Blueshirts Usher In New Era With Quinn

By Matthew Blittner
Special Contributor to

A new day is dawning in RangersTown.

Less than 24 hours after being anointed the 35th head coach in Rangers’ history, David Quinn, 51, formally introduced himself to the New York media.

“A bit different from a B.U. press conference,” said the Blueshirts’ new bench boss.

And Quinn wasn’t the only one to address the media throng. Team President Glen Sather, GM Jeff Gorton and Assistant GM Chris Drury were also in attendance and spoke glowingly of their new head coach.

“It’s a very important day for the Rangers,” said Gorton. “We couldn’t be happier with our selection.”

“I’m really happy for him,” said Drury. “He’s dedicated to his craft and a very passionate, straightforward guy.”

Days like today are often a sign of change. And this was no exception.

The last time the Blueshirts hired a new head coach, they had just fallen short of their Stanley Cup expectations — getting knocked out of the playoffs in the second round by Boston in 2013.

John Tortorella’s ouster led to Alain Vigneault being handed the keys to the kingdom. And Vigneault promptly led the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final.

But nothing lasts forever. So, at the end of last season — when the Blueshirts decided it was time for a change — Vigneault was let go and Quinn became the next man up.

“I’m fair,” said Quinn, “And demanding. There’s no grey area with me and my players. It’s all about getting them to be their best. Practice is important, you have to show up every day trying to get better. I can’t wait to get started.”

“He was our first choice,” said Gorton. “It’s been pretty well documented that we had a good team for a long time. But it got to the point where we felt we had to start over. And we’re adding a coach that we feel can lead us in the right direction. It certainly helps when you know somebody for as long as Chris and I have known David. (Gorton and Quinn go back 25 years; Drury and Quinn 30 years.)”

“He was clearly the guy we wanted,” continued the Blueshirts’ GM, “His communication skills and attention to detail are very important. He’s a hands-on guy and a teacher. He’s here to help us improve and he’s the guy who will help us win.”

“Each day, talking with Jeff and Chris, it just became apparent that this was the perfect fit for me,” said Quinn. “When they first reached out to me it was different. But the more we talked, the more it seemed like this was a fit I couldn’t pass up.”

“At the end of the day, it’s about relationships,” continued Quinn. “It’s about having people skills and understanding what motivates people. All my stops helped prepare me for this. When I first left B.U. in 2009, I had knots in my stomach. But now, I feel ready. Like I said, it feels like a natural fit. It’s an exciting opportunity and our goal is to get better every day.”

And that exciting opportunity is only just beginning.

Learn the important facts about the New York Rangers new head coach David Quinn.

Now that the Blueshirts have their head coach, they have to fill out the rest of his staff.

“I hate timelines,” said Gorton. “We have a lot of work to do. There’s a lot of names out there. And for David, it’s important he has guys he can trust.”

It’s a busy time of year for hockey teams; the draft is only a month away. And so too is free agency.

For Quinn, there’s no time to stop and smell the roses. He’s being counted on to hit the ground running. And if there’s anybody that can succeed in such a situation, it’s him.

Today, Thursday, May 24, 2018, a new chapter in Rangers’ history has begun. And David Quinn is not only the subject, he’s also the author.

Welcome to New York!

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