New York Rangers’ coach Alain Vigneault is in rare form. AV says that until Kevin Hayes improves, he will not play. AV even calls out his lack of effort.
Vigneault is normally a mild-mannered coach that rarely calls out players.
He may challenge players, but his comments about Hayes today were an indictment, not a challenge.
In an interview with Rangers beat writer Andrew Gross, AV seemed to show the same disdain for Kevin Hayes’ play that fans have been showing.
AV says that things have reached a “tipping point” with Hayes.
Vigneault then goes on to say that Hayes may not play for awhile:
“At this time unless something changes, he’s definitely not going to play. I think we all have our tipping points and I think Kevin has had an extra long leash, especially considering Step (Derek Stepan) was out for quite some time. But there’s just nothing going on and at the end of the day we’re at the point now where we’ve got to make some decisions in the best interests of the team.”
AV even calls into question whether the organization overestimated Hayes’ ability:
“In Kevin’s case I think we made it clear our expectations about him and what we felt he could do were very high and obviously he hasn’t lived up to that. Did we overestimate his possibilities? I don’t know. Time will tell. But I do know what we’re seeing now is not good enough.”
When asked whether Hayes has worked hard enough. AV stated:
“No, no I don’t. I think that part of work also is just not on the ice and off the ice, but it’s in the preparation. Preparation that permits you to execute on the ice. When I say we’ve reached our tipping point, me and obviously management, those are decisions we discuss. We just felt at this time we felt this was the right thing to do.”
Apparently, Hayes is still confident in his game:
AV says Kevin Hayes has been given a “long leash” this season. No more. Meanwhile Hayes says he remains confident in his game.
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) December 29, 2015
Vigneault wants Hayes to back up his talk:
“I think I like players that project that confidence, whether it be that swagger or that cockiness. But you have to be able to go out on the ice and perform.”
Look out Rangerstown, Vigneault has had enough of the Rangers’ latest performances.
Andrew Gross’ entire interview with AV can be viewed here. It’s worth a read.