This season for the New York Rangers has been all about change, and now there will be a new head coach in 2018-19. Alain Vigneault has been fired, according to reports.
OFFICIAL: #NYR Head Coach Alain Vigneault has been relieved of his coaching duties.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 8, 2018
TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to break the news.
The Rangers are coming off a disappointing season where they finished last in the Metropolitan Division, missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years. Vigneault had been the head coach of the Blueshirts since the 2013-14 season where they went to the Stanley Cup Finals.
This season was not the best for Vigneault who led the Rangers to a 34-39-7 record. His decisions continued to become more and more questionable as the year came on as it became quite evident that he was losing his team.
There was pressure on the 56-year-old head coach to get off to a good start and he quite frankly did not. The team began the season 4-7-2 and never really clicked. There was even rumors that if the team had not beaten the Vegas Golden Knights, the Rangers would have made a coaching change. The team ended up winning that game and gave Vigneault another life-line.
As the season went on, it became evident that Vigneault was not the man to lead this team going forward. His usage of players like Pavel Buchnevich and J.T. Miller had people scratching their heads. There were times were Vigneault had Miller and Buchnevich buried on the fourth line when the team was desperate for goals.
The Rangers made a decision to sell at the deadline, and part of that was because of where Vigneault had the team. The constant struggles defensively on top of his stubbornness when it came to keeping veterans in the lineup over young offensive talent just became too much. With the Rangers going in a youth movement, it was clear that Vigneault was not the man to lead this team.
Vigneault will finish his time with the Rangers with a record of 226-147-37 in five seasons. On top of leading the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals, he led the team to two Eastern Conference Finals and past the first round in all but one of four playoff appearances.