Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun reports that while Rangers are interested in former Canucks’ coach Alain Vigneault, many think if Mark Messier really wants the job and is willing to commit he’ll get it as Glen Sather is said to be seriously considering "The Captain."
A league executive told Garrioch…
“If they surround Messier with a strong staff – a strong associate coach who can help with the X’s and O’s – then it could happen.”
…i know Garrioch is known for his wild rumors, but he was on the Gaborik trade before anyone else, so I have to at least acknowledge this report.
…as far as Messier goes, the only way I'd feel comfortable with him behind the bench is if the associate coach was Scotty Bowman. I really can't believe that Sather would take this leap of faith knowing it could ultimately lead to another Cupless season and Lundqvist signing with another team next offseason.
Meanwhile, Elliotte Friedman at CBC gives us a glimmer of hope that a Messier regime could work by giving us this quote from one of his sources…
"Being a head coach now is about delivering a message. And no one delivers a message better than Mark Messier. You have to find good people around him, but that can be done."
Former Penguins head coach and Rangers player Eddie Olczyk agrees that Messier needs to be surrounded by a great support staff (via New York Post)…
“He’s going to need to have people around him that have a lot of experience. I don’t care how many Cups you’ve won or how many games you’ve played or where you come from, you need to have that experience alongside you and that trust factor.”
…i'm sorry, but if you have to bring others in to hold Messier's hand on the bench, he shouldn't even be in the conversation. Period.
Finally, Friedman adds that before Sather makes any move on Messier, he is expected to wait a bit to see what happens with Phoenix Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett.
Last week, Coyotes GM Don Maloney said he has every intention of re-signing Tippett and has not given any team permission to speak with him.
The two sides are said to be close on a new deal, but Tippett wants more ownership clarity in Phoenix.
…Tippett has done an amazing job out in Phoenix under very adverse circumstances, so if things don't workout in the desert, I'd love to see him on the short list.
…sure, his Phoenix teams are very similar to the Rangers in that they like to play close, low scoring games, but with the lack of offensive talent in Phoenix, Tippett has almost been forced to play that way. Give him Nash, Stepan, Kreider and Callahan and I think he'd be more willing to open things up.