The latest status on Alain Vigneault’s future with the Rangers
As the Rangers head into action against St. Louis tonight, the status of Alain Vigneault’s coaching future in NY remains unclear. Both Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton have refused to comment on AV beyond this season. However, the likelihood of him remaining are very slim, but still possible.
Opening Up To Le Journal de Montreal
In a recent interview with Le Journal de Montreal, Vigneault told them he is taking it “one day at a time.” The coach also stressed that his job is to win now and that he expects his team to be prepared to do so.
“I told the team when the letter was released to announce the changes” Vigneault said, “we will try to win every game and that’s what we will do.” And winning is exactly what they’ve been doing, having picked up 11 points in their last 8 games.
Their OT comeback thriller against Pittsburgh put them back to .500 at 32-32-7. While the wins are nice, they are 9 points out of the last wild card spot with 11 games to go. In essence, they aren’t going to make it and are only hurting themselves in the draft lottery.
Rumors On AV’s Future
During the NBC broadcast against the Penguins, insider, Bob McKenzie gave his insight on the situation. “Some people think that for sure he will be gone and with a rebuild they will need a different voice, not a guy in his sixth-year with the organization.” On the flip side he offered, “there are others that say he has 2 years left, believed to be $4 million per, not an easy guy to get rid of.”
McKenzie believes the Rangers have chosen not address it right now, but will do so come the final game of the season. He expects that’s when they will gauge AV’s thoughts about being a part of the rebuild. Even if AV would like to be, and I assume he would say yes for 8 million reasons, Gorton has to decide if AV is the right man for the job.
From what I have heard, the organization is more than likely to move on and has a short list of coaches they would like to interview. As soon as Vigneault is let go, expect them to start requesting permission to speak with a variety of minor league bench bosses, and NHL assistants. They will also wait to see which potential big name NHL coaches may be relieved, such as Joel Quenneville in Chicago.
The Rangers season ends on April 7th. In 3 weeks time, we will learn definitively if Alain Vigneault will be behind the bench next season. Let’s just say that if there was a Vegas line on him staying, it wouldn’t be a good bet to take.