A unique counter argument for the fire AV crowd

Vigneault (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Alain Vigneault’s coaching competancy is coming into question often lately. He has always been known for decision making that leaves some fans scratching their heads. His most recent decisions as Rangers head coach have left even more fans baffled than usual.

After unreasonably sitting his third leading scorer Pavel Buchnevich, playing Steven Kampfer, more than Brady Skjei and Marc Staal, and sittting Henrik Lundqvist during Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Vegas, fans are astonished as to how he still holds his current position.

I would love to see AV get fired as does a majority of the Rangers fan base. It should have happened last season after the embarrassing game 6 playoff loss to the Senators. But the thing is, I’m not too sure if I would want to see him get fired mid-season considering the current situation that the Rangers are in. With the Rangers trying to make a playoff run and redeem themselves for last season, it could be a risky move to having a coach change in the midst of it all.

At this point, who knows how much more it is going to take for Gorton to fire AV. It seems inevitable for AV to get the ax. However, if it were to happen and either Lindy Ruff or Scott Arniel were to take over as interim head coach, who would bring about the most change?


Ruff, currently an assistant coach for the Rangers, has had plenty of experience with the NHL not only as a coach but also as a player. Playing in the NHL for over 10 years and coaching for over 20, there is no doubt Ruff has the experience necessary to be an effective coach. However, he was fired from Dallas after a very disappointing season last year. One of the biggest reasons was how awful the Stars were defensively. Especially on the PK, which was a paltry 79% effective.

Arniel, on the other hand, does not have as much NHL coaching experience as Ruff. Arniel, who is currently the associate coach of the Rangers, has only about 2 years as an NHL head coach under his belt. The rest of his coaching experiences have been spent in leagues like the IHL and AHL. He may not have the needed clout to take over the reins of a team like the Rangers.

Determining who would be the best fit for a new head coach based off of experience would ultimately land the Rangers with Ruff due to the fact that he has more experience than Arniel. Arniel lacks experience and overall, would just not be a good fit. Just take a look at the Rangers power play lately. It hasn’t looked this bad in a while and has become one of the worst out of contending teams.

If Gorton does give AV the boot and Ruff were to become interim head coach to finish the remainder of the season, the Rangers could possibly be in better hands. Although with the Rangers defense struggling is he the best option. The question does beg to be asked, “does Ruff really make the Rangers better this year?” That answer is not clear and it makes AV the best option for now.

Next year is a whole different argument.


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