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Patrick Roy not a coaching candidate, Laviolette/Hynes the front-runners

June 5, 2023, 6:23 PM ET [464 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Patrick Roy as the possible coach of the Rangers, the hope of some and pipedream of others, appears to be no more. Mollie Walker of the NY Post reported today that Roy will not receive an interview and is not under consideration for the job. Peter Laviolette and John Hynes are the front runners for the position.

To me, these sentences from Walker sum up the mistaken thought process well. It's as if fear of the past, rightfully based on his time and exit from Colorado, drive the current decision. Wouldn't it behoove the GM of a team to complete his due diligence by having a face to face discussion to see if his time in the QMJHL has mellowed Roy's personality and approach?

No one can dispute how the Remparts fed off his fire and thrived in the structure of his system this season, which was evident in the love that poured onto the ice for Roy after the final buzzer sounded on their 5-0 rout of the favored Seattle Thunderbirds on Sunday.

His outspoken passion and colorful personality makes him an enticing option, but also a risky one.

The Rangers, however, appear to be erring on the side of caution for this incredibly important hire.

Perhaps Roy’s memorable exit from the Avs, in which he cited an unaligned vision with the front office, has made NHL teams wary of the 57-year-old.

The possibility exists that Roy, who served as head coach and GM of the Memorial Cup winning Remparts, did not want to interview for the job. But given that he is stepping away from both of those jobs, I would find it odd that he wouldn't want to get back in the NHL. Maybe the lack of overall power was a turn off, but at least have the discussion.

Instead, all signs point to retread and retread, in Laviolette and Hynes, as battling it out for the job. Jay Leach looks to be a long shot while Kris Knoblauch, who I believe was hired by Drury as the head coach for Hartford, is not truly under consideration. Maybe Drury is running through all the candidates and will pivot last minute to one of the neophyte coaches, though don't count on it.

Walker added that "Hynes can be fiery, while also bringing a decisive outlook on how to handle things. On the other hand, Laviolette relates to individual players well." Neither have had substantial success recently, nor are they bold choices, just a very slight pivot away from what New York had with Gerard Gallant. That begs the question then as to why the move was made and if a plan was in place or the firing was a knee-jerk type reaction to the post-season player meetings.

Arthur Staple mentioned the above, in terms of what is/was the plan, in his column today.

Staple did add in this information, which shows what the two front-runners bring to the table as well as lack.

Both Laviolette and Hynes are known for installing systems that emphasize an attacking forecheck and a strong defensive structure, sometimes to the detriment of creating offense.. Laviolette, despite being in his fifth NHL coaching stop, showed an ability to adapt in-game and to the world of data-crunching... in Nashville, where Hynes replaced Laviolette three years after the Preds went to the Final, a team with some veteran talent and solid goaltending never could score enough under Hynes.

Laviolette is also the ultimate Hockey Guy — if he’s the next Rangers coach this will be his sixth stop, fourth in the Metro. There’s an assumption that he could be set in his ways and the “here’s our system, let’s get it done” attitude clearly wasn’t a fit for this group under Gallant. Laviolette and Hynes are both known as personable coaches who take some care to get to know their players, so one of them could find a way to get through to Alexis Lafrenière, could find what makes Artemi Panarin tick and bring him to another level in the playoffs, and could install a system that can accentuate a higher-speed attack that leads to better five-on-five play.

If one of the two is hired, hopefully I am proven 1000% wrong with my view and opinion and either leads the team to the promised land. If so, I will be happy to eat my words. I just don't see that being the case right now. In addition, maybe they are waiting for Joel Quenneville to have his hiring, but if Roy is viewed as polarizing, how would Q fair with the fanbase and media? If that is not a driver, then wait to see what happens with q to exhaust all possibilities, especially since few open coaching slots remain.

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