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. As soon as this news broke, it was clear Vigneault was headed for New York.
Smart move, Rangers.
It's believed that Vigneault beat out Mark Messier for the head coach position, a decision which was probably a pretty easy one considering Messier has no coaching experience (a topic we touched on this morning).
Vigneault brings a wealth of experience to the Rangers' bench. His career started with the Montreal Canadiens back in 1997-98. His tenure with the Canadiens lasted into 2000-01, but he was let go during the season as the team struggled out of the gate. Vigneault stayed out of the NHL for several years before ultimately finding a new job with the Vancouver Canucks in 2006-07. He stayed in this position through the 2012-13 season, but was fired this summer.
Vancouver's decision to release Vigneault was widely scrutinized. Assigning the Canucks' failures on Vigneault was pretty misguided and as soon as he was released it was clear the former head coach would be a hot commodity for several teams.