Rangers may get off the hook for Vigneault’s $8 million extension soon

AV (Newsday)

The Rangers made a difficult financial decision when they let go of Alain Vigneault. His contract extension kicks in this summer and the Blueshirts are on the hook for $8 million. That could change very soon as rumors start to surface of possible landing destinations.

Ottawa Homecoming?

The Senators had a very disappointing follow up from their Eastern Conference appearance last year. Ottawa’s owner, Eugene Melnyk came under fire for his handling of Erik Karlsson last season may make a move.

Vigneault sits 10th all time for NHL coaching victories at 648. He was once an assistant under there under Rick Bowness. Bringing in a winning coaching might buy some credibility with the loyal fanbase, and some of his players.

Alberta Bound?

Both the Flames and the Oilers are looking at making some changes for next season and head coach may be one way for both teams. Oilers GM, Peter Chiarelli said that the staff is “under close scrutinization”. He cited issues with breakouts and speed, which are 2 areas Vigneault likes to stress.

Keep your eyes on the Oilers in the next coming days because with a player like Connor McDavid in the fold, AV will jump at that opportunity.

Other Potential Landing Spots?

Dallas, Montreal, and Chicago.


  • If Chiarelli hires this bozo he may as well as well fill out his own pink slip.

    • Amazing how this bozo is 10th in NHL history in wins.

    • Is a guy like John Cooper a bozo? Or how about Pat Quinn, 684 wins? How about Ron Wilson, 648 wins? How about Bryan Murray, 620 wins?

      • Old news Mike. History and a winning record will not help AV at this stage of his career. He may land on his feet in Edmonton and Calgary but it will not alter his personal failings or his approach to the game.

        You can site all the stats you care to, it won’t change the fact that the Rangers under AV’s tutelage have been on a downward spiral these last three years and while the coach is not the sole cause for this teams demise, he has clearly demonstrated tendencies that have had a direct impact on the teams ability to sustain excellence and close the deal on a SC championship.

        The pressure of coaching in the most demanding league on this planet has caused him to devolve into a delusional bench boss incapable of making intelligent decisions. He has lost the ability to evaluate what works best for his team and what the opposition does to derail his grand plans; systems that clearly have worked for him in the past but are not suited for the way his current team is composed or more to the point, the way the game is being played today. He is a Dinosaur among his peers and is easily picked apart by opposition coaches. So yes, he is a “Bozo”, whatever meaning you want to attribute to that noun, For me at least, he rises to that title because he does nothing to change his approach to the game or his method of coaching, even in the face of failure; even in the face of losing his job.

        A head coach needs to be constantly assessing both his team, the opposition and have a handle on what woks in today’s fast paced game. It is clear he advocates an “up tempo” offensive approach but it is premised on strategies in the D zone that no longer work. Raw team speed is great but if it is primarily used to affect home run passes and breakaways, then it becomes a weakness to be exploited by smart opposition coaches. It is also counterproductive if your forwards are weak finishers. Opposing teams have countered those measures and the result is a squad that coughs up the puck too easily in its own end and in the neutral zone and has a poor record in terms of possession.

        Possession of the puck, especially in the neutral and offensive zones is not only key to scoring, it is the best and most reliable form of team defense. You need look no further than the defensive personnel of the Penguins who are poised to challenge for a 3’rd consecutive cup. They have an average D core, but their team possession metrics are among the best over the last three seasons. The Rangers rank 3’rd from the bottom over this period. Granted, the Pens have Crosby and Letang that drive those possession stats but they also have the likes of Matt Hunwick and Jamie Oleksiak in their lineup. Malkin doesn’t even rank top ten for possession on the team. A supporting cast of Rust, Hagelin, Dumoulin and Guentzel supersede both Kesel and Malkin. Team possession does not appear to be driven by individual stars. It is a byproduct of a system that exploits the teams identity or skill set.

        In spite of league wide evidence that possession is generally a key indicator of team success, AV has done little to improve in this area year over year during his tenure, let alone establish a clear identity for the team. Yes, we had some fast players but we did not play a speed game. We often looked sluggish and had difficulty entering the O zone or departing the D zone. We had large bodies who had demonstrated in the past that they could play with an edge but AV stifled those qualities because of the emphasis he placed on “turning the other cheek”. I am not referring to bringing out the pugilist in Miller or Krieder. What perturbed me, was that he often punished those two for penalties that inevitably go hand in hand with that “edge” mentality and this had the effect of softening the team as a whole. Who wants to reside in the coach’s doghouse? So our identity established under Torts as a tough team to compete against all but disappeared under AV. The introduction of an up tempo system did not have to come an the expense of being a hard forechecking team. Look at the success of LA. The lack of an identity and poor possession caused Rangers to regress. This, my friend, falls squarely on the coach’s shoulders.

        AV needed to own this responsibility. He needed to say to his players, management and the fans, “I need to do a better job in that regard”. Yet he never did. AV’s ego and lack of flexibility have weakened this team. That is the bottom line and he never came to the realization that it was his responsibility and his alone to right the sinking ship. His most important task was to develop a system with these players that would improve possession. To find fault with your franchise goaltender or a select group of players such as Yandle, Miller and Buch, was counter productive. Better (evolving) systems and simply electing to play your best (rookie or vet) would have placed many of his players in a position to succeed. His inability to do so was his failure. His Ego and stubborn tendencies are, and continue to be, his Achilles heel.

        This was so evident in his final “pressor” where he trotted out his record (as you do now) in defense of his shortcomings. He declared that he did the best with what he was given through the years and implied his teams just were not good enough to climb that last hill on route to a league championship. He compounded matters by declaring that the true strength of this Ranger team was found in its coaching staff and that they had demonstrated an ability to bring out the best of both vets and rookies. Lies and delusions of grandeur!! Has he forgotten who and why his team got to the SCF in 2014? This is unmitigated BS, at a time when humility and introspection were in order. This is why he is a “Bozo”. His current failings tell a much clearer story than his impressive resume.

        I won’t be surprised if he finds a new coaching gig in the NHL. So called national media experts and GM’s across the league rarely understand the nuances and dynamics of teams in jurisdictions they do not cover. They are influenced by records and numbers that often obscure the value of a coach or player to his team. They might read the headlines generated by someone like AV and surmise that it represents reality. One might ask, if AV had demonstrated his counter productive tendencies or weaknesses in Vancouver, why did Sather hire him? It would be a good question. It was because Slats could not see “the forest for the trees”. He was caught up in AV’s record and the fact that he was the exact opposite of Torts. The irony is….the Vancouver fans knew and now so do we.

        • congrats spot on post of A.V. and his style of failing. I would like to see Keefe get the job

          • Spot on! He would be a great choice for this team and certainly available. Babcock is entrenched for a long time, so no upward mobility in the Leaf’s organization.

        • Yep, GM’s are morons too. Everybody in this league is a moron. Surprised you haven’t been given an opportunity to show your brilliance in hockey.

          You are so right that gms are so concerned by records. Funny because that is exactly what gms and coaches are judged on. That’s how team success is based on. Slats hires a coach who has shown an ability to win games. Bunches of games. Nobody who has coached as long as AV has doesn’t survive without success.

          There isn’t a coach that 100% of fans will agree with their tactics, player usage and line combos. But to actually think these last 5 years were successful then you are kidding yourself. 3/4’s of the fans in this league would have jumped for the 5 -7 year run the Rangers had under Torts and AV. Yet most fans react like the Rangers have missed the playoffs for a decade.

          If AV wants to coach again, he will get a job in a heartbeat. He will continue to show he could win and steadily move up the career win list. Only people’s personal hatred for a coach that was part of the reason the Rangers had an exciting 5 year run will think he’s a MORON. AV isn’t a perfect coach, he has his flaws and deserves his share of criticism. But to be considered a MORON is baseless. The constant lies about his management especially during the Sens series late in games and completely made up fabrications about him losing the locker room shows most fans were more into trying to get him fired than supporting him. I agree with some of your criticism on AV however I cannot stand the baseless lies that most have thrown out about him. There have been plenty of highly successful coaches that never win the ultimate prize. That doesn’t diminish what they did in their career and certainly doesn’t lable them a moron.

          I asked about John Cooper for a reason. His has a lineup with NHL stars on offense and defense with one of the best young goaltenders in the league. He has accomplished much less with a lot more to work with than AV over the last 5 years. With Stamkos, Hedman, Kucherov and others yet he’s had very little playoff success. He also has missed the playoffs twice with a high skilled roster. Are Bolt fans making up lies about him and fabricating stories about him losing the locker room? I bet they aren’t.

          AV is gone, a majority of fans probably rejoiced. Just like Tort’s, AV brought excitement back to the Garden and reached levels of success that isn’t commonplace with this fan base and franchise. Hopefully the next coach whoever it is is given time to implement his system and have an opportunity to have management to get players to fit into his system.

          • Well put Mike.

            Just for the record. I never labeled him a Moron. Just a clown.

            Never stated his record was meaningless. And I don’t hate the dude. But that last oration to the press after the final game was just too much for me. He seems to have lost touch with reality. If he can get his act together and alter his approach to the game, he may yet taste more success as you suggest. As I said, it would not surprise me in the least.

  • AV clearly wore out his welcome here. And every coach has a diminishing shelf life. He has an impressive career record that cannot be denied. However there is a clear indication that the game might be passing him by as it changes more towards youth. AV refuses to change his core beliefs and sticks to his philosophies come hell or high water. Every young player has to suffer his “tough love” and many rebel against that like JT and Buch. And for all his success he has a poor record of talented young players developing on his watch. Also he has
    a weird attachment to hard nosed limited skilled players (Glass, Girardi, etc.); my theory is that they remind him of himself as he was that type of dman. His best shot at success is to go to a veteran team poised to take it to the next level.

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