The New York Rangers have reassigned Mark Ciaccio to the prospect development coach’s role. Ciaccio was the Rangers skills coach for the past ten seasons.
Guess what, folks? It’s official after a decade in the making!
The New York Rangers finally dropped the news on Friday—Mark Ciaccio, the man who’s been with them since 2014, got himself a demotion to the prospect development coach spot. Ciaccio’s been rocking it as the Skills Coach for a while, but it’s time for a fresh face. Say hello to Chris Hmura the new coach on the block.
Rangers reassign Mark Ciaccio to prospects role:
Ciaccio’s switcheroo means he’ll be going all-in with the prospects, lending his wisdom to the player development squad. Before his Rangers gig, he was with the Phoenix Coyotes, coaching skills from 2001-2013. Their high draft picks during his tenure weren’t always singing Ciaccio’s praises.
Blake Wheeler was picked 5th overall in 2004 but never saw ice time with Arizona. Peter Mueller, 8th in 2006, didn’t quite reach his potential. Kyle Turris, 3rd in 2007, didn’t break out until he was traded to the Ottawa Senators in 2011. Mikkel Bodker, 8th in 2008, also proved to be a bust.
After his Arizona days ended in 2013, Ciaccio came to Broadway, hoping a change of scenery would help, but it didn’t.
Evidence pointing to the continued struggles is that New York hasn’t been in the upper quadrant in faceoff winning percentage since Ciaccio began his reign. While there are other factors in developing players, like player attitudes and ice time, faceoffs are something that can be taught.
Before sweating about Ciaccio’s new role cramping New York’s prospects, take a breather. Most will be playing elsewhere, either in the CHL, NCAA, or European leagues. The ones he’ll be able to work his magic on? Those with the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL.
We’re talking about Brennan Othmann, Brett Berard, and Adam Sykora. These players should be on Broadway within the next year or two. If they haven’t been given a chance past that window, we have more significant problems to address.
The Rangers may still see something with Ciaccio that has allowed him to remain in the organization. He hopes to take a second chance to learn from his mistakes and help mold the aspiring Blueshirts for Broadway.