Hockey mumps outbreak claims head coach

Wolf Pack

Like a few other teams in the NHL this season, the New York Rangers have been hit with a mumps outbreak. Forwards Tanner Glass and Derick Brassard were both out with the viral infection, and forward Lee Stempniak is being tested for it.

Now, it appears mumps have been demoted to the AHL, too. And behind the bench.

AHL Hartford Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander has been isolated from the team for five days and is being tested for mumps. He’s the first coach in the NHL or AHL to go missing in action due to suspicion of the mumps.

Forward Joey Crabb was also isolated and is being tested for the disease.

Assistant coaches Jeff Beukeboom and Pat Boller will take the bench for practices and for home games vs. the Syracuse Crunch and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Gernander has been the head coach for Hartford since 2007. When he retired as an active player, he was the top-scoring American-born player in AHL history.

The incubation time for mumps is about two weeks. Interestingly, the Rangers haven’t shuttled anyone from MSG to Hartford or vice versa during December.