The New York Rangers’ search for a new head coach has ended. The Rangers have reached an agreement with Alain Vigneault to become the new head coach for the team.
Vigneault was fired by the Vancouver Canucks after they were swept in the opening round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This was the second time in as many seasons that the Canucks were bounced in the first round after coming within one game of winning the cup in 2011. The Rangers’ head coaching search started a few days after their disappointing loss in the second round of the playoffs. Many players told general manager Glen Sather that John Tortorella had lost the locker room and that a change needed to be made.
Vigneault will have something with the Rangers he never had with the Canucks: a star goaltender. One of the many reasons the Canucks could never get over the hump was because they had a goalie controversy with both goalies not being able to step up. With Vigneault being an offensive minded coach, the goalie controversy really hurt his team’s chances of winning.With the Rangers, he will never have to worry about a goalie controversy. Henrik Lundqvist will be refreshed and ready to play for a new coach. He will relish the challenge of having an offensive-minded team.
The hire comes 24 hours after Ranger legend Mark Messier stated that he had interviewed for the head coaching job. Rumors have been out there that Messier would be interested in being an assistant on Vingeault’s staff. This could lead to a very interesting staff with two guys who will want to push the tempo.
Vigneault is a good fit for the current Ranger roster. It will be very interesting to see how the team does moving forward.