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New York Rangers 2015-16 Report Cards: Coaches

Alain Vigneault

As good as AV was throughout his first two seasons as the Rangers’ head coach, he had an equally rough go of it this season.

Vigneault failed in four major categories this season: Player development, roster decisions, player preparation, and lack of adjustments.

Like his predecessor, Vigneault has demonstrated that his handling of young talent was less than ideal.

Players like Dylan McIlrath and Kevin Hayes were victims of yet another Rangers’ coach who looked unsure of how to deal with his young players.


Take Kevin Hayes for instance.

Benching a player can often send a message, as it will either give a player the chance to rest and reassess their game or serve as a slap on the wrist.

While I’ve been highly critical of Hayes this season, I’ve disagreed with AV’s handling of him.

A young and highly skilled player needs to taught and nourished, not publicly shamed and sat on the bench. You have to imagine that after being treated like a rebellious juvenile that Hayes might have tuned out the inconsistent coach.

Is it possible that AV held Hayes to unrealistic expectations? Most likely.

Then there’s Dylan McIlrath, who showed at times that he was capable of performing as a fifth or sixth defenseman but was never given consistent ice time to properly develop.

The McIlrath issue also hits upon Vigneault’s questionable roster decisions.

I mean, why wouldn’t you have Tanner Glass on the ice in the final two minutes of a big game?

Why not continue to match-up Dan Boyle against bigger and more physical opponents?

Sure, put Jesper Fast on the top two lines as he most certainly earned those roles.

The Rangers traded for Eric Staal? Let’s throw him on the third line and never surround him with the talent that he needed to be successful.

Check, check, check, and check.

The most shocking recurring issue of the 2015-16 season was a blatant lack of preparation for big games.

Just when you thought the Rangers were going to storm onto the ice like players who just heard an inspiring fire and brimstone speech, we often saw lackadaisical play.

Quite literally, the Rangers’ fans seemed more pumped for a handful of games than the players did this year.

That also falls on the coach.

And just how did AV deal with all of this adversity? Well actually, he didn’t deal with any of it.

Like John Tortorella, Vigneault seemed like a captive of his own stubbornness in 2015-16.

Vigneault Should Learn From Tom Coughlin

He didn’t make any adjustments and other teams took advantage.

One thing is for sure.

If Alain Vigneault continues to conduct his business like we saw this past season then he will have something else in common with Tortorella, and I’m not talking about his love of dogs.

In the end, a team’s performance falls on the shoulders of the coach and general manager.

Oh, we haven’t forgotten about Jeff Gorton.

He’s up next.

Grade: D

NEXT: New York Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello Doesn’t Like International Refs

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I've been a die hard Rangers and Giants fan for as long as I can remember. I enjoy sharing opinions, and hearing from fans that love their teams just as much as I do. Henrik Lundqvist makes all of us look like mere mortals. E-mail me at: [email protected]