David Quinn, Chris Drury, Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton met with the media during a press conference today to introduce Quinn as the Rangers next head coach (SNY).
- David Quinn: On the process, "when they first reached out to me it was certainly a job that was different unlike any others. I have been fortunate to be approached by some NHL teams in the last three-years but when it's the Rangers it's different. The more we talked, the more this just seemed like a fit I could not pass up. Where we are at from a rebuild standpoint, the relationship with Jeff and Chris, the opportunity to talk freely, we all seemed like we were on the same page. Through the process of talking with them, every time they said that this is something they were looking to do, instinctively I would say to myself that this is kind of my coaching DNA. As time went on it seemed like a more natural fit every time we spoke."
- David Quinn: On player relationships, "at the end of the day it's all about relationships and you don't have a similar relationship with a 20-year old that you do with a 35-year old, I was fortunate to coach at the NHL level where I have dealt with guys that are older and with big contracts. For me it's all about people skills and what motivates somebody, that is something that as you go through coaching you learn those skills. One of the things I felt comfortable with in taking this job is that I have been fortunate to coach at the NHL level, the AHL level and all of those stops have prepared me to handle situations like that."
- David Quinn: How conflicted were you about leaving BU, "I was conflicted. When you are in the situation I was in. One of the great things about college hockey is that you are more than a coach, you develop lifelong relationships, you have an impact with players on and off the ice and one of the things that drew me to coaching was how much coaches meant to me in my life and I was hoping to have that type of impact on our players. I was coaching at my alma mater, cocahing with people I loved, working for people I loved. I felt there was some unfinished business but the longer this went on, at this stage of my career, the relationships with Jeff and Chris, where we are at as an organization, my relationship with Jeff and Chris and it's the New York Rangers."
- Jeff Gorton: On rebuilding, "I think it's pretty well documented that our team had a good run for a long time, we got to a point where our franchise needed a change and go in a different direction. A number of trades and transactions that led to where we are now. It's an exciting time. When you go through something like that it's an eye-opening experience, hard experience but at the same time it's really exciting. We see some of our young players coming, we have a lot of good players on our team still and we are adding a coach that we think a lot of to lead us in the future."
- David Quinn: On the opportunity to coach a rebuilding team, "For me it's an incredible opportunity. I am familiar with a lot of the players, I've been fortunate to coach some, know some. At the end of the day this is about coming to the rink every day, making every individual better and making the team better. Winning and losing will take care of itself. For me it's an exciting opportunity and I know that we use the word rebuild but our goal to get better on a regular basis."
- David Quinn: On the BU connection and Chris Drury, "Both, I've known Jeff for 25-years as well. It was a combo of the relationship with Jeff and Chris, and we have always talked hockey for a long time. When you go through this process you talk a little bit more in-depth and find out more about each other and it just seemed like the longer we talked and the more we talked it seemed like a perfect fit. To be on the same page and to have an open dialogue, when we start this, it was a huge piece of my decision."
- David Quinn: On his coaching style and culture he wants to create, "I like to think that I am fair and demanding. There is no gray area with me with players. They want to get better and 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 letting them know that everything we we are doing is to make them better players. When a player realizes that and how much you care about them, there is a trust factor that creeps in and that is where success happens."
- David Quinn: On going from NCAA to NHL, "being a first time head coach in the NHL, there will be a learning curve, I actually said this to Chris and Jeff when we were talking, when I left BU in 2009 to become a head coach in the AHL for the first time, I had never coached pro hockey and there was a knot in my stomach because of some uncertainty, I was very fortunate to coach at a lot of different levels from the National program, to college to the AHL to the NHL and there is no knot in my stomach today. I think that all of those steps along the way have prepared me for this, probably have normal learning curves as a first time head coach, but I can't wait to get started."
- David Quinn: On Henrik Lundqvist and how he fits, "Henrik is one of the best goalies in the world. Everybody knows Henrik here, I haven't had a chance to talk with him yet but no one is more committed, no one works harder and I am excited to have him as our goalie."
- David Quinn: On skill development and developing players, "we are going through the stage of figuring out what the roster is going to look like. You want to spend as much time with the individuals as possible, we have systems but the concepts within the systems will be important. Stick positioning, angling, all the hockey terms that you need to do to become a better player whether it's from a forecheck standpoint, a D-zone standpoint, you need to work on these things daily in practice and practice is important. You gotta come to the rink with a game-like mentality and work on getting better. We are going to do that, be in great shape, our practice will be fast and there will be a lot of attention to detail."
- David Quinn: How did you feel about the Rangers as a kid, "do I have to answer that? (laugh) Being from Cranston, RI and growing up in the Bobby Orr era. My idol was actually Ray Bourque as a hockey player but my real idol was Larry Bird. Ray Bourque was someone that I had an awful lot of respect for as a player, just the way he handled himself. I was a defenseman and he was someone that was one of the elite players of all-time. I've been fortunate to get to know him, coached his son at one-point, those are the guys I was drawn to. The Bruins were my favorite team....the Rangers were second favorite."
Quinn then met in a smaller group with reporters and said (SNY):
- On how he felt when the Rangers first reached out, "as coaches we all think about perfect scenarios and it's every coaches dream to coach in the NHL and I am no different, that said, I thought I could stay at BU forever. I've been fortunate to have a couple of teams reach out to me over the last couple of years and when this call came, it was just different than all the others. This is the pinnacle of our profession, coaching the Rangers. The relationship with Jeff and Chris and the direction the organization is going, the more time that passed and the more we talked, it just seemed like the right move for me."
- On assistant coaches, "this has happened so fast and been such a whirlwind I haven't thought much about it at this point in time. Jeff, Chris and I will sit down and start talking about a staff after today."
- What was it about Gorton and Drury, "the direction, how they are all on the same page, patience, they have a clear picture of what they want to achieve and they have a great feel for the team right now and they are very confident in the draft picks that they have and the direction of the organization. To me it was that everyone was on the same page."
- Did you and Shattenkirk speak, "He and I, during the season, we talked quite a bit, maybe once a month. We've always kept a relationship but we never talked about this."
- On Shattenkirk's role as a leader, "I don't know the roster well, so because of my relationship with him, I'll be talking with him for sure but I know there are other guys in the room who will be leaders that I will lean on as well."
- Did the rebuild scare you off at any point, "it actually made it more attractive for me. I know that to be able to step into this situation and get us to the level we want to get to, the rebuilding process is going to be a lot of fun. We think the pieces are in place to build a Stanley Cup contender. How quickly will that happen? Who knows, that will happen at the pace that it evolves and it actually made it more attractive in a funny way."
- Will you play up-tempo, "that is what I plan on doing but you also have to coach your team. That is the style that I love to coach and how we played at BU and the style we intend to play here."
- On NCAA coaches to the NHL, "the college game is making more of an imprint at the NHL level, more players stepping in and making an impact. The league has gone more towards development, which college hockey has done for a long period of time, you have four practices in a week and spend a lot of time with players developing them. Dave Hakstol's success certainly has opened the door for others and it's going to be a great opportunity for other coaches as well."
- Have you started planning things, "not really, this happened fast over the last few days. I've just been trying to figure out how to get here, get situated, find my way to the press conference and stuff like that. All that stuff will happen after today."
- How do you define a rebuild, "take advantage of the draft picks but my job is to develop people on a daily basis. We gotta come to the rink everyday, make every individual better, make the players realize that, improve our systems on a daily basis and to me, it's patience. If you make 22 mistakes on a Monday and 21 on a Tuesday, you've had a good Tuesday. That is the mindset we have to have, getting better everyday. It may be cliche but it's true."
- How have things changed since you were with Colorado, "it's younger, the league has gotten younger and faster and I think there is more depth. The pace of the game has improved and you look at the teams in the playoffs that have success, their fourth lines have made an impact."
- Do you have any Ray Bourque memorabilia you need to put away, (laugh) "no, I don't but I do have a big Larry Bird jersey that I have to leave at home.."
- On the excitement of a rebuild stemming from Drury and Gorton, "that attracted me and made it more attractive as we kept talking and I also think that there are a lot of good young players and we will have a chance to bring some into our organization and have a chance to rebuild."
Quinn was on with Mike Frances and some of what he said (WFAN):
On his role with developing defenders, "I played the position myself, I love spending time on the aspects of playing D. We would do an awful lot of that at BU and the AHL. They are all important positions but if your defense can get pucks out of your end and do it quickly, you are going to have the puck a lot more.
On player relationships, "the only way you will have a chance to develop a player is with a trust factor and the more time you put in with him and the more time you put into him and he realizes that you care, that is where the trust comes in. You can do all the fancy drills that you want but if there isn't a connection between the coach and player you have a hard time developing. The kids want to know why and the communication pieces is so important."
What kind of style, "pressure, puck possession game that is built around defense. Defense isn't just what goes on in the defensive zone. When there is a change of possession in the offensive zone or neutral zone we want to get the puck back quickly and take away time and space and make people uncomfortable and when we get it we want to possess it. It doesn't mean we aren't going to have to chip it behind people at appropriate times but that is not the system we want to play. We want to be hard to play against and fast and physical."
"Sitting around and going through what to do, I thought to myself, would there be anything cooler than winning a Stanley Cup in New York City, coaching the New York Rangers. And the only way to do that is to coach the New York Rangers. That was part of my decision making process for sure."