NHL Rumors: New York Rangers fallout, David Quinn hot seat, and Maple Leafs Morgan Rielly trade?

Rangers fire David Quinn
Feb 4, 2021; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach David Quinn handles bench duties during a game against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers fallout continues in the aftermath of the firings of both John Davidson and Jeff Gorton. ”We want to thank JD and Jeff for their contributions to the organization. They are both great hockey professionals who worked hard for the Rangers,” owner James Dolan said in the statement.

New York Rangers fallout continues after management change

Immediately after the dismissals, Dolan named Associate GM Chris Drury the next President and GM of the team. “Chris is a very sought-after executive and a strong leader, who has proven himself to be one of the top young minds in hockey,” he said. “We are confident he will effectively guide the team to ensure the long-term success we promised Rangers fans.”

However, the most shocking quote in the the statement was the following; “In order for the team to succeed in the manner our fans deserve, there needs to be a change in leadership.” A scathing comment no matter how you want to look at it.

new york rangers fallout
John Davidson and Jeff Gorton of the New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Rangers legendary captain, Mark Messier compounded the situation with a radio appearance later in the day. When asked about the Tom Wilson incident he said he didn’t expect the Rangers to respond to the Panarin injury because that’s not how they are built.

“In my opinion, if you’re going to win, you got to be able to win in the street and the alley,” he said. “I particularly would not have built the team that didn’t have answers in this regard.” A scathing statement just 30 minutes after JD and Jeff Gorton were let go.

You have to believe this is not the end of the changes for the Blueshirts.

David Quinn on the hot seat

The fate of David Quinn is now the next hot topic. He has done a solid job infusing the Rangers young prospects into the lineup and developing them. However, in his now three (albeit two were short) seasons his team has failed to make the playoffs. As of today, Quinn is 95-86-25 for his NHL career. A solid start but likely not good enough.

“[Chris Drury and I] haven’t touched on that yet,” Quinn said about his future. “Obviously, at the right time, myself, Chris & Mr. Dolan should certainly sit down and talk about every aspect of the organization, and coaching will be one of them”

Here’s what I know for certain in speaking with team sources, the management group of JD and JG loved David Quinn. He had their full support, but that is gone now. There is a press conference today at 10:30 AM where both Drury and Glen Sather will speak. Is Quinn the next change? We will find out.

Would the Maple Leafs trade Morgan Rielly?

I did not expect to see this in the rumor mill, but the Toronto Star had other ideas. Kevin McGran believes that the emergence of Rasmus Sandin could make Morgan Rielly expendable. Obviously it has a lot to do with cap and expansion but it isn’t a move I would consider.

Rielly would bring at least as big a return as Kasperi Kapanen: a first-round pick and top prospect. Plus it would create a roster scenario in which the Leafs could protect Travis Dermott on its expansion list. (Sandin and Timothy Liljegren are exempt.)

Toronto Star

Then again, when Steve Simmonds brought up Nick Foligno to the Leafs I dismissed it all too quickly. Lesson learned – you never know.