In a bit of news with the AHL affiliate Hartford, the Rangers fired Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander. A former Wolf Pack/Ranger, Gernander served as the coach of the Pack for a decade starting in ’07-08 thru this season when they missed the playoffs. They finished a disappointing 24-46-6. The worst record under Gernander, who also was a AHL assistant for two years before taking over.
Rangers assistant GM Chris Drury will take over as Hartford general manager. He’ll replace Jim Schoenfield who’ll have a different role in the organization. Drury has become a hot commodity drawing interest from the Sabres before they hired Jason Botterill as their new GM.
The Rangers denied Buffalo’s request for a interview, intending to retain Drury for a bigger role. He’ll oversee the Wolf Pack, who have missed the postseason four of the last five years. Hartford clearly needed a change with some prospects struggling to develop consistently.
Part of it is a lack of talent. After leading scorer Nicklas Jensen’s 32 goals and 55 points, Marek Hrivik finished second with 40 points. Then former third round pick Adam Tambellini (13-22-35). Hardly inspiring. Cristoval Nieves wound up with only 18 points in his first pro year after a good training camp.
Only defenseman Ryan Graves remains on track to be a NHL player posting eight goals and 22 assists. With coach Alain Vigneault acknowledging his team is looking to add a young blueliner, Graves could be fighting for a spot this Fall with recently signed former KHL defenseman Alexei Bereglazov. The club also reached agreement with NCAA free agent Neil Pionk. He will get a look as will John Gilmour.
With the change will also come a new AHL coach. Who will it be? Time will tell.