New York Rangers Coaching Options Seem To Be Dwindling

Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

With Dallas Eakins supposedly in line to become the next coach of the Edmonton Oilers coach the path to a new coach is becoming more clear for Glen Sather.

The Edmonton Oilers generally don't do things that impact the New York Rangers. That wasn't the case on Saturday.

The Oilers fired head coach Ralph Krueger and while nothing is set in stone, it's largely believed that Dallas Eakins is the guy who is about to replace him. Some believe Eakins might be announced as head coach as soon as Monday, others think there might be a few more hurdles to jump. Either way, it seems clear that Eakins has found a dancing parter, and that partner isn't the Rangers.

It was believed that Eakins was on Glen Sather's short list of coaching candidates. That's obviously not happening if Eakins has found a job out West. Which means Sather's road to a new coach is getting shorter.

Let's say Eakins is officially off the list. The Dallas Stars are very interested in Alain Vigneault, Dave Tippett is still a Phoenix Coyote (and that probably won't change if you try to read the tea leaves) and let's assume Dan Bylsma doesn't get fired in Pittsburgh, to boot.

Guys like Mark Messier and Lindy Ruff are still on the radar and probably won't go anywhere anytime soon. I still maintain that Ruff isn't a true candidate for the Rangers (you don't hire a John Tortorella like coach when you just fired John Tortorella), but I still think the Rangers are going to do their due diligence on him.

There are other coaching options out there, but I do think the Rangers have their heart set on Vigneault right now. That's not to say that love wouldn't immediately shift to Bylsma if he were to be fired but that's not the point.

Right now the NHL is going through somewhat of a blender when it comes to coaches. If one of the Rangers' options finds himself someplace else then we might see the Rangers begin pushing this process forward a little quicker than intended. Or maybe not -- Sather's never been a general manager who allows his hand to be forced when he's sitting at the table.

So right now there's not much that we know.

That's likely to change soon. Especially since the Rangers' options are coming into focus.

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