Well here’s something nobody saw coming. In the midst of what seems to be another successful regular season for the New York Rangers, the New York Post is reporting that the team has signed head coach Alain Vigneault to a contract extension:
EXCLUSIVE: Rangers extend Alain Vigneault's contract through 2019-20 with a $2 million raise https://t.co/p5EhGALU6l— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) January 31, 2017
Despite rumblings that another early exit in the playoffs would lead to Vigneault’s firing, the veteran head coach has managed to parlay what’s looking like a 4th consecutive playoff appearance into another two years of security in New York. Barring a massive change of heart among New York’s front office, Vigneault will become the first Rangers coach since Phil Watson (1955-1959, fired in 59-60) to begin a fifth consecutive season as the team’s bench boss. With any doubt of Vigneault being out of the picture being removed, it will be interesting to see how the team manages the roster in the upcoming weeks and months. Will they make moves to cater specifically to a roster that Alain Vigneault desires? Or Jeff Gorton go about his business as usual and make the moves he deems to be best for the team as a whole?
Either way, there is some upside to keeping Vigneault in the fold for the time being. With the most notable free agent coaches currently being Gerard Gallant and Jack Capuano, there was certainly room for New York to take a step backwards in the coaching department. In addition to that, Jeff Gorton and company would be unlikely to extend a coach who has lost the locker room, so perhaps the extension should quash any concerns that the players have tuned Vigneault out.
Any thoughts on Vigneault’s extension, and what it means for the team going forward?