The Blue Shirts finally have their man.
The Rangers hired former Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault on Friday and shortly after introduced him to Ranger fans at a press conference which was held at Radio City Music Hall. Vigneault will replace the always controversial and often polarizing John Tortorella, who helped lead the blue shirts to some of their most successful seasons in recent memory but ultimately could not take the team to the next level.
Vigneault agreed to a five-year contract with the Rangers, although the details of the deal were not made immediately clear. Vigneault was let go as coach of the Vancouver Canucks on May 22 after seven years behind their bench in which he posted a .632 winning percentage.
Alain Vigneault emerged as the leading candidate for the Rangers head coaching vacancy after meeting with club officials last week in California. The deal was cemented when Vigneault met with Rangers owner James Dolan this week in New York City.
During the brief press conference Vigneault was clearly excited about the opportunity to coach in New York:
During the introductory news conference Vigneault was asked about how his style compares to the brash, and stubborn coaching style of ex-Ranger’s head coach John Torterella:
The contrast between Alain Vigneault and ex-Ranger head coach John Torterella will be immediately clear when the puck drops next fall. Vigneault is known for his up-tempo brand of hockey which should get Ranger fans excited after years of the bruising, dump and chase style of the Torterella led team.
It’s clear that from a personality standpoint Vigneault is going to take a completely different approach to coaching this team and handling his star players. And that is exactly the type of change the Rangers need.