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Former Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault has officially signed with the New York Rangers. Vigneault was fired by the Canucks after they were swept by the San Jose Sharks in Round 1 of this year’s playoffs. He also spent three seasons coaching the Montreal Canadiens from 1997 to 2000, making the Rangers his second Original 6 team.
In New York, Vigneault will join forces with GM Glen Sather, the one-time heffe of the high-flying Eighties Edmonton Oilers. The Rangers are coming off two successful seasons in Manhattan, making it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012 and the semifinals this season.
“The opportunity to win,” Vigneault said on Friday, for the main reason why he joined the Rangers.
“I think the New York Rangers have got a real solid team and they’re real close to the Stanley Cup… I mean, it’s the New York Rangers. It’s an Original 6 team. You talk about tradition and you talk about passion from the fans, it’s a great place to be part of.”
Vigneault also said that, as a divorced father of two children who live in the eastern half of Canada, it was nice to sever some of that distance.
“I’ve been on the road basically the last 10 years… (it was) a long way for my two girls to come and see me. It was a tough commute, so coming here to New York, it’s an hour-flight, it’s a great city. They’re going to really appreciate the shopping.”
Watch Vigneault’s press conference:
Meanwhile, intrigue continues to tell the tale of similarities between the Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks. While New York hired YVR’s last bench boss, just-fired Manhattan coach John Tortorella landed at YVR Airport on Friday amidst a sea of reports that he has been offered the head coaching gig in British Columbia.
Cheers to Matt Lee (The Dave Pratt Show, CKNW) for this Vine: