Found June 17, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
New York Rangers
Alain it is.
Every site you go to, every poll you read, most Rangers fans wanted Alain Vigneault over any other coach on the job market. Some wanted Mark Messier. A few wanted Dave Tippett. Maybe three people wanted Guy Boucher or Lindy Ruff. But for the most part, it has been an AV love fest from the fans and media alike.
I understand the appeal. He’s the most winningest coach available (except for Torts, oddly enough). However, based on comments I’ve read on this site and on Twitter, it alarms me how little people know about Alain Vigneault other than his win-loss record. The whole “Alain would have won a Cup, if it weren’t for Luongo” is pretty much the extent of anyone’s analysis.
We’ll compadres, you probably know win/loss records aren’t enough for me when it comes to analyzing coaching. I figured today would be a good time to break down the positives and negatives of having Alain Vigneault as our new head coach.
It’s hard to argue against success. Under Alain’s leadership, the Canucks missed the playoffs once in seven seasons. He left Vancouver with a 313-170-57 regular-season record, and a 33-32 record in the playoffs. You don’t win that much by just having a talented roster. You need a coach who can get the most out of your players, otherwise you’re just good on paper.
Alain also reinvented the wheel a bit with zone matching. He was one of the first coaches to deploy his first line almost exclusively in the offensive zone (after a whistle), while starting his checking line almost exclusively in the defensive zone. Although this limits your offensive balance, it does give your top line the best chance at succeeding.
Speaking of getting top players to perform, Alexandre Burrows, the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler never really had a bad season under Alain’s watch. That’s pretty impressive considering how many top players in this league **** the bag at least once in a while.
The final positive is Alain had a much better relationship with the media in Vancouver than Tortorella had in NY. While filling reporters note pads isn’t any coaches job, it certainly helps to have the media on your side. Had it not been for this site you are reading right now, I’m not confident too many people would have had a firm grasp on what Tortorella was trying to do here.
I think most of you are aware I didn’t agree with many of the complaints a certain segment of this fan base had against John Tortorella. What’s interesting though is most seem unaware many of their complaints were quite similar to the ones Canucks fans had for Alain.
For example, many argued Tortorella over relied on Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh and that he gave those two way too many minutes. However, during this year’s playoffs Girardi and McD played 25:58 and 25:52 per game respectively, while Kevin Bieksa played 25:50 per game and Alex Elder played 26:57.
After my post about why coaches frequently line juggle, our readers seemed to stop complaining about Torts’ propensity to do so. Still, you should know that other than the top line of the Sedin twins and Burrows, Alain didn’t keep any lines together more than 5% of the time at even strength this season. Meanwhile, other than the Hags-Stepan-Cally line, Torts actually kept three line combos together at a frequency above 5%. So this notion that Alain doesn’t tweak his lines with great frequency is pretty unfounded.
According to some, Alain is going to be a godsend for Kreider and JT Miller, who Tortorella supposedly FUBAR’d. Ask Canuckleheads who’s to blame for Cody Hodgson being shipped out of town. Compare how many times 1st round pick Jordan Schroeder had been bounced back and forth to the AHL vs. Kreider. Alain’s recent history of dealing with rookies may not be up to some fans’ expectations.
Then of course there’s the whole “defense first” complaint, and how being good on the defensive side of the puck somehow suffocates a team’s ability to produce offense. Well, Alain Vigneault ran a 1-2-2 forecheck and would drop guys back to trap up the neutral zone with a lead. This strategy is actually what gave man birth to the term “defense first,” not shot blocking. I’m not sure how well a return to Renney-era hockey is going to go over with this crowd.
Overall, I don’t think these negatives are all that bad. The point is many considered these same negatives as reasons Torts held the team back. While I’m not worried about a lot of this, there is one glaring issue which has me skeptical about his hiring. This team is built to play Tortorella hockey and now Tortorella is gone.
Is Alain going to continue with the same type of system Torts had in place, but just be a different personality? I wouldn’t bet on it. If we are going to become a finesse/east-west team like the Canucks, how does our current makeup fit into a new identity? Is Alain going to bury Callahan with 20% zone starts? Are we going to keep Richie? How useful will Hagelin be if he has to stand around in the neutral zone?
These are honest questions, and at this point I don’t have any answers.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The New York Rangers have reportedly hired Alain Vigneault to be their next head coach. The contract is for five years and worth $10 million, according to CBC Sports.
The ex-Vancouver Canucks coach replaces the departed John Tortorella, who was shown the door by the club after the Rangers were ousted by the Boston Bruins in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports that Ulf Samuelsson is a leading candidate to be hired as one of Alain Vigneault’s assistants. Samuelsson, who was the head coach of Modo (SEL) last season, has apparently left that job. moved to Phoenix and his looking for a job in the NHL.
The former Rangers defenseman was an assistant in Phoenix from 2006 through 2011.
With Alain Vigneault in the fold as the newest New York Rangers head coach, pending official confirmation from the club of course, thoughts turn to whom he might pick to assist him behind the bench. As it stands, only Tortorella was relieved of his duties meaning Mike Sullivan, Jim Schoenfeld and goalie coach Benoit Allaire [...]
The Dallas Stars are having a really tough time finding a head coach. A week after Dallas Eakins turned down sunny Dallas to coach in not sunny Edmonton, Alain Vigneault appears to have turned down Big D for the Big Apple.
According to Larry Broks of the NY Post:
Vigneault, who brought the Canucks within one victory of the Stanley Cup in 2011, is believed to have met with Garden...
Alain Vigneault will succeed John Tortorella
The Rangers have yet to schedule a formal announcement, but it’s all but official that Alain Vigneault will succeed John Tortorella as head coach. The Suit will have more on the pros and cons of the hiring tomorrow, but let’s take a look at some key questions in the immediate aftermath of today’s news.
How does this affect Mark...
Alain Vigneault is the new head coach of the New York Rangers, as reported by several outlets on Saturday afternoon. Vigneault, the former head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, will take over the position recently vacated by John Tortorella.
There was some belief that Vigneault might stand behind the bench in Dallas, but reports surfaced that he had turned down the position...
Don’t expect a huge difference in performance under Vigneault.
With Alain Vigneault on board, the Rangers are likely going to be changing their styles of play. But with that style change comes understanding what that change will bring. This is something we’ve covered a few times here, but it’s worth digging deeper into the puck possession metrics to see how exactly the Rangers...
Now that Alain Vigneault is all but the Rangers new head coach, what exactly are the Rangers getting? Jeff Klein at the New York Times gives us some insight...
"Going by his track record, Vigneault, 52, will stress offense and puck possession over forechecking, tolerate the mistakes of young players instead of bench them at the first missed assignment, and be a good communicator...
Welp, it looks like Alain Vigneault's flight to New York yesterday was to meet with James Dolan and I guess it was an effective meeting as apparently the former Canucks coach turned down a significant offer from the Dallas Stars after interviewing with the Rangers owner. He is now considered the hands down favorite for the position.
Here's some more on Vigneault.
According to source, Alain Vigneault has agreed to 5-year deal w/ #Rangers. Told it's in the $2 Million per year range. #NHL
— Louis Jean (@LouisJean_TVA) June 17, 2013
Confirming that Alain Vigneault gets 10 million over 5 years as coach of NYR.Told that was same offer that Dallas had on table for AV.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 17, 2013
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...
Alain Vigneault is being signed right now to become the next head coach of the Rangers, per source #NYR
— Pat Leonard (@NYDNRangers) June 15, 2013
Report: Alain Vigneault to become #Rangers head coach: http://t.co/nEf3yzU78l #NHL
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 15, 2013
It sounds like it’s a mere formality at this point ladies and gentlemen. Multiple outlets including, NHL.com and ESPN New York are reporting it’s a done deal and Alain Vigneault is going to be the next head coach of the New York Rangers. According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, Vigneault removed his [...]
(Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
When a new head coach arrives at a club it’s not just coaching staffs that tend to follow. Players who have built relationships often do the same, and with Maxim Lapierre approaching free agency, the opportunity to join the Rangers seems a logical one for all concerned.
Lapierre is a hard working hockey player that adds depth to the bottom six and is...
The NY Rangers have found their new head coach. His name is Alain Vigneault.
Reports made the rounds on Twitter late Friday night that the Rangers were very impressed with AV. Its believed that AV interviewed with MSG owner James Dolan. On Tuesday, he met with Rangers GM Glen Sather. The Rangers want to end their search and offer. No official offer has been made to Vigneault yet.