Photo Courtesy of SI.com
The Rangers about to rebuild, but should Head Coach Alain Vigneault be apart of it?
By: Chris Yackel (Rangers/NHL Writer)
The New York Rangers are rebuilding. Last week, this was made abundantly clear in a letter to the fan base from Team President Glen Sather and General Manager Jeff Gorton. The two also met with the media in a press conference to discuss the direction of the team. It was apparent after both of these actions were taken by the team, that the white flag was waved on this season and the for sale sign is up.
Players like Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, and even Captain Ryan McDonagh as well as fan-favorite Mats Zuccarello are all players that could be potentially moved according to several sources such as Elliotte Freidman, Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger. What is not clear however is the future of Head Coach Alain Vigneault. In the press conference last week Jeff Gorton’s thoughts on AV’s future certainly wasn’t a ringing endorsement that Vigneault will be back next year. “I wouldn’t want to answer that today. I don’t want the speculation out there. We have 25, almost 30 games to go. AV is our coach, we have a lot of faith in AV and what he’s done here. We’ll leave it at that.”
Vigneault who has two years remaining on his deal, but questions loom if Vigneault may be on the way out. Is this the right move though? Should AV get the boot or should he be the coach to oversee this rebuild? It’s a hard question to answer, but ultimately if the Rangers want a fresh start and are truly rebuilding, then they need a new coach to oversee the organization’s vision. Alain Vigneault is a great coach, in fact one of the best in the league, but every coach has a shelf life and his might be about to expire. You have to give credit to him though. He took this team to two Eastern Conference Finals, a Stanley Cup Final, a President’s Trophy and has been great for the Rangers ever since he took over as coach. The fact of the matter is that all of that is in the past.
Over the last couple of years though, the mismanagement of young players like JT Miller and Pavel Buchnevich as well as the mismanagement of ice time in key situations have gotten Vigneault under a ton of scrutiny. Last year’s playoff series against Ottawa is a prime example of ice time mismanagement in key situations as it cost the Rangers Game Two and Game Five against the Senators and probably the series. If the Rangers really want to rebuild then its time for Alain Vigneault to go. It’s in the best interest of the rebuild.
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