The New York Rangers have formally announced Gerard Gallant’s coaching staff of Gord Murphy, Mike Kelly, a previously unannounced third NHL assistant in Jim Midgley, and the hiring of Steve Smith for the Hartford Wolf Pack to join Kris Knoblauch.
Midgley, 43, most recently served as a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, and is currently serving as an assistant for Team Canada at the Women’s World Championships in Calgary.
Prior to that he was an assistant in the German DEL league, and spent nine years coaching in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs and the Halifax Mooseheads.
Overall, Midgley has been behind a bench as a coach since 2003-04 where he got his start with Acadia University. His playing career as a center was mostly limited to the OHL and U Sports, and his coaching career started after his first and only season playing with the Fort Worth Brahmas of the CHL.
Here’s his full team history via Elite Prospects.
Smith, 58, is a former NHL defenseman who tallied 375 points in 804 career games and won three Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers from 1986-87 to 1989-90. He first served as an assistant coach in 1997-98 with the Calgary Flames, returned to the league as a scout with Chicago from 2008 to 2010, and then returned to the Oilers bench from 2010-11 to 2013-14.
Next up was a stint in Carolina from 2014-15 to 2017-18, and his last gig was with the Buffalo Sabres from the start of the 2018-19 season to March 17, 2021. Smith is effectively replacing Gord Murphy as a defensive minded coach in Hartford, and has a similar level of experience both playing and coaching.
With Galant’s staff finally rounded out behind the bench, the Rangers are inching closer to opening up for training camp. The only thing that still needs to be finalized is a roster, and it remains to be seen if Chris Drury has any more moves up his sleeve. Things he remained at a standstill on the Jack Eichel front, and it will be interesting to see if there becomes a breaking point where the Rangers move on completely and pursue other options.