Maybe we’re wrong about Alain Vigneault


Maybe we’re wrong about Alain Vigneault and his development of young players. Stay with me here, but let’s judge this based on track record alone. For years, the Rangers were notorious for blowing it with young players. Was it talent or was it development? Michael Del Zotto failed to develop into the player he could’ve been under John Tortorella and is now showing he is a solid player, and Dylan McIlrath was the mystery that could never be cracked.

AV’s Track Record

Getty ImagesChris Kreider started off AV’s first season with New York in Hartford. Alain Vigneault had this to say at the time: “as much as I believe that he’s real close and probably could play at our level right now, he needs to play big minutes and good minutes. I felt with our group right now, I wasn’t going to be able to give him those minutes.”

This is following a season in which Kreider struggled mightily under Torts.

The Result: Kreider was called up after 20 games and went on to score 17 goals that season.

J.T. Miller had the makings of a bust for quite a while. He was sent down to Hartford multiple times, and the last time he was sent down, AV questioned his focus and maturity.

The Result: Miller was called up after 30 games and finally broke out, scoring 10 goals and 23 assists in the team’s final 58 games.

Brady Skjei was brought up at seemingly exactly the right time, not too early where he ever looked overmatched or lost on the ice.

Kevin Hayes also had his run-ins with AV, watching some games from the press box and credits that for his turn-around after his rookie season.

What we’re witnessing now with Pavel Buchnevich is very much the same. We’ve seen him shuttled between New York and Hartford and often times have been frustrated with his lack of playing time. But anyone that honestly tells me that Buchnevich looked up to the task in last year’s playoffs against Montreal is lying.

Who knows?

Maybe we’ve been looking at it the wrong way. Maybe AV knows what he’s doing with developing young players. The track record tells us this; under his watch, there hasn’t been a bust and hopefully, it stays that way. Along the way, AV has given fans a lot of frustration when it comes to youth, but one thing that he hasn’t given us is a dud.


  • Another thing he hasn’t given us is a Stanley Cup, nor has he given it to any other team he has coached including a VERY talented Vancouver team.

    • You can say that about 99% of all the coaches who coached this team. So now guys like Herb Brooks and Emile Francis were terrible coaches just because they didn’t win the cup? This team hasn’t been exactly bringing Cups to their fan base throughout its existence.

  • Happy to see you guys can admit when you’re wrong. It’s been exaughsting seeing rangers blogs trash A/V for so long now.

    • What other direction could they go? You can’t keep saying he lost the locker room every day when you have a team with possibly the worst centers in the league from 2-4 and have them playing for 1st place. Some were even wishing for the team to lose in Florida so they could fire AV.

  • Buchanan to the 4th line another masterful stroke by AV

  • My bottom line with him is that his current run snd gun game plan doesnt cut it in the playoffs. IDC about all the regular season wins. Yes, I get that u have to make the playoffs first, but the team has been awful in the post season and Cups matter. This was a Cup ready team when he inherited it, its not now with Hank in his twilight years. Maybe this season??? Possibly, but there are too many current holes. Soft team, D questions, Centers. I give him this season, if no Cup, move on. Upper management also takes a share of the blame.

    • The Rangers have been awful in the playoffs? Have you been paying any attention or just will say stuff because you hate AV? The Rangers have won 31 playoff games with AV as their coach. Bet you have no idea that those 31 playoff wins are 2nd in the league during AV’s tenure. Only the Penquins have more playoff wins than the Rangers with 40. Let’s stop with the made up nonsense because of your hatred for the coach.

      Only the Blues, Ducks and Capitals have more wins than the Rangers in the regular season in that same time frame. Instead of constantly bemoaning the guy give him the respect he has earned during his time here.

      The Penquins, Blackhawks and Kings have won the cup while AV has been the coach of the Ranger. Their roster has multiple super stars, the Rangers have NONE.
      What Ranger forward can compare to Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Toews, Kane, Panerin, Hossa, Carter or Kopitar? What Ranger dman can compare to Letang, Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Doughty or Voynov.
      I love how most Ranger fans had inscripted the Rangers names into the Stanley Cup for 2015, I guess the Blackhawks would have just let the Rangers win. That matchup wouldn’t have been advantageous to the Rangers. But hey BLAME AV.

      • Mike O: Be careful, my friend, or you’ll be accused and convicted for making comments that wreak of common sense.

        I go back to the 1960-61 season when I became a Rangers fan, at a time when a season was deemed a success if we beat-out the Bruins for fifth place ………… in a SIX TEAM LEAGUE! I’m willing to bet that an overwhelming percentage of AV’s “expert” critics are unaware that: Emile “The Cat” Francis was behind the Broadway Blueshirts’ bench for seven full seasons, and had the fortune to coach a roster of many excellent players such as Eddie Giacomin, Brad Park, Jean Ratelle, Rod Gilbert – ALL HOFers, as is Francis. Francis’ squads made one SCF appearance in 1972. Then we have the late Fred Shero, another HOF member and 2-time SC winner with Philly. In two season-plus, a 1979 SCF appearance. We move to the late HOFer Herb Brooks – 3-plus seasons, and no Cup. On to the late Roger Neilson – three-plus seasons with no Cup. He did, however, coach the team to the ’72 Presidents Trophy. Next up?, Mike Keenan – we know what he did. And finally, Johnny Torts – three full seasons-plus – made one Conference Final.

        And now we have AV, who two weeks ago was being called brainless, useless, clueless – and other words you don’t repeat at the dinner table. The so-called Rangers fans who were demanding that he be fired have become CRICKETS since the team has won its last six, despite having AV calling the shots! Well here we have a HC, who in four seasons plus 18 games has won 201 games, led his roster to a Presidents Trophy, and came within three wins of a SC, and who has proven to be another “Lazarus” by coming back from the dead and in the process, shut his detractors the hell up , at least until their next back-to-back losses.

        AV has accomplished quite a bit in a short period of time. I say it’s time to get off the man’s back and let him coach the damned team – a team I might add that possesses ONE future HOFer on it, and no more. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

  • It’s not so much how he treats youngsters but veteran players have a turnover turn into a goal against and are on for their next shift but youngsters do the same and become stapled to the bench and in the press box next game.Sometimes you have to let them learn from their mistakes.

  • Kevin Hayes has turned it around? I can not understand why so many people think that tis guy is gifted and or promising.

    • He was a prospect who had a promising future. However he hasnt come close to fulfilling it. He has been a dog throughout his career here. He’s never shown up for a big game not the playoffs. How many more behind the back passes in the defensive zone that leads to prime scoring opportunities for the opposition? There better not be any discussion about resigning him at all. The only discussion should be what team to ship him to.

      • Again, thanks Mike. Not just the behind the back passes, I’m sick of watching his linemates heading up ice while he is waving his arm as if he’s hailing a cab because he can’t join the rush. It’s the lack of motivation,heart guts pick one any one. Sure their are some guys who haven’t been putting up great numbers, but they are killing it in the dirty ice. Hayes just does not seem concerned. He found a loophole out of Chicago, even though they drafted him and has never been worth it.

  • I love when fans say he hasn’t given us a cup. Besides the fact that you can say that about almost all the coaches what team we’re they expecting the cup from? When we went to the final nobody was thinking that we were even coming close to the final when the season started. The next year we had a better chance but too many key injuries. After that we’re lucky we made the playoffs with the D we had the past 2 years. Fans don’t realize how much puck luck is involved and the luck or bad luck of injuries. But besides any thing about luck I just don’t get why so many fans complain as if we should have won the cup but AV. blew it. I think he took us further then we should have gone sometimes. This whole article is what I said a million times and that’s the young guys that started under AV or very close to it have all made out pretty good but yet we’ll still see AV hates kids, he doesn’t like guys that play with grit and he never holds vets accountable. Everyone of those things have been proven wrong but nobody says it. So it’s nice that it’s been a little quite with the AV hatred but that will change as soon as we lose a few games for sure

  • The biggest problem with this team getting top players is the scouts in their system. The Rangers have had top ten picks prior to them trading them away. They have had more busts than any team. E.G. McIlrath (top ten pick), Malholtra, Dube etc. They need to find some good scouts to build a winning team hopefully Anderson & Chytl are not going to be busts as well.

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