Some sad news to pass along as the NHL world learned of the passing of former coach and executive John Muckler last night, the Midland, Ontario native was 86 years old.
The Rangers organization mourns the passing of John Muckler. His distinguished career spanned more than 5 decades as a player, coach & executive in professional hockey, including head coach of the Rangers from 1998-2000. Our thoughts are with John's family & friends at this time. pic.twitter.com/30ZBEcqn0I— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 5, 2021
Muckler earned his reputation in the NHL as the head coach of the 1980s Edmonton Oilers, winning three Stanley Cups, two as a co-coach and one as a head coach. Muckler, of course, was named head coach of the New York Rangers part way through the 1997-98 season reuniting him with former Edmonton pal Wayne Gretzky.
While the idea was that Muckler could bring some experience from those mid-80s teams, Father Time had other things to say about that and the partnership did not last long. Muckler spent almost three seasons behind the Blueshirts’ bench and collected a 70-88-24-2 record in 160 games at the helm. He was let go along with then GM and Neil Smith who ultimately was then replaced by Muckler’s pal Glen Sather.
After departing the Rangers, Muckler spent time with the Ottawa Senators as their GM, and the Phoenix Coyotes as a senior advisor.