It looks like former Canucks' coach Alain Vigneault is set to take the Head Coach position for the Rangers, beating out Mark Messier who had also been in the running. This will be a great coup for Vigneault as Messier has described coaching the Rangers as a dream job. It’s almost better than winning a massive jackpot at your favourite iPhone casino and fans eagerly await the finalizing of a deal.
Although nothing has been signed yet, it seems that Vigneault is very close to making Broadway his new home as he has the strongest credentials to succeed outgoing head coach John Tortorella. Certainly Vigneault fits the classic coaching carousel criteria in that he has a very different temperament and demeanor to the previous coach and he will certainly shake things up if he is signed.
The concept of Vigneault becoming the next head Coach isn’t a surprising one, but the situation came to a head rather fast as the Rangers had been very quiet about a head coach vacancy. There may have been a few team meetings held out in California but there was no indication of the direction they were planning on going. Seems they like to keep the element of surprise both on the ice and off.
Vigneault had already been approached by the Dallas Stars but the Rangers got aggressive and ensured that they would snare him as their next bench boss. The Stars had already gone as far as putting an offer on the table and were simply waiting for him to sign, but James Dolan stepped in and made sure the Rangers would get their man.
The probable new Rangers coach is the right man for the job and although he has a very different personality to Tortorella this may be exactly what is needed. He has had success at NHL level and took the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final, accumulated 313 wins in 540 games as the Canucks bench boss and has won a Jack Adams Award.
Although nothing has yet been made official, insiders say that the writing is on the wall and that Vigneault is a head coach in waiting. Now the pressure shifts to Glen Sather who will have to ensure that he can tailor his team to accommodate Vigneault’s style, so this could be an interesting summer.