Originally posted on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 5/5/14
With the firing of Carolina Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller and his assistants John MacLean and Dave Lewis today, speculation has already been ramped up about possible replacements including current Rangers defensive coach Ulf Samuelsson… Ulf Samuelsson, Kevin Dineen and Ed Olczyk will be amongst ex-teammates of CAR GM Ron Francis mentioned as potential coaching candidates. — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 5, 2014 Samuelsson and new Hurricanes GM Ron Francis were teammates in Hartford as well as Pittsburgh. …after the Rangers defense experienced some real difficulties grasping when to stay home and when to support their defensive partner in AV’s new defensive system, Samuelsson did an outstanding job of tinkering with the scheme in an attempt to make things more familiar to players such as Girardi and McDonagh, who were comfortable packing it in and blocking shots. …while Tortorella gave the current crop of defensemen a real foundation to build their defensive game around, Samuelsson and AV took care of the aesthetics. Which is amazing considering the last way you’d describe Samuelsson’s game was polished. …Samuelsson has a ton of assistant coaching experience in the NHL to go a long with a head coaching stint in the Swedish elite league, so he is more than qualified for the position. If he was to be offered the gig, an offensive guru would probably be a smart hire as an assistant coach. …he’d be missed for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Rangers wouldn’t have any problems replacing him with another former rugged defensman who’s currently coaching in Hartford.
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