In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers should make Mark Messier the head coach of the Wolf Pack and allow him to gain experience running and managing his own bench so that he could one day be a more formidable candidate to become a head coach at the NHL level.
Brooks says that the team could make Ken Gernander an associate coach but he doesn’t specify whether that would be with the Rangers or the Wolf Pack.
By coaching in the AHL Messier would allow himself to expand the pool of potential teams that would hire him as the two teams who have had interest in him coaching are the teams that he has deep rooted history with and long term connections.
Brooks writes that Messier needs to understand that it wasn’t he who was passed over for the job, but that it was his lack of experience and resume in coaching that was.
Elliotte Friedman wonders at CBC what the future holds for Messier and if he will take over for Sather as GM when Sather retires. Friedman says that it would be tough for Alain Vigneault to report to Messier since Messier wanted his job.
Adam Rotter: If Mark Messier truly wants to be a head coach the then this is the route he should take. The question is if Messier wants to be a head coach at the NHL level or if he wanted to coach the Rangers at this point in time. Messier can continue to work in management, eventually become the President of the team and in essence control the direction of the organization.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that there is not yet any indication of what Mark Messier will do and whether he will stay in his position as Special Assistant to Glen Sather.
7:17AM: 6/4/13: In the Ottawa Sun, Bruce Garrioch writes not to dismiss the idea of Messier becoming coach of the Rangers. He says that if Messier shows that he really wants the job and will commit to the work, he could get the job.
Garrioch writes that Glen Sather is considering Messier but that he would need a strong associate head coach with a lot of experience to run the technical aspects.
7:32PM: This afternoon on TSN Radio, Darren Dreger said “When I first approached those close to Messier there was resistance because John Tortorella had just been removed and they wanted to be respectful of Torts and wait a little bit of time before they threw Mark’s name into the mix. Only a wee bit of time, but he is in the mix. Whether he is the right man for the job, that is up for the NY Rangers management to determine, but Messier is more believable than Gretzky. I don’t think either one will get the job.”
11:34AM: Over the weekend, Elliotte Friedman reported on HNIC that Mark Messier was offered the head coaching position of the Edmonton Oilers last year and turned it down due to family reasons.
Friedman and Glenn Healy both said that Messier is seriously considering making a push for the Rangers vacant head coaching position.
5:36PM: Bob McKenzie said on TSN Radio earlier today “There is the Messier route, he has no experience but he is Mark Messier. I don’t know if Mess wants to do it. I know a year ago, after the Oilers fired Tom Renney and didn’t name Ralph Kruger as head coach, that they investigated that possibility of Messier coming home to Edmonton as a coach. I don’t think Messier was either a) up for coaching at the time or b)going back to the Oilers. I think he is intrigued by the notion of doing something more than he is doing. Does he want the whole enchilada, jump in with two feet. Does he want to dive in head first?”
5:18PM: Katie Strang of ESPN NY sent out a tweet saying that the Rangers will definitely not overlook the idea of making Mark Messier the head coach.
The only head coaching experience that Messier has is for Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in 2011 for Team Canada.
Darren Dreger tweets “Let’s not forget Messier had extensive talks with the Oilers about coaching a year or so ago. He shouldn’t be discounted as a NYR candidate.”
Larry Brooks reported in 2009 that prior to Messier returning to the Rangers as a Special Assistant to Glen Sather, Messier had interviewed with the Oilers for the job that ended up going to Pat Quinn.
THIS SECTION is all about Messier and his current role with the Rangers.
Adam Rotter: I have thought that Messier would step into a larger role with the Rangers when Glen Sather steps away. He would assume a role similar to the ones that Cam Neely, Joe Sakic, Ron Francis have, high level player personnel/President type roles, and be a big voice in the front office.
Sather has asked Messier to coach before and I would bet it’s a conversation that comes up again. If Messier is interested it would certainly take the organization in a different direction but put them behind a familiar leader, one who is one of the most popular and important players in team history. My gut feeling is that Messier will stay where he is in the organization and that the Rangers will hire a more experienced coach. That being said, I really didn’t see them firing Tortorella.
We like the direction the team has gone in the last couple of years. We added some strong pieces to the group. And of course, when you have a goalie likeHenrik Lundqvist, you’re always in the game. We feel pretty good.
“I entered into this position I am right now to try to gain as much experience in as many different areas of the game, to learn as much as I can about as many different aspects of the management side. So, basically, I’m just trying to gather as much information as I can right now. I think it’s also important, going through the process, to get an understanding of what I really like about that management side, where I really feel comfortable and how I can help the most, and what my real expertise is.
I think that Messier’s future is within the organization and that he won’t do what Steve Yzerman did and leave to take a GM job somewhere else. In time, Messier will have a big role with the Rangers either as GM, President or possibly even coach. All of this seems to be down the line though as John Tortorella is signed up with a three-year extension and Glen Sather may never leave.