He said that the key to this decision will be for Mark Messier, as part of the Rangers organization, to be supportive of whatever decision Glen Sather makes and not pout if he doesn't get the job.
Smith said that Messier will need to be especially supportive if the new coach gets off to a slow start.
In the NY Post, Brett Cyrgalis spoke with former Ranger Eddie Olczyk about the idea of having your first coaching experience come in the NHL which he did with the Penguins in the mid-2000s.
Olczyk says that if Messier is to get the Rangers head coaching job, he will need experienced assistant/associate coaches.
In 2003-04, Olczyk had Joe Mullen, Lorne Molleken and Randy Hillier as assistant coaches.
Molleken coached parts of two seasons with the Blackhawks in the late 90s but was a head coach in Saskatoon of the WHL and in the AHL in the 90s.
Mullen and Hillier were assistants with the Penguins prior to joining Olczyk.
A main difference between Olczyk's experience and what would be Messier's is that the Penguins were in desperate need of a rebuild and one of the worst teams in the league. Olczyk says that he thinks the Rangers are one or two pieces away from joining the elite ranks of the NHL.