Granted, this will not be a typical playoff experience for the New York Rangers. Even though head coach David Quinn is just in his second season as an NHL head coach, he does have postseason experience in his past as a player and a coach.
New York Rangers head coach has postseason experience
Quinn’s career as a player was cut unexpectedly short when he was diagnosed with Haemophilia B (also known as Christmas disease), a rare disorder that prevents blood from clotting properly. This was discovered while he was trying out for the 1988 U.S. Olympic Hockey team. This forced Quinn to give up the game.
However, Quinn was later able to find funding for expensive medication to combat the disease which allowed him to return to hockey. After being cut from the 1992 Olympic team, the young defenseman impressed the Rangers enough that he was signed to a contract. During the next two years, he played in five playoff games as a member of the Binghamton Rangers of the AHL and the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL.
After those two seasons, Quinn hung up his skates and entered the world of coaching. After helping the University of Nebraska-Omaha transition to a Divison One program, he joined the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. There he was an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team at four IIHF World Championships, two with men’s teams and two with women’s teams, helping the women win silver medals at both tournaments.
After that, he then worked as an assistant at his alma mater, Boston University, helping the Terriers to the National Title in 2009.
Quinn then took his first head coaching job with Colorado’s American Hockey League affiliate in Cleveland, the Lake Erie Monsters. He compiled a 115-94-7-20 record in three seasons with Lake Erie and guided the Monsters to their first-ever playoff berth in 2010-11. However, it was a playoff that Quinn may like to forget as after his team gained a 3-1 series lead over the Manitoba Moose in the opening round, the Monsters proceeded to lose the next three consecutive games, losing the series 4-3.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 4, 2020
After a year as an assistant with the Avalanche, Quinn took over as head coach at Boston University, a position in which he would have his most successful postseason runs.
During his time at BU, Quinn has led the Terriers to four straight appearances in the NCAA tournament (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) and orchestrated the biggest turnaround in BU hockey history in 2014-15, including Hockey East and Beanpot titles and a spot in the national title game, which BU lost to Providence.
Despite the lack of NHL playoff experience, Quinn is no stranger to the postseason. At least this year, he is on even footing with the other 23 coaches as none of them has ever experienced a pandemic related playoff series before.