On the day the Rangers’ second buyout window of the summer opens, giving general manager Jeff Gorton another option to reduce payroll and get under the NHL’s salary cap, Gorton completed another piece of important business Monday by hiring Kris Knoblauch to take over the job as coach of the Rangers’ Hartford Wolf Pack farm team.
Knoblauch, 40, had served as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers for the past two seasons, but this will be his first time serving as a head coach at the professional level. Prior to joining the Flyers, Knoblauch had been a head coach for seven seasons in the Canadian junior leagues, compiling a 298-130-16-13 in seven years with the Kootenay Ice of the WHL and the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Knoblauch, from Imperial, Saskatchewan, replaces Keith McCambridge, who was fired in April after two seasons as Hartford coach. The Wolf Pack finished last in the AHL’s Atlantic Division in 2018-19 with a 29-36-7-4 record.
Knoblauch, who won a WHL championship and an OHL championship, coached the likes of Connor McDavid, Alex DeBrincat and Andrei Burakovsky, among others. He was a seventh-round pick of the Islanders in 1997 but never made it in professional hockey as a player.