On the New York Rangers …
Larry Brooks of the NY Post: believes if the Rangers are looking to hire a new head coach that brings a “no-nonsense culture and hard-edged identity,” then they could look at Scott Stevens. Stevens has been an assistant with the New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild.
College coach Jim Montgomery will also get some consideration.
The Rangers may need Ilya Kovalchuk more than he needs the Rangers. Both the Rangers and Kovalchuk can’t commit until the Rangers have a coach in place.
Michael Grabner had only scored two goals for the Devils in 21 games since the trade deadline. The lack of production will likely eliminate some teams when he hits the open market and increases the chances of him signing back with the Rangers. He still could double his $1.65 million salary. Would the Rangers go three or four years for someone who will be 31-years old at the start of camp?
On the New York Rangers and Ilya Kovalchuk …
Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports: Elliotte Friedman was on the NHL Network and was talking about how Ilya Kovalchuk is now eligible to speak with NHL teams about a contract for next season. There is the belief that Kovalchuk’s top choice is the Rangers.
“And there have already been reports out of Russia that there’s a two-to-three-year deal there. At this point in time, nobody is saying anything. Nobody is confirming that. But the belief is, as always, that he wants to be a New York Ranger, and the New York Rangers certainly have some interest. He can’t officially be signed to a contract until July 1, but people can talk to him.
“So we’ve got a bit of time here and there, but the word we’ve all gotten is assume Rangers until there’s reason not to assume Rangers.”