The Rangers made it official today, with Alain Vigneault named the Rangers’ 34th head coach in franchise history. Vigneault becomes the first French Canadien coach of the Rangers since Michel Bergeron who last coached in 1989.
General Manager Glen Sather noted that the organization had identified thirteen candidates in their search, ultimately interviewing Vigneault and Mark Messier in person, and another unnamed four over the phone – perhaps John Stevens, Lindy Ruff, Dallas Eakins and one other.
Vigneault for his part said he came to New York “to win”, that it was easier negotiating a contract with two teams after him – Dallas Stars also were pursuing – and that New York was a great place to win a cup.
Perhaps less convincingly he said he thinks the Rangers are “in the category of teams that’re competing for the Cup”. Perhaps just awkward wording, but also perhaps a suggestion that there’s some doubts there.
Sather did also note that the Rangers management had tried to work with Tortorella to increase the offense over the years, and that Vigneault provides more of an offensive focus that is in line with the way the game is played today.