Terry O'Reilly and Jim Schoenfeld, both
former NHL head coaches, were hired Wednesday by the New York Rangers to
be assistants under new coach Bryan Trottier.
Ted Green, who served under fired head
coach Ron Low, was the only assistant retained from the previous staff.
"I am extremely excited that Terry and
Jim will be joining Ted and myself in New York," Trottier said.
"Both men were true competitors as players and are highly respected
for their hockey knowledge.
"I feel confident that we all share
the same philosophies and are committed to returning the Rangers to the
elite of the NHL."
The Rangers have missed the playoffs the
last five years, including the last two under Low.
After retiring from the Boston Bruins in
1985, O'Reilly became head coach Nov. 5, 1986. As the 17th coach in
Bruins' history, he was 115-86-26 and guided the team to three consecutive
playoff appearances, including reaching the final in his first season.
O'Reilly, 51, played 14 seasons in the NHL
-- all with the Bruins. He had 204 goals and 402 assists as well as a
franchise record 2,095 penalty minutes.
O'Reilly was a favorite villain at Madison
Square Garden because of a battle with fans after a 1979 game. That night,
O'Reilly, and some Bruins teammates went into the stands to fight with
Schoenfeld, 49, was an NHL head coach for
10 seasons with Buffalo, New Jersey, Washington and Phoenix -- posting a
256-246-78 record. He led New Jersey to its first playoff appearance ever
in 1988, in which the Devils were within one game of the Stanley Cup
He played 13 NHL seasons with Buffalo,
Detroit and Boston. He had 51 goals, 204 assists and 1,132 penalty
The new trio will have to work together to bring this franchise back to
respectability, most observers are saying that the Rangers missed the boat
when they passed on Hitchcock, Nolan and Burns (who was hired yesterday by
the Devils to replace Kevin Constantine) but I am not feeling this way
anymore! Look at the success the Islanders had with first year coach Peter
Laviolette! Chemistry and communication I feel are the biggest factors in
bringing confidence to a team that has had an identity crisis for the last
The bench is set, and I have to say, "I truly am very pleased with
the selection that Sather has assembled" And most Ranger fans seem to
agree? Both O'Reilly and Schoenfeld were never really in anyone's
mind as assistants for the club, including mine! This is one hard
nosed team of assistants that will make Bryan Trottier's job a lot easier
than it would have been if he had been stuck working with the
"walking dead" in Kyle or Green. Green is going to remain on the
staff, I just wonder if he will ever be present behind the bench this
Sather has done a very good job so far, but
it remains to be seen if he can iron out some contract issues with certain
players like Richter, Messier and Ekman, whom I want to see signed this
year. Rangers who I feel will be traded if the right deal presents
itself, Radek Dvorak, Grosek, Johansson. Depending on the Holik
situation in Jersey, with Nedved bulking up this off season, and the lack
of centers the Rangers currently have, I'd expect the Rangers to hang on
to him now that he has worked his tale off this off-season.
By now I am sure most of you know that Theo Fleury will "not" be
coming back to play next season, am I surprised? NO. Too much went on this
year in respect to his mental state and ability to remain focused long
enough to actually help his team, and coaching staff. Also I feel with
Rucinsky here, and if Sather does resign him, Devo may be an excellent
player to move in a trade possibly on draft day? The draft is not as bad
as everyone thought, I see some promising prospects, and will submit
another round of draft dark horses next week.
So let the games begin!
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