When the Rangers went looking for the next Head Coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack and the man who would guide the American League affiliate as this new era begins on Broadway, the team made a choice to pursue a person who is both a coach and a teacher. In this case, quite literally.
That man is Kris Knoblauch, who on Monday was named the seventh Head Coach in Wolf Pack history. Knoblauch comes to Hartford after spending the last two seasons behind the Philadelphia Flyers' bench as an assistant coach, and having spent the seven seasons before that as a bench boss in junior hockey, coaching and developing the likes of Connor McDavid and other current NHL stars, and doing a whole, whole lot of winning.
Knoblauch "checked all the boxes," in the words of Chris Drury, and hiring him checks a big box off of the Wolf Pack General Manager's summer to-do list ahead of a season in which the Rangers will welcome a fresh flock of high-talent prospects, a group whose future will be shaped in part by the time they'll spend in Hartford.
"It was huge to find the right guy for this job," Drury said in an interview with NYRangers.com. "Finding the right guy is a big step for the Rangers, for the Wolf Pack and for the organization. We were determined to get it right, and we really feel like we did."
"To be able to be part of the regrowth and the development of these young players is just really, really exciting," Knoblauch told NYRangers.com on Monday. "I can't wait to get started."