The New York Rangers rounded out their coaching staff, hiring several new names to join Gerard Gallant behind the bench this season. Gord Murphy, Mike Kelly and Jim Midgley have been hired as assistant coaches with the Rangers, while Steve Smith has been named an assistant coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack.
This group brings plenty of familiarity to the bench, as both Murphy and Kelly have previously worked with Gallant at the NHL level. The latter in fact has been something of his right-hand man, coaching with both the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights, Gallant’s previous two stops. Murphy coached with Gallant’s Columbus Blue Jackets but isn’t a newcomer to the Rangers organization. He served as head coach of the Wolf Pack and has stepped into roles with New York whenever necessary over the last few years.
Midgley, a newcomer to the NHL, can actually be seen right now at the IIHF Women’s World Championship where he is serving as an assistant coach for Team Canada. The 43-year-old has never held a coaching position in the NHL but did serve as an amateur scout last season for the Philadelphia Flyers. Before that, he was the head coach of the Halifax Mooseheads for a season and even had some time coaching overseas in the DEL.
The Rangers have a new focus this season under new leadership and will be pushing for a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. With newcomers like Barclay Goodrow, Ryan Reaves and Sammy Blais, they should be a much more physical group, making it tough to play against them every night. Whether that results in more wins remains to be seen, but Gallant certainly hasn’t had much trouble in that department recently. The head coach held a .601 winning percentage in his two-plus years in Vegas.