According to multiple sources on twitter, Alain Vigneault will be the next head coach of the New York Rangers.
Last night, Vigneault turned down the Dallas Stars, who were also in search of a head coach, and also was said to be in Manhattan for a meeting with Rangers owner James Dolan.
As expected, just one day later Vigneault takes the Rangers vacant head coaching position. As of now, it is said that both parties are just working out the minor details of the contract and should be finalized shortly but an agreement has been made.
Former Rangers legend, Mark Messier, also interviewed for the job and was who many considered to be the second choice if a deal with Vigneault couldn’t be reached. In my opinion, however, I do not think Rangers GM Glen Sather would give Messier the job even if things didn’t work out with Vigneault. I think Sather realizes that Messier would fit best in the organization as the GM when Sather finally decides to retire.
The Rangers are poised to get back to the Eastern Conference Finals, so hiring a hall of fame player, and Rangers savior, with no coaching experience whatsoever, would not be a smart decision, even if it is Mark Messier.
Even though Vigneault has never won a Stanley Cup, he is considered to be a world class coach and is very popular with his players. Many would even argue that he is the complete opposite of the Rangers last head coach John Tortorella, who fell out of favor with at least half of his players during the end of this season, including Rangers all-star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
No official announcement has been made so far but it is almost guaranteed, with an agreement in place and a deal said to be done, that later today or early tomorrow, Vigneault will be officially sworn in as The Blueshirts next head coach.