Alain Vigneault agreed in principle to become the Head Coach of the New York Rangers
Two things can be said about the new head coach of the New York Rangers: It’s not Mark Messier and it is Alain Vigneault. Exactly 18 years and one day after winning the Stanley Cup, Mark Messier was informed he would not be the head coach of the Rangers.
According to ESPNNewYork.com Vigneault agreed to terms with the Rangers in principle after being a one of the top candidates to replace Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan, however Vigneault told the Stars he would be taking the job in New York, despite the “lucrative offer” the Stars had offered him.
A native of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, the 52 year old takes over for former Rangers boss and highly publicized John Tortorella, who was fired after the Rangers were beaten by the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins. Vigneault himself was fired from the Vancouver Canucks, where he was behind the bench for seven seasons, after being
Mark Messier as a member of the Rangers (courtesy of USATSI)
swept by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. In back-to-back seasons the Canucks were beaten in the first round and won a whopping ONE playoff game in those two years.
Messier, who guided the Rangers to it’s first Stanley Cup victory in 54 years, had expressed interest in becoming head coach and told reporters that he had met with General Manager Glen Sather about the position.
Before the hire, GM Glen Sather said that he was certain they would find the right man for the job.
“I’m sure there are going to be a lot of good candidates out there, that process is going to start very soon. We’re going to try and find the best candidate to serve the needs of the New York Rangers. I’m certain we are going to find the right person, and we’re going to move in that direction. We’ll find the right guy.”
It seems like Sather and the Rangers have found their right guy, and his name is Alain Vigneault.