A Look Back At Alain Vigneault’s Tenure As Rangers Head Coach
Like anything over time, a change was needed. To look at where the Rangers were back in 2013 when the organization decided to sign head coach Alain Vigneault, and where the team is now, the change at the head coach position was one that needed to happen.
Most of the news following the firing of Vigneault as the head coach of Rangers resulted in fans rejoicing and feeling a sense of relief. However, if you look back at what this team had accomplished under Alain Vigneault, it is quite impressive. Everyone has their own reasons to like or dislike Vigneault, as he was a tough coach to play for if you were an up-and-coming player in the organization (JT Miller for example) and made some decisions that were head-scratching this past season. But if we were looking at results in a season, although the Rangers did not bring home the Cup under Vigneault, the results he posted were second-to-none.
Signed to be the Rangers head coach on June 21, 2013, Vigneault was geared up to head into the 2013-2014 season with a strong team that will compete for the Cup. That’s exactly what he did, as the Rangers finished second in the Metropolitan division and made their way into the Stanley Cup Finals; something the organization hadn’t experienced since winning it all back in 1994. That statistic may be surprising to some, that the 2013-14 season was the first trip to the Finals since 1994 since this organization has made deep runs in the playoffs year after year for what seems like over a decade.
In his second year as the Rangers coach, Vigneault’s team did not miss a beat. After losing in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Los Angeles Kings, the Rangers had the best regular season in the entire NHL. Registering 113 points in the regular season, good enough for the President’s Trophy, the team that got their dreams crushed a year previous seemed to be out for blood a year later. The club made it deep into the playoffs until they were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Conference Finals.
Although not as exciting as his first two years as bench boss, Alain Vigneault still lead this 2015-2016 Rangers team to another playoff berth, even though they were eliminated by the future Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. This season was just a generic one in the world of the New York Rangers. Fly under the radar, grab 3rd in the Metro, and clinch another playoff berth.
Two seasons ago, which seems like a century following the disaster this past season was, saw the Rangers do as they normally do. Continue to win and continue to make the playoffs. For those keeping score at home, Alain Vigneault lead the Rangers to four consecutive playoff appearances, each and every season he was with the club. The Rangers grabbed a Wild Card spot and fell to the Ottawa Senators in the second round.
And finally, the downfall. Not much needs to be said about this past season. It stunk. Dumpster fire. Where many fans believe AV’s bad colors showed greatly, which ultimately lead the team to miss the playoffs, and making the decision to fire head coach Alain Vigneault after five seasons a whole lot easier.
Although many are happy to see him gone, Alain Vigneault helped this team win. The Rangers reached the playoffs four out of the five years with Vigneault as the head coach. That’s a great statistic for any team, even though the expectations may be higher when you work in New York.
The firing of Vigneault doesn’t come as a surprise, as the rebuild is in full effect. Relieving AV of his duties has to do more of him not being a coach that is ideal for growing players and helping new guys establish their time in the NHL. That job is now for David Quinn, the new leader of the New York Rangers.