Rangers Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jim Schoenfeld stepped down from his position today.
"In nearly two decades with the Rangers, Jim made an impact on every level of the organization," Rangers President Glen Sather said. "His tireless efforts and contributions were vital to the extended run of success we experienced during his tenure in New York."
Schoenfeld was a member of the Rangers organization for 17 seasons (2002-03 - 2018-19), dating back to when he was named an Assistant Coach with the Blueshirts on June 12, 2002. During his tenure in the Rangers organization, he served in several capacities, including as an Assistant Coach with the Rangers, the Rangers' Assistant General Manager, the General Manager of the Rangers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate (either the Hartford Wolf Pack or the Connecticut Whale), and the Wolf Pack's Head Coach. He served eight seasons as the Rangers' Assistant General Manager, Player Personnel prior to being promoted to Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager on July 1, 2015.
Schoenfeld served 14 seasons as the General Manager of the Wolf Pack/Whale (2003-04 - 2016-17), and he served as the team's Head Coach for two seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07). He played a vital role in developing the organization's pool of prospects, as several Rangers developed under his guidance in the AHL before becoming key contributors in New York. During his tenure as the Wolf Pack/Whale General Manager, players such as Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, J.T. Miller, and Artem Anisimov made their professional debuts in the AHL before being called up by the Rangers. In addition, in Schoenfeld's two seasons as Hartford's Head Coach, he oversaw the progression of players such as Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, and Brandon Dubinsky before they joined the Rangers on a regular basis.
Through his work at the AHL level, while simultaneously serving as the Rangers' Assistant General Manager, Schoenfeld helped the Blueshirts achieve a sustained level of success. Over a 12-season span from 2005-06 - 2016-17, the Rangers were one of four NHL teams that reached the playoffs 11 times and were the only NHL team that was not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs prior to the start of a regular season game during the stretch. New York played in more playoff games than any NHL team over a six-year stretch from 2011-12 - 2016-17 (93) and was the only NHL team that won at least one playoff series in five of those six seasons. During this stretch, the Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14, won the Presidents' Trophy for having the best regular season record in the NHL in 2014-15, were Division Champions twice (Atlantic Division Champions in 2011-12 and Metropolitan Division Champions in 2014-15), and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final three times (2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15).
In 2014-15, the Rangers and Wolf Pack were the only NHL and AHL teams from the same organization to reach the Conference Finals in their respective league, marking the first time in franchise history that the Rangers and their AHL affiliate reached the Eastern Conference Final in the same season. In July of 2016, Schoenfeld received the Thomas Ebright Award in recognition of career contributions to the American Hockey League.
Prior to beginning his tenure as a coach and executive with the Rangers, Schoenfeld served as a Head Coach in the NHL for parts of 10 seasons. He served as a Head Coach for 580 regular season NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, and Phoenix Coyotes, posting a 256-246-78 record (.509 points percentage), and he guided his team to a playoff berth in six of the 10 seasons. In 1987-88, Schoenfeld was named the Devils' Head Coach with 30 games remaining in the regular season. He guided the Devils to a 7-0-1 record over their last eight games of the season, including a five-game winning streak over the final five games, to help the team clinch its first playoff berth since moving to New Jersey. Schoenfeld proceeded to lead the Devils to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final during the 1988 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
A native of Galt, Ontario, Schoenfeld played parts of 13 NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins. The defenseman skated in 719 career NHL games, registering 51 goals and 204 assists for 255 points, along with a plus-236 rating and 1,132 penalty minutes. Schoenfeld played in two NHL All-Star Games and was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team in 1979-80, as he led the NHL with a plus-60 rating during the season. Schoenfeld served as the Sabres' captain for three seasons, and in his first season as the team's captain in 1974-75, he helped Buffalo advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Schoenfeld is a member of the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame and the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. In addition, Schoenfeld was inducted into the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.