and one sophomore.

However it cannot be ignored that AV has taken a lot of fire for his lineup choices. Jeff Gorton has effectively taken away his toys (Glass, Girardi, likely one of Staal/Holden soon too), so now it’s on AV to adjust and dress some kids who he may not feel comfortable with yet. But remember, comfortable doesn’t always mean good. Comfortable can sometimes mean complacent.

If AV cannot make the necessary adjustments, if he continues to rely on ineffective players in big roles, if he continues to give big acquisitions minimal minutes, then he could very well be on the hot seat. We will discover a lot about AV in October, specifically with his deployment of Kevin Shattenkirk and Anthony DeAngelo. If Shatty gets the Yandle treatment and DeAngelo the Clendening treatment, then AV isn’t long for New York.

All this said, I don’t get the impression that AV is on the hot seat. He just signed a contract extension, and in all fairness, overachieved with last year’s roster (of course they under achieved in the playoffs, but we beat that to death already). For the haters, you’re stuck with him. I personally am intrigued by what he does with the defense. Terrified. But intrigued.

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    I hope the hell so!!!!!

    As stated, AV has no more toys to play with, so now he has got to do what management wants him to do, and if not, well the door will be wide open for him.

    Ruff is a good coach, has never had a top flight all around talented team that I can recall, but managed to get his team to play with gusto, and made the PO’s more often, than not. I hope he can get the defense to play well, we have plenty of talent now that two of the slowest players we had are gone, and we should be very mobile.

    I suspect that in the back of AV’s mind, he knows that there is a very good coach on his staff who can replace him in a heart beat, and it’s now time for him to defecate, or get off the pot!!!!!!!!!

    • But Walt, if AV is “Marv”, isn’t Ruff “Marv Squared” since he has coached in this league far longer AND had teams in Buffalo, especially early in his tenure more than capable of winning the Cup?

      That being said, I will say for the record, I wanted Ruff when Torts was fired. And if AV is canned and they bring in Ruff, that’s ok by me. I just dont see it happening this season unless the Rangers crap the bed.

      • E3

        AV is Marv, but Ruff isn’t simply because he never had the quality, and talented teams, with future HOFres, like the twins in Vancouver, and still crapped his pants. You and I will never agree on AV, I hate his style, his BS with the kids, and his unwillingness to adjust to game situations, and the way he plays his favorites. Respond if you must, but I’ll never change my thinking of the dude!!!!!!!! Have a good day Ed, and continue getting well…………

        • I’ve learned to respect AV but back in the day I wasn’t a fan of him but his playing system was a win win to me. The way he treats the kids is still a work and progress in what he really sees in them early on because Hayes and JT grew their games under his antics and playing style. Brady and Vesey saw alot of ice time for a couple of rookies and at first Buch was looking like a full time top liner so it’s not like he refuses to play them. Nobody will ever know why he over played Girardi or Staal but for your conspiracy it must because they were his “favorites”. I think it was because those guys are Sather’s prodigy’s and because it’s NY, nobody who gets paid sits unless you’re Richie in a playoff game.

        • WALT you are by far the biggest baby out there. You stomp your feet like a little girl if someone disagrees with you. Ruff isn’t here to replace AV. So keep complaining away !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • 3 E
        What early Buffalo team[s] was capable of winning a cup?
        Certainly never pre season favorites to win it all like in vancouver…or what 2-3 times has teams finishing first overall but underachieving in playoffs….

        • 1997-98 and 1998-99 Ruff had a team very similar to the Rangers teams in 2012, 2014 and 2015. No true superstars except the goalie, Hasek, who was arguably the greatest goaltender ever to play. Not that much different than what AV had to work with in his first two years.

          In 2005-06 and 2006-07, the team had some pretty significant talent. Drury and Briere were dangerous players. Vanek was a weapon. Pominville too. The 2006-07 team won the President’s Trophy the but lost in the ECF to Ottawa. Anaheim was totally beatable that year. Miller was a strong playoff goalie.

          So I’m not sure why Ruff is any more or less effective than AV. Both are great coaches who have had success but not the ultimate success.

          • They were good BUT not close to the devils, colorado, stars, detroit,,,,,even the bruins and penguins and flyers finished ahead of them…….in late 90’s..
            However 2005-6 had talent but not red wing, colorado, devils talent …..not even close….
            Looking back there were always 3-4-5 teams considerably better than them……
            That year jagr got 50 for us and then was let go by sather…..what a genius he was not!
            Any argument on three worst gm’s all time…..Sather, milbury and esposito…..
            Any thoughts of us kicking tires on jagr, Kovalchuk?

    • How does putting pressure on a coach make him coach better? That sounds like a stretch. If you don’t like the coach, fine. Lots of people don’t, you’re definitely not alone. I think what you’re saying though is just you think AV should be fired so somebody else can take over, right?

      Is lindy ruff the guy you would choose?

  • I’m sure Shatty would be pissed if he got the Yandle treatment….. zero penalty kill time and the most offensive zone time in the NHL.

    • Yeah, the only thing that puzzled me about AV’s Yandle usage was that he should have had him on the #1 PP unit. Of course, on this site, many regard Yandle as Bobby Orr. But he was not great in his own end and was a turnover machine so giving him more 5×5 time probably wouldn’t have worked out as well as his fans seem to think.

      • Yes I will agree with you on the Pp time. But the rest is way overblown. The guy wasn’t great in his own end.

        Rumor has it this guy Shattenkirk can actually play defense. And the rangers sales pitch had him paired with mac. So he will be used a lot more 5×5.

        • He may not have QB’d the #1 PP unit, but he ended up with the second highest PP TOI among defenseman while in NY.

          • True, but it’s still insane how he wasn’t given ice time over Girardi.

            Why wasn’t he immediately on the top pairing / 1st PP when we acquired him?

            How long does a coach need to ‘determine the obvious’?

          • “You wanted Yandle playing on his off side with Mcdonagh?”


            Err, isn’t Yandle a righty?

            Even if he’s not… yes.

            Hell, I’d take YOU playing over Girardi at this point.

            Or a traffic cone. At least that would have stayed upright more often….

          • Yandle is a lefty….and TB it seems would disagree with you. This is not exclusively an AV thing.

          • To be fair, I never said AV or the Rangers have a monopoly on bad ideas.

            If anything, it’s proof that invoking the moves of GM’s as justification for anything (ie, saying, everyone passed on Clendenning ergo he’s bad) is faulty logic….

          • Fair…but my point all along was that the only thing AV and the Rangers can be accused of is seeing league personnel in the same manner as most other teams. So a change in coach or GM likely doesn’t change that usage.

            I also think that limited fancy stat data can be extremely misleading–especially in the hands of fans.

      • Right, because DAN GIRARDI was clearly the better choice….. Also much better in his own end than STRALMAN…..


        Come on

        • WTF are you talking about? Where in my post did I say Girardi was a better choice? I said giving Yandle more ice time 5×5 would not have worked out as well as his fans (apparently you’re one of them) thought it would. That’s not mutually exclusive with being a better choice than Girardi you know but I’m not actually trying to make a comparison between the two. I’m just judging Yandle on his own merits.

          By the way, I don’t remember the link and don’t have time to hunt for it right now but when I looked up the turnover numbers Yandle’s were way higher than Girardi’s. Of course that’s balanced somewhat by Yandle’s greater offensive production.

          Just a tip, why don’t you try reading a little closer and with a little more thought before you reply? But I guess with a user name like ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE that wouldn’t be in character would it?

          • What am I talking about?

            Who would have lost their 5 on 5 ice time to Yandle?


            Not hard stuff, man.

            By the way, I’ll take someone who can actually play hockey over a relic from a bygone era every day of the week.

          • I had a response (but I edited it so it may take awhile to actually show up).

            What am I talking about?

            Who would have lost their 5 on 5 ice time to Yandle?


            Not hard stuff, man.

            By the way, I’ll take someone who can actually play hockey over a relic from a bygone era every day of the week.


            Also, the Stralman comment is, admittedly, non-sequitur & is from another post.

            I need more coffee, sorry.

            My bad on not editing it out.

        • Clearly in hindsight, I think most would agree that we’d rather have Stralman over Girardi these last few years. But at the time in 2014, I believe most if not every GM would have taken Girardi over Stralman.

      • You’re right. His GA60 of 1.78 was the lowest of every Ranger defenseman, gave up a whooping 40 GA in 82 games, 31% of all goals against, again the lowest of all Rangers defenseman, while being the highest Rangers defenseman in relCF%….

        Probably wouldn’t work out so well. All that data is way too positive and isn’t a part of #narrative huh.

        Know who else was a turnover machine right behind Yandle? Ryan McDonagh. Know these other defenseman are “turnover machines” as well, Erik Karlsson, Duncan Kieth, Kris Letang, Brent Burns, PK Subban, I could go on. But you know you have the puck on your stick a lot, you’ll have a lot more things happen. Well just discount that these defensemen all with high touches will have a lower turnover % relative to touches than say ol’ Dan with a lower number of touches and a higher turnover %.

        And another with hyperbole. Whomever said he was Bobby Orr? Oh that’s right no one.

        But you don’t want to hear any of that because of #narrative

  • I guess I am one the haters Dave mentioned in the article. I don’t really buy the rumor that AV brought Ruff in himself…who in their right minds would bring in an ex-coach who wants another gig and a potential replacement of yourself?

    AV would have a nice regular season again I am sure, but NYR wouldn’t go very far under his reign, just check out his records in the playoffs and there is a pattern there. As a matter of fact, Playoff records don’t really matter to AV, he would get another nice contract as long as he has good regular season records and one of the winiest coach in the NHL history that stuff. But to us Rangers fans, WE WANT THE CUP !!!

    • I suspect your right on the BS that AV advocated for Ruff…. They must think we are all on crack or something!!!!!!!!!

    • Someone who just got a nice contract extension, who knows he has the full faith of the gm, and who isn’t threatened by adding an experienced coach to the bench if he thinks it gives the team a better chance at success, that’s who.

      • It’s a 2 year extension, which means he may get cut after next year. It is what it is, don’t sugar coated it.

    • As a matter of fact, playoff records don’t matter to AV?

      Where do you people come up with this garbage? There’s no coach or player in the NHL who doesn’t want to succeed. These are the people who’s reputations and egos are on the line. They want it a whole lot more than us fans.

      • No….he doesnt care about the playoffs. He’s only won more playoff series (six) than any coach in Rangers history not named Lester Patrick. He has one more in four seasons than Emile Francis had in ten. He has double the amount that Torts had in roughly the same amount of games coached.

        Pretty good for a guy who doesn’t “care” about the playoffs. Seriously? That’s a new one!

          • Mike Keenan had a LOADED roster that he nearly imploded. AV has had a roster that would get SMOKED by the 1994 team.

            Anyway, that’s irrelevant. Your comment was about “caring about post-season”. Not the ultimate result that we obviously all would prefer.

      • To Chris F:

        Did you watch AV’s exiting speech this year after they lost to the Senators? He had a smile and said “we had a good season…” I don’t see the pain or sadness in his speech.

        This team should definitely beat the Senators this year and get into the final 4 to face Pitt, but repeated last min blunders costed them dearly. Don’t blame rookie coach Jeff Beukeboom, it was the head coach’s job and responsibility to fix the problem which AV failed to do miserably.

        Again, looking at AV’s past records in Van and NYR, they all look very familiar…great regular season success, not much successes in the playoffs…and NO CUP.

        • Not wanting success is not the same thing as not having success.

          But, while on the topic of success, AV took this team to the Finals and then the Conference Finals in his first two years with the organization. They fell short, for sure, but those were impressive runs nonetheless.

          In 2014, the Rangers fell short to a dominant Kings teams. But they still took the 5 game series to 3 OTs, including a double OT. That’s not bad coaching, that’s literally a series coming down to inches and breaks.

          In 2015, the Rangers went to game 7 of the ECF. They had no business making it that deep, with almost every single defensemen dealing with debilitating injuries and Zuccarello out of the lineup altogether. Given the circumstances, that was a successful campaign.

          In 2016 and 2017 things have admittedly slipped, but there has been a great deal of transition in the roster and the team has been contending with one of the weaker bluelines in the Conference.

          You’re right, AV has yet to bring a team all the way to the finish line. Few coaches do, however. It’s an elite league and a punishing playoff structure. Falling short with less than elite rosters should not be an indictment.

          • The Kings exposed Girardi for what he was, useless, and due to lack of any adjustments on the part of AV we lost. No ifs, ands, or buts about it!!!!!!!! Defend it all day long, the guy wins in the regular season, and then chokes his chicken in the PO’s……………..

          • “In 2014, the Rangers fell short to a dominant Kings teams. But they still took the 5 game series to 3 OTs, including a double OT. That’s not bad coaching, that’s literally a series coming down to inches and breaks.”

            Incorrect. In the 2014 Finals the Rangers had the lead going into the 3rd period in 4 of 5 games. Improper deployment of defensemen being dominated led to overtime and eventual losses in 3 of the 4. That’s not us “taking them” to 5…that’s us blowing it

            2015- again, injuries are an excuse. The head coach decided to dress 7 defensemen that game 7 knowing his group was hurt then preceded to play that individual only 4 minutes the entire game. Thinking that’s not a smart move (though smarter than the 2016 episode of dressing 7 and playing one exactly 0:00)

            And the “elite roster” argument again. Why do we bother playing the games if you have to have “elite” talent? Why didn’t Crosby win every single year? Or Gretzky or Lemieux? The “elite” talent excuse reminds me of Robert Stack in Airplane…..shut it down, there screwed. They’re hopeless let’s go home.

  • Can we please stop talking about Clendening as if he was some misused player that was a poor man’s Brian Leetch, please? At best, the guy’s a poor man’s Nick Holden. Just watch how Zach Hyman fleeced Clendo, sending him to the pressbox for life.

    • Clendo, McIlrath…it doesnt matter. When we have a 7D who isn’t playing, we will overrate him and tar and feather the coach for not playing him. It’s what we do.

      And of course, when all three–Girardi, Clendening and McIlrath all were available a few weeks ago, it was the supposedly “worst defenseman in hockey” who got the big deal from a GM (with a strong reputation for player evaluation btw), while our other two “saviors” got either another low dollar 7D type deal or a two way contract that screams AHLer. Pretty much validating AV’s (and Gorton’s) thought process here.

      And on this subject, of course, all we have heard are crickets. 🙂

      • I think you tapped in to something here.

        The easiest way to turn in to a top pairing defender: become the Rangers 7th defenseman.

        This is brilliant.

      • The same crickets we get when we ask for one–ONE– name of a player AV buried on the depth chart in his entire coaching career who then broke out with a new team.

        • Still searching! Wait….what about James Sheppard? Didn’t he go on to shine with the Kloten Flyers? Or maybe not. 🙂

          • Actually, that’s a good one and probably the only one where a case could be made. But, let’s not forget that if AV/Sather/Gorton were wrong there, they have a lot of company. Six teams in the last four seasons for Stemp. Ten teams in twelve seasons. Not exactly a resume that screams “keep him”!

            Still, I concede he would have been a better choice than James “Savior” Sheppard.

          • Not the missing piece but should have played instead of Glass. All season. Remember he was then traded for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

          • I find it funny how people lament over the lack of elite talent, then turn around and say, “see, it wasn’t the coach’s fault!” when said clearly non-elite talent fails to perform better than it did here….. As if that somehow absolves the coach from misusing such players…..

            How can you accredit the failure of ‘B-level’ players (as you’ve all said – there are really no ‘star’ forwards here) after their Ranger careers have concluded and chalk that up to the coach’s judgement?

            It’s circular logic…..

            As for the defense, I have a little theory – being told ‘you’re not good enough’ by a clown err coach with an undeserving .600ish win % may affect a player’s psyche, and subsequently how they play.

            And, for a player who requires confidence to play (Yandle with even the slightest hesitation is not a pretty sight), well the results are almost predictable…. And, given that 93/42 was always a pairing which was more than the sum of its parts (which really, ironically, only had success because of the system both players were in), well, the results aren’t exactly unexpected…….

            As for the other of the three amigos, I think I’ve said this before (lol), but, you guys wrote off Clendenning too soon etc.

          • So essentially you are now accusing McIlrath of not being mentally tough enough to handle not playing? Even though he made the team as the 7D and to this point has played more for AV than any other NHL coach. This is a kid who had to overcome a major near career ending injury in the minors and playing just half of the games he was healhty enough to play–THAT’s too much for him? And that small disappointment, which many NHL players deal with, affected him with three different organizations this year. That’s really the theory you want to go with?

            The league has spoken loud and clear. Girardi is still considered a starter worth investing in. Clendo is on his what, 7th organization entering his 4th year. McIlrath is considered a borderline NHL/AHL player.

            And all these things are exactly what AV concluded too. No different than the rest of the league.

            What all of them do from here is essentially irrelevant, because players improve and regress all the time. My point is, AV’s evaluation is no different than the rest of the league. So a coaching change would not likely have resulted in any different deployment–unless the coach was a blogger. 🙂

          • “So essentially you are now accusing McIlrath of not being mentally tough enough to handle not playing? Even though he made the team as the 7D and to this point has played more for AV than any other NHL coach. This is a kid who had to overcome a major near career ending injury in the minors and playing just half of the games he was healhty enough to play–THAT’s too much for him?”


            No, that dig was being flung at Yandle. I don’t know what system Gallant ran in FLA, but Yandle’s troubles struck me as being mental in nature.

            All I’ve said regarding 42 is, basically, we had no business playing Girardi (but not him).

            No one has shown me anything explaining why 5 is > 42 in terms of hockey. Perhaps you can Eddie?

            That & those two together (93 & 42) made for a decent pairing whose success has yet to be replicated by either player.

            On one hand I suppose AV does deserve *some* credit for that…. even if he’s also responsible for it not being a thing anymore.

          • The best example isn’t stempniak but Anton Strallman….played 2nd 3rd pair minutes most of the year, showed he was our best defenseman that year in playoffs…….and AV etc let him walk even though he stated publicly he would have given rangers a discount and really wanted to play here!
            If I am AV I walk into sathers office and DEMAND they resign strallman immediately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            They let a 1st pair right handed top 10-15 leave……
            He made hegmen better as he did to stall etc when he was here!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Rich-

            AV is not the GM. That was Sather’s call. And since Girardi had already been signed, to go four years with Stralman would have created other issues. That was Sather’s fumble.

            Believe it or not, not everything is AV’s fault.

          • Regardless of whose call it was, *anyone* who called for Stralman to be let go in favor of Girardi has no business being in hockey anymore.

            And anyone who didn’t (in that office) say a tremendous mistake was being made… well… they need to go as well.

          • At the time, in 2014, I dont agree. I suspect 80-90% of the league would have rated Girardi ahead of Stralman.

          • I don’t think Stralman counts as “someone who was buried in the depth chart for his entire career who broke out with another team”. He was a 2nd pairing defender with the Rangers who left as a free agent to play on the first pair in Tampa.

            He was hardly buried by AV. If anything he grew in to the player he is today while playing for AV. He was on like his 5th team before he came to the Rangers.

          • He was the guy that made Staal NOT look like one of the worst in the league

          • But Eddie…. how can you accredit the coach for this, but then fail to see that he also didn’t realize what he had in Stralman? And that he played GIRARDI over him!?

            If anything, it’s as he’s said himself – the doctors in NY are what saved his career… not AV.

            He was suffering from a nasty & undisagnosed case of lung mold which was killing his stamina.

          • But I would disagree with that. He became a top four defenseman with the Rangers. And that 2013-14 season, Girardi was clicking big time with McDonagh. It was under AV that Stralman became the guy who earned the big contract. That’s hardly “not AV realizing what he had in Stralman”.

            Sather had big decisions to make, and Stralman did not have the pedigree at that point to warrant higher consideration than Girardi. I have no doubt that if both had become UFAs, Most teams would have rated Girardi over Stralman at that time.

            And I know you didnt say this, but it bears repeating. The Rangers medical staff and management, including Sather and AV, were instrumental in getting Stralman the help he needed to deal with his illness. I doubt that Stralman (or any other player in the league for that matter) think the Rangers don’t care about the health and well being of their players. There is NO narrative out there that remotely supports such a statement.

        • Interesting. For one you want someone to do your work for you. Ok

          1. Valeri Bure. Montreal. Welcomed a trade to Calgary where he was a pretty damn good hockey player.
          2. Mike Ribero. Montreal. AV buried him And stigma kept him in minors. AYear after AV was fired, Ribero began to break out.
          3. Michael Grabner. Traded by Vancouver. From about Islanders waiver claim of Grabner:

          “Grabner only played 20 games for Vancouver before he was traded. As a result, neither player was given much ice time and didn’t have the best opportunity to develop their skills.”


      • Clendening seemed really pumped up for his future with the Yotes, he even called them still in a rebuild stage. It looks like he knows that they just acquired a fringe 2c and a backup goalie to help them make the playoffs.

        • He should be pumped. He signed with a bad team because he knows he has little chance to play on a contender at this point. 7 organizations have moved on from this guy.

      • Crickets are more entertaining than listening to the same appeal to authority to justify.

        I guess because dumb people do dumb things we should all follow suit. We can have a mass exodus of bridge jumping, hell people do it. I guess we can all launder and spend money we don’t have. Others do it.

        I pointed out about 10 dumb things NHL GMs have done in the past week. But keep appealing to a group that openly hopes outsiders like the young kid in Arizona fail cause he’s not one of them. I’m not a sheep. I use my own mind, not someone else’s.

    • Whomever said Clendening was second coming of Brian Leetch? Hyperbole much? He had one bad play, ok? Can we embed gifs of the Dan Girardi and Marc Staal highlight reel of GAMES worth of bad plays? Hell least just play that beautiful open ice pass Girardi made to Ovie for the goal.

    • It’s just that Clendo(and McIlrath for that matter) were better than Girardi.

      Now they got rid of all of them for a 9th D

      AV’s deployments squanders assets.

  • First of all, to the best of my knowledge anyway, this deal still isn’t official I don’t think. He isn’t listed on the Rangers website as an assistant coach or in any other role. But, I assume this is in fact true and will happen.

    Of course, we are going to hear the usual conpsiracy theories that are a generally a bunch of nonsense. But I think Dave is absolutely on target here. There is probably no “there” there. No one knows for sure, but putting my reporter instincts to work, this is how I see it–

    1) Gorton gave AV an enormous extension and raise at a time when he did not have to do so. I doubt that suddenly, he went from being thrilled with the coach to wanting to send him a message as a prelude to firing him. If that’s the way he is, then a lot of people will pause before considering working for such an erratic personality. Strongly doubt this is even remotely on Gorton’s mind at the moment.

    2) AV was a big fan of Ulfie. Ulfie left to pursue a HC position in the AHL. The hiring of Beuke was a very, very slow process, which suggests AV really wanted to find someone with more experience. Finally, there was no choice. He had to go with the inexperienced Beuke.

    3) I suspect AV and Gorton were not happy with his performance and perhaps felt that he was a bit overmatched. The fact that he wasn’t fired, and merely re-assigned within the organization, suggests that probably everyone agrees he was miscast in a role that he was not really well-suited to handle.

    4) Good assistants are hard to find. An opening was out there. Ruff and AV are good friends. When Bill Parcells needed an offensive coordinator, he hired Ron Ehrhardt, a former head coach, to run the show. In Ottawa, Guy Boucher brought in a former SC Champ, Marc Crawford, to be his assistant. These are very normal decisions, made by coaches who are generally confident in their ability and couldn’t care less about someone looking over their shoulder. Besides, we already have a similar guy in Scott Arneil, so what “message” is being sent to AV that wasn’t already present?

    BTW, Mike Sullivan was HC in Boston before joining Torts in NY. Was that “message-sending” too?

    Ruff wanted to work. The Rangers had an opening. Whenever you can add that level of experience to your staff, you will do it all day any day. For you conspiracy theorists, are you saying a coach trying to win should hire a lesser talent just to lessen the optics that he’s on the hot seat? Sorry, that’s silly.

    5) Last but not least, there isn’t a shred of reporting or of speculation from any legit source that I’ve seen that even remotely suggests this is some “message” from Gorton. If there was anything at all that even smelled of this, don’t you think Mackenzie or would be all over this?

    So, COULD a change happen if the Rangers are simply awful this year, similar to Columbus a few years ago? Sure. And I would be the first to say “do it”. But as of today, this is simply a great move to beef up an assistant coaching staff that probably needed it.

    • Thanks Eddie for the rational take on this. There simply is no basis for the speculation that Ruff indicates AV is on the hotseat. All indications are quite the opposite.

    • While I agree that Ruff wasn’t hired to ‘send a message’ or anything like that, even you must admit the comment from Gorton about playing Shatty was intended towards him. IE, management still isn’t thrilled over how Yandle was … handled, despite still having confidence in the coaching staff overall.

      So, while I don’t think he’s on the hot seat, he will be if he screws around with the presumable McD/Shatty top pairing & the Rangers fail to win.

      • If they were pissed about Yandle, he wouldn’t have gotten such an enormous mega-deal.

        But sure, he needs to play Shatty…a lot. 🙂

        • Not necessarily…. I don’t know too many organizations who get everything right, nor do I think too many expect people who work for them to get everything right.

          I just don’t think Gorton makes that ‘extra’ little comment if there’s nothing there at all whatsoever (even if they did give him that extension).

          Sure, maybe it’s nothing, I could be wrong… but that was my impression of it.

  • AV is not looking over his shoulder. He wins many playoff games and makes money for the team, Ka ching, Ka ching. His misuse of players could be explained by Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational, though that’s just my opinion.

  • If he isn’t looking over his shoulder he doesn’t really care. He gets paid no matter what. Total lack of pride! It shows when he plays players with broken parts and loses people on a bench with 13 people on it.

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