David Quinn coaches Boston University in 2015.


David Quinn: Rangers Job 'An Opportunity I Could Not Pass Up'

Blueshirts Formally Introduce New Head Coach

May 24, 2018 - 12:44 pm

By WFAN.com

David Quinn says it was a difficult decision to leave his alma mater for the New York Rangers but an obvious one.

The Blueshirts on Thursday formally introduced Quinn, who spent the past five seasons at Boston University, as the 35th head coach in franchise history.

MORE: Who Is David Quinn? 5 Facts About The Man Reportedly Set To Become Rangers' New Coach

"I'm 52 years old, and at this point in my life, to be able to be the head coach of the New York Rangers was an opportunity I could not pass up," Quinn said. " ... This was really the only situation that I would've left Boston University for."

Quinn has known Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton for 25 years and knows assistant general manager Chris Drury from their BU connections. During the selection process, the three spoke at length about their visions for the Rangers and knew they were on the same page, Quinn said.

"The longer we talked and the more we talked, it just seemed like a perfect fit," Quinn said. 

From Gorton's perspective, the choice was clear, too.

"As we went through this process, we met with a number of people and talked to a lot of good hockey people, and it just kept coming back to David as the guy we wanted and could see (as head coach) as we move forward with the Rangers and do what we have to do," the GM said. "His résumé speaks for itself. He's been a lifetime hockey guy, a lifetime coach. He's had success at every level."

Gorton added that he was impressed by Quinn's communication skills, feel for the game and coaching philosophy.

Quinn led Boston University to four NCAA tournaments and to the national championship game in 2015, when the Terriers lost to Providence. His record was 105-67-21.

He coached three first-round picks at Boston University. That number will reach four next month when top-10 prospect Brady Tkachuk is selected.

Quinn's knack for developing players was no doubt a factor in the Rangers' decision to hire him. Aiming to build a sustainable contender down the road, the Blueshirts last season traded away veterans Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller, Rich Nash Michael Grabner and Nick Holden for a host of prospects and draft picks.

"To me, it's just an exciting opportunity," Quinn said. "I know we do use the word 'rebuild,' but our goal is just to continue to get better on a daily basis.

"I like to think I'm fair and demanding," he added. "There's no gray area with me with players. They want to get better, they want to be held accountable, but the message has to be that this is in your best interest. It's not about me being the big, tough coach. It's about me letting them know that everything that we're doing is to make them better players."

Quinn's other coaching experience includes serving as the head coach of the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters from 2009-12 and as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche from 2012-13.

He said he knows there will be a learning curve to becoming an NHL head coach but is confident he'll make the transition.

"To me, it's all about having people skills and understanding what motivates somebody," Quinn said. "To me, that's something that, as you go through coaching, you learn those skills."

Quinn replaces Alain Vigneault, who was fired after the Rangers went 34-39-9 (77 points) and missed the playoffs last season.

Despite being in the midst of a rebuild, New York has a consistent force at goaltender in the form of Henrik Lundqvist. 

The 36-year-old just appeared in the fourth All-Star Game of his career this past season, and the new Rangers' coach is glad to have the veteran between the pipes.

"Without question, we're fortunate to have one of the great goalies in the game," Quinn told Mike Francesa on Thursday's edition of Mike's On. "I know people talk about his age, but that's a position where you can play later than most positions, especially when you take as great care of yourself as he does.

"As competitive as he is and as passionate as he is, he's going to have a chance to play longer than most at that position. We're going to do the best job we can to put the best team in front of him."