Rangers welcome Alain Vigneault into the fold

Alain Vigneault was introduced as the new Rangers head coach on Friday at Radio City Music Hall. Credit: Getty Images
Alain Vigneault was introduced as the new Rangers head coach on Friday at Radio City Music Hall.
Credit: Getty Images

For Alain Vigneault, the final determining factors in accepting the Rangers’ head coaching position were the organization’s tradition and an opportunity to win a Stanley Cup.

“It’s an Original Six that’s got a chance to win. It’s one of the elite teams, in my opinion, in the NHL. Given the opportunity to come here, it was something that I couldn’t turn down,” Vigneault said during his introductory press conference at Radio City Music Hall Friday morning

Vigneault is the 35th coach in franchise history. He replaces John Tortorella, who was fired on May 29. Reportedly, Vigneault’s deal with the Rangers is for five years and $10 million.

He was joined on the dais by owner James Dolan and team president and general manager Glen Sather. Assistant general managers Jim Schoenfeld and Jeff Gorton also represented the organization.

Vigneault was a finalist for the Dallas head coaching job before turning the position down.

“it’s a lot easier to negotiate yourself a contract when you have two teams that are after you,” Vigneault joked.

In 11 seasons with Montreal and Vancouver, Vigneault compiled a 422-288-35-61 record and won the Jack Adams Award in 2006-07, his first year with the Canucks.

Under Vigneault’s stewardship, Vancouver was a perennial playoff contender. The Canucks qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs in six of his seven years as coach, including an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in 2010-11. Vancouver advanced to Game 7, where they lost to the Bruins.

The Presidents’ Trophy winners in 2010-11 and 2011-12, Vancouver won the Northwest Division five years in a row and six out of seven times overall during Vigneault’s tenure.

However, first-round exits the last two years — despite having home-ice advantage — led Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis to make the decision to replace Vigneault.

“That’s a question you should ask them,” Vigneault said. “I loved my time in Vancouver. It’s a first-class organization. It’s a real passionate market that I had seven great years [in]. I’ve turned the page on that chapter of my life and I’m opening a new chapter here in New York.”

While the purpose of the day was to introduce Vigneault, Tortorella’s presence hovered over the proceedings.

When he met with reporters following the press conference, team president and general manager Glen Sather implied he had been contemplating making a coaching change during the season, and that Tortorella was “beyond stubborn” when it came to modifying his system.

“A lot of guys had the crap kicked out of them with injuries,” Sather said.

Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin each recently underwent surgeries to repair torn labrums in their left shoulders.

A reporter from the Winnipeg Free Press tweeted Friday afternoon the Vancouver offered Tortorella the head coaching position “and [the] two sides are close to a deal.” Should Tortorella land the job, he will replace Vigneault, who was fired on May 22.

“I’d like to take a moment to say thanks to John Tortorella. He served us well, brought us success,” said Dolan.

“Glen told me how impressed he was during the interview with Alain in Palm Springs, [Calif.] and when we met on Friday, I quickly understood why. Alain is a proven winner in the NHL. We believe he is perfectly suited to help the Rangers continue our drive to win the Stanley Cup.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…