Larry Brooks of the New York Post is reporting that the New York Rangers have hired Gord Murphy and Mike Kelly as assistant coaches. Brooks is also reporting that the Rangers are seeking a third assistant to round out Gerrard Gallant’s coaching staff, which is not at all surprising. It’s also not surprising to see that both hires have previous experience working with the Rangers’ new head coach.
Rangers have hired Gord Murphy, Mike Kelly as assistants to join Gallant's staff, Post has learned. Both have prior experience with Gallant. Blueshirts still seeking third assistant.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) July 12, 2021
This is a promotion for Murphy, who has been the associate head coach with the Hartford Wolf Pack since joining the Rangers organization on August 2, 2019. Murphy, 54, had his first NHL coaching job as an assistant with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2002-03 season. Since then, he has coached with the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers. He worked as an assistant under Gallant during his time with the Blue Jackets.
Kelly has a long history with Gallant and has served under him as an assistant coach since his days as the bench boss of the Florida Panthers. He was an assistant under Gallant for the Vegas Golden Knights and just won a gold medal at the 2021 Worlds as an assistant coach of Team Canada. According to behindthebenches.com, Kelly ran the penalty kill for the Golden Knights and was overseeing the power play for the Panthers.
This leaves Chris Knoblauch as the only bench coach left in Hartford with the Wolf Pack. One has to imagine that Murphy’s promotion has created a job opening for another coach to step in and work with Knoblauch for New York’s AHL affiliate.
Disclosure: the author of this piece is a co-owner and co-creator of Behind the Benches.