Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was given a two-year extension Wednesday, so scratch his name off a list of potential candidates to replace former Rangers coach John Tortorella.
But Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, whom the Rangers admire, could move into the mix given remarks by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night in Chicago.
The highly regarded Tippett, who is under contract until June 30, said a week ago that he preferred to remain in Phoenix if the ownership issue is "headed in the right direction." So far, general manager Don Maloney has not given Tippett permission to speak with suitors. Tippett won the Jack Adams Award after the 2009-10 season.
Daly said that "it's possible" the league-owned Coyotes will not play in Arizona next season if the city of Glendale cannot complete an agreement soon with the prospective buyers. Bettman, who would not discuss any relocation, said "time is running short" for a resolution. The Glendale city council, which owns the Coyotes arena, is scheduled to meet June 25, and the NHL Board of Governors gather June 27.
At the moment, the prime candidate to fill the Rangers' coaching vacancy is Alain Vigneault, who was fired by Vancouver last month and was interviewed by Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather in California on Tuesday.
Former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who also has spoken with Dallas, remains under consideration by the Rangers, although it could not be determined whether he has been asked to have a face-to-face interview. Mark Messier, Sather's special assistant for four years, also has expressed interest. Sather has said he had hoped to hire a coach by June 30, the day of the NHL draft, but that date is not firm.