Rangers brass send message with extension, this is Alain Vigneault’s team
Alain Vigneault has earned it
The NYPOST reported last night that head coach, Alain Vigneault had his contract extended to 2019-2020. He also got a pay raise which clearly sends a signal that the Rangers believe in him.
The Rangers have been around for 90 years. That’s a long time and a lot of coaches sitting behind the bench. Lester Patrick, Frank Boucher, Emile Francis, and Mike Keenan are among the greatest of the 34 men before Alain Vigneault to lead the Rangers. Three of the four mentioned have all hoisted the Cup for the Blueshirts (poor Emile). By the end of his tenure, will AV add his name to that list?
Where AV Ranks in NYR Coaching History
AV will claim 6th on the list in games coached with 295 after tonight (Emile Francis is first with 654). He sits 3rd with 175 wins (Francis has 342) and is 2nd in winning percentage at .632. What is most impressive about that is the leader, Mike Keenan at .667 only coached one season in NY, the magical run of 1994.
In the playoffs, where it really counts, AV has a modest record of 25-24 but does have that first run to the Stanley Cup final in 2014 since 1994. If AV wants to be mentioned with the men above, he will need to bring home the Stanley Cup. Let’s face it, he likely will not coach in NY for 10 years and amass the records Emile Francis did. Sadly, Emile never won the Cup.
The Future Is In AV’s Hands
While many who criticize the coach for his roster decisions and handling of younger players, the brass believes in his ability. Also, can you tell me of a single coach in sports today that doesn’t get criticized for something? You can’t, so move on.
AV has shown a calm and coolness that shines through in NY where most coaches crack under the pressure. He has developed and continues to developed young stars in NY as well. Players like Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes are prime examples of his ability to turn prospects into NHL stars.
While he does rely heavily on his veterans to a fault, can you name any coach who isn’t in the process of a rebuild that doesn’t? AV is trying to contend with an aging defense, but with young blue liners like Brady Skjei, Ryan Graves and Sean Day likely to make a big impact in the next few years, I’m eager to see how he develops them.
This is a good move Rangers.