I made the decision to go see This Is The End last night. It was fantastic. The movie was remarkably funny, ended really well and had me in a great mode when it was over. Midway though the movie I saw not one but two texts from Bryan Winters. Bryan, if you didn't know, is a cyborg and knows about news before the news happens. I knew something big had occurred but my phone died so I continued watching the movie and tried not to think about it.
After the movie I came home, charged my phone and saw that all hell has broken loose in the New York Rangers coaching search.
Let's take a few minutes to sort through everything:
- Yesterday Mark Messier confirmed that he did indeed interview for the open position. The Rangers also confirmed they requested permission to speak to Los Angeles Kings assistant John Stevens.
- Bryan also did some investigative journalism and we found out that Alain Vigneault was headed on a flight to New York -- most likely to interview with the Rangers for a second time.
- It has been widely rumored that Vigneault's meeting with Rangers owner James Dolan completely changed the direction of the talks and drew Vigneault to Broadway.
- While nothing is set in stone or finalized, it's very clear that Vigneault is the hands down favorite to become John Tortorella's replacement.
- There are also rumors that Messier might come on as an assistant coach (which would be the perfect scenario) but those aren't confirmed.
Vigneault is the right choice. There's simply no way around it. You can try to come up with reasons why Messier would make a great coach (leadership, ability to inspire and an understanding of the game few people possess) but his lack of experience can't be taken lightly. In order for Messier to work as a head coach -- without any experience -- he would need superstar assistant coaches, and even then it's still a risk.
We've talked about this before. The Rangers can't afford to take risks right now.
Vigneault did some special things in Vancouver. He's a coach who knows how to get the most out of his players and he's been consistently successful. Here's a really good article from the Canucks side of things about Vigneault. Give it a read, it's worth your time.
We'll have more here when we get it. But for right now I fully expect Vigneault to be named the head coach sooner rather than later.
At the end of the day that's the right call.