Whale add Beukeboom to staff

The New York Rangers announced on Friday that popular former defenseman Jeff Beukeboom has been hired to be an assistant coach with the Connecticut Whale, the club’s top development affiliate in the American Hockey League.

Beukeboom will replace another former NHL defenseman, J.J. Daigneault, who had mentored the likes of Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto, Stu Bickel, Michael Sauer and Tim Erixon the past few years in Connecticut. Daigneault recently accepted an assistant coaching position with the Montreal Canadiens.

Beukeboom, who paired with Hall of Famer Brian Leetch on the Rangers blueline for many years — including during the 1993-94 championship season — is a four-time Stanley Cup champion, winning his first three Cups as a member of the Edmonton Oilers who had selected him in the first round of the 1983 NHL Draft.

Beukeboom appeared in 804 career NHL games, 540 with the Rangers. He also played in 99 post-season games. Beukeboom totaled 159 career points and 1,890 penalty minutes.

The Ajax, Ont., native also played 99 games in the AHL with the Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Oilers, and was an assistant coach with the AHL’s Toronto Roadrunners in 2003-04.

Beukeboom has spent the past four seasons coaching in major junior hockey, the last three with the Sudbury Wolves (OHL) as an assistant coach.