Saturday, May 19, 2018

Quinn To The Rangers

Dave Quinn draws out a play with
BU forward Hank Crone in a
late-season game against Vermont
last February. It was Quinn's
100th win as BU's Head Coach. In
total, Quinn went 105-68-21 in
five seasons.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
According to various reports, the New York Rangers have poached BU bench boss David Quinn to fill their vacant head coaching position.

Quinn, first interviewed earlier in the spring and after taking the USA World Junior position, seemed to have put the Rangers on the back burner. In the coming weeks, NYR made a strong push for Quinn and kept sweetening the pot and would not back down. He was their man and they were not going to be denied.

The swirling chatter that  Quinn would leave for the Rangers started about a month ago. Despite a few Tweets here and there, it didn’t seem as if there was more than a small spark of a chance he would leave.

Yesterday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie all but dumped gasoline on that spark in a pair of tweets, saying:

ESPN’s John Buccigross stated in a Tweet earlier today that he believes Quinn will get a contract in the area of five years, $12 million. That works out to $2.4 million a year. At BU, Quinn probably makes half of that a year, at best.

Just to speculate on a replacement, I would have to say assistant coach Albi O'Connell is the front-runner. Along with him, former Terrier and current Boston Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco will be another top candidate. In addition, look for Jay Pandolfo to be in the running as well.

For all the success Quinn had at BU, he could never win. I don’t mean that he couldn't win games. He certainly could. He took the program to two Hockey East titles in four years and four straight NCAA tournament appearances, something that hasn’t happened since the late 90s. He was a period away from winning the national championship in 2015 before for well, you know what happened.

But he still couldn’t win with some. The amount of people who dumped all over Quinn while he was at BU is astounding. No matter what he did, it wasn’t good enough.

They said he was a good recruiter. He is. He’s fantastic. But that’s about the only credit he was given. They would say, “Oh, the only reason BU is good is because of the players they have.”

Yes, Quinn took a Jack Eichel led team within a goal of the national title in 2015. But don’t credit Quinn for that. No. It was all, 100% Eichel and most of that team were still Parker’s recruits… Right.

Then my favorite criticism of Quinn: His players don’t respond to his system. Ha… OK.

It seems when BU didn’t win (let’s use 2017 as an example), the “blame” was put all on Quinn’s shoulders. “Oh, they have all these NHL draft picks, they can’t even win the Beanpot anymore. The team just doesn’t respond to his system.”


Quinn had to start from scratch each year he was at BU. The 2017 team had a ton of talent. Yes, you’re right it did. The multiple draft picks that have flourished in the NHL so far (I’m looking at you Charlie McAvoy and Clayton Keller) dotted the roster. The team was a goal away from the Frozen Four and beat North Dakota in North Dakota in tournament play. That was a HUGE win for the program, if you’re asking me.

What gets lost in people’s minds when they see all these draft picks is that NHL teams pick these players in hopes they develop into better players in a few years and become NHL ready. For Quinn, no one head coach has been better at this than him over the past five years.

Sure, there are some examples of "bad coaching." Maybe the team shouldn't have played so defensively in the third period of the 2015 national title game and the Matt O'Connor goal never happens. But looking at last year and seeing what Quinn was able to do down the stretch with his line up was all the validation and proof you need to prove that he was a great coach.

Just because BU hasn’t hung a banner since 2009, doesn’t mean they haven’t “won.” It also doesn’t mean that “Quinn can’t coach” because they haven’t “won,” despite having the best recruiting in the nation.

Jack Parker was at BU for 40 years and “only won” three times. I never heard anyone say Parker couldn’t coach.

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