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05-28-2004, 11:22 AM
Park #2
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Originally Posted by Leetch

The Hartford Wolf Pack will try to stay alive in the AHL playoffs tonight. But even if the Rangers' farm team goes out in the conference finals, Wolf Pack coach Ryan McGill is looking at a bright future.

With Jacques Martin having taken the Panthers job on Wednesday and Joel Quenneville having been eliminated from contention by president Glen Sather, McGill is not just the leading candidate to become the Rangers' coach, he's almost the only candidate. Former Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice has spoken with Sather and former Coyotes coach Bobby Francis is on the radar screen, but neither is considered a strong option by Sather, who has long preferred going with coaches he knows personally.

McGill, in his second season as Wolf Pack coach, led the team to the Eastern Conference regular-season title. Labor strife is another reason for considering McGill. If there is no 2004-05 NHL season, McGill, 35, can get another year of seasoning with the Wolf Pack, which would play even with a lockout at the NHL level.

Sather has been unavailable for comment of late, but he took in Hartford's Games 3 and 4 of its current playoff series to watch top prospects Jozef Balej, Fedor Tyutin and Dominic Moore as well as McGill and assistant Nick Fotiu.

Vice president of player development Tom Renney, who coached the final 20 games this past season, has not been told by Sather what his role will be, according to team sources. Renney is focused on the June 26-27 NHL draft; the Rangers have six picks in the first two rounds.

I'm not upset with this at all. I'm wondering why Quenneville was eliminated from the search though. I guess Sather just didn't think of him as a good fit, as many of you don't either.
Sather and JQ have never had a strong personal relationship - dating back a years.

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