In one of the less surprising moves of the offseason, the New York Rangers have hired former Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault to fill the exact same role with their team. After a week of flirting and heavy petting, the Rangers and Vigneault have made it official and are ready move on into the future together.
“Alain Vigneault has had success throughout his career and his coaching style is a perfect fit for the Rangers,” Rangers general manager Glen Sather said, via NHL.com. “We feel very fortunate to have him leading this team as we continue to pursue our ultimate goal of winnin the Stanley Cup.”
The Rangers put Vigneault on their radar after they fired former head coach John Tortorella. It was indicated early on in the process that the Rangers could be pursuing or at least holding out for Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, but when he was handed a contract extension it was clear the Pens weren’t going to cut him loose.
New York also talked to former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff but they seemed to have their hearts set on hiring Vigneault as soon as he was fired by the Canucks and showed an interest in coming to New York. Some say that Vigneault has a similar coaching style to Tortorella but he has been far less surly with the Canucks and the Vancouver media that Torts was during his tenure.
Vigneault will step in and try to bring back some of the stars that may be exiting. Netminder Henrik Lundqivst was skeptical to return if Tortorella was the head coach, but the Rangers have moved on completely and they’re hoping Vigneault is the guy that can get them to the next level.