New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has named Alain Vigneault as the team’s new Head Coach.
“Alain Vigneault has had success throughout his career and his coaching style is a perfect fit for the Rangers,” said Sather in making the announcement. “We feel very fortunate to have him leading this team, as we continue to pursue our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”
Vigneault, 52, becomes the 35th Head Coach in the 87-year history of the Rangers. He joins the organization after serving as Head Coach of the Vancouver Canucks for seven seasons. Under his guidance, Vancouver compiled a 313-170-57 record for a .632 winning percentage in 540 games. He led the Canucks to back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and captured the Northwest Division title in six of his seven seasons in Vancouver.
In 2010-11, Vigneault guided Vancouver to franchise records with 54 wins and 117 points to capture the first Presidents’ Trophy in club history, as the Canucks advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1994. He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top head coach following that season and also served as an assistant coach at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game.
Vigneault guided the Canucks into the top five in the NHL in goals per game in each of the last three full seasons, including first overall in 2010-11, and ranked in the top six in the league in power play percentage from 2009-10 to 2011-12. In 2006-07, Vancouver established franchise records in wins (49) and points (105) to capture the Northwest Division title and their first playoff berth since 2003-04, in his first season with the Canucks. Vigneault was awarded the Jack Adams Award following that season in recognition of his achievements.
Vigneault previously served as Head Coach of the Montreal Canadiens from 1997-98 to 2000-01, becoming the organization’s second youngest coach in club history at the age of 36. He led the Canadiens to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in his first season as Head Coach, and was voted runner-up for the Jack Adams Award following the 1999-00 season. Vigneault also served as an Assistant Coach with the Ottawa Senators from 1992-93 to 1995-96.
The Quebec City, Quebec native has compiled a 422-288-35-61 record for a .583 winning percentage in 806 career games. He finished the 2012-13 season ranked sixth among active NHL coaches in games coached and seventh for most wins. On February 1, 2013, Vigneault registered his 400th career win in his 766th game coached in the NHL, becoming the eighth fastest coach to reach the mark behind Scotty Bowman (690 games), Glen Sather (694 games), Mike Babcock (699 games), Toe Blake (724 games), Dave Tippett (729 games), Mike Keenan (731 games), and Ken Hitchcock (736 games).
In 2005-06, Vigneault led Vancouver’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, to a 44-24-12 record and the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. He also has 10 seasons of head coaching experience in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with Trois Rivieres (1986-87), Hull (1987-92), Beauport (1995-97), and P.E.I. (2003-05). Vigneault led the Hull Olympiques to the 1988 Memorial Cup after capturing the QMJHL championship, and was named CHL Coach of the Year following that season.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Vigneault appeared in 42 games over two seasons with the St. Louis Blues from 1981-82 to 1982-83. Originally selected by the Blues as an eighth round choice, 167th overall, in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, the defenseman registered two goals, five assists and 82 penalty minutes in his NHL career. After retiring as a player in 1984, Vigneault went on to serve as a scout with the Blues for two seasons from 1984-85 to 1985-86.
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