Musings

Thoughts on the Lindy Ruff rumors

Would the Devils really hire him?

In case you missed it, there are rumors that Lindy Ruff is one of the targets for the NJ Devils head coaching gig. Ruff was mentioned as the “mystery” and fifth candidate for the job by Elliotte Friedman. Ruff has been with the Rangers since the 2017-2018 season with less than stellar results for his role. As per usual, I have some thoughts.

1. Ruff has not been good with the Rangers. They’ve been a league-worst team on defense since he got here. The thing is, part of that is on the Rangers. Ruff has never been a good defensive coach. Why would two head coaches put him in charge of defense? Even his solid Dallas and Buffalo teams were questionable at best on defense. I’m sure he has some value, but not in this role. It’s like putting me in charge of jersey colors (I’m colorblind).

2. If Ruff is given the gig, let’s take a step back and recognize that the Rangers won’t magically become a defensively elite team. Some problems will be solved, likely with how the pairings are assigned, but that’s probably it. Remember that the overall system is still David Quinn’s. Also remember that Marc Staal still plays significant minutes for this team.

3. There are also four other candidates for the Devils, which means that Ruff has at best a 20% chance of getting that job. While it is certainly buyer beware, it is also Rangers beware. Ex-Rangers assistant Mike Sullivan won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Also let’s take a step back and recognize that aside from an atrocious October/November, the Rangers were near league-average defensively for the rest of the season. Food for thought.

4. Just a reminder that the Rangers still have the rest of their postseason to play out. So don’t expect these rumors about Lindy Ruff to go away any time soon.

5. One final thought on that list of coaches: Why aren’t new coaches being considered? The NHL really does recycle the same 40-50 names for head coaching jobs. Hockey is its own fraternity, and this illustrates some of the major issues with the system. On that list, only Gerard Gallant and Peter Laviolette have had any semblance of recent success. Only Alain Nasreddine doesn’t have preior head coaching experience. Maybe give the new guy a shot?

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  • If the Rangers can rid themselves of this albatross around their neck called โ€œLindy Ruffโ€. I would gladly forego the next 5 years of Xmas presents

  • I find this rumor hard to believe, even if it’s Friedman.

    Gallant or Laviolette would be my top candidates — and in Gallant’s case he’s hardly a retread or a recycle. He did a fantastic job in Vegas and the first time they hit a bump in the road they fired him. Gallant is a true “players’ coach”, that can be a positive or a negative depending on your viewpoint re: the team he would be coaching.

      • I met Gallant a number of times when he was the assistant coach of the Fort Wayne Komets (IHL) and then the Louisville Panthers (AHL). I always thought he would be a good NHL coach someday. Players loved him — even the “hard to please” ones, if you know what I mean.

      • Hey Mike. Quick question for you…
        “Are you the same Mike NYR/NJ from BSB, coming over here?” If you are, remember about 5 years ago, when I made a few “rare posts” on BSB, and got wind that you were from central NJ…and made mention that you have been to a sports bar/restaurant named, “The Fireside”? We agreed that we were going to get together one day, over there.
        Just wondering…are you the same man? ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks.

    • Gallant was a good Panther coach as well. If he can teach and motivate the young talented Ranger squad to play the game the way he did, with heart and determination. They will become a team to reckon with.

    • Rangers’ defense hasn’t had skilled players since Mac went to the Lighting, until Fox and Lindgren arrived, Staal started to play better, and as Dave mentioned after “October/November, the Rangers were near league-average defensively”. That was with Trouba not playing stellar defense. Shouldn’t Ruff get some credit?

  • Ruff’s tenure as defensive coach has been rough. For too long other teams ran roughshod over the Rangers’ defense. However they weren’t bad for roughly three months after a rough start. If he is made a head coach, his job might be rougher, but the Rangers will have survived their roughest period!

  • I find it very hard to believe that, with the other possibilities available, that Ruff would even get consideration.

    Maybe the Devs are trolling us.

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