As of Saturday at 11:00 p.m. (EST), Jeff Gorton released Alain Vigneault of his coaching duties. After being with the team for five years and posting a 223-147-37 record, winning a president trophy, and taking the team on four playoff runs, posting a 6-4 record in playoff matchups, and a 24-29 playoff record and taking the team to a Stanley Cup final as well.
AV is gone!
AV is a very old school coach, he excels when a veteran ship is embodied in the team and they have a solid foundation and core players. Which is why he excelled so much in years past but when the Rangers made some changes and their leadership was bleak and they were transitioning to a younger model, AV is not the best fit for this team now. Gorton made it clear he was going to evaluate AV at the end of the year, and throughout the wholoe year, there were mummers of AV being fired mid-way through the seaosn. Unfortunately, a new face would have to come in and deal with this young team, therefore they let AV ride out the year and see how he handled it. Well, after the embarassing 5-0 loss to the Flyers in the final game of the season, AV praised and congrulated his coaching staff and his efforts as a coach this season. Yet there was nothing to congrulate as the Rangers missed the playoffs, they posted a below .500 record and struggled to be compeititve the remiander of the season. It did not take Gorton long to evaluate AV after that, following the postgame interview Saturday afternoon, Gorton fired AV fours later.
Now the Rangers pursue a new coach, a young one, someone who can develop, mold and guide these young players, something AV lacked greatly and the main reason he was fired. AV did not do a great job developing players and or being a player-coach. He often criticized players for trying to be creative and or be offensive, AV had a defensive mindset as a coach and he wanted to see players commit to defense or they would not fly with him. He often slated some top performers on the team on the fourth or even third line. Well, the hunt is on now, as the Rangers will have three first-round picks, a list of players to come up this season and a roster that is relatively young. Well see what Gorton and Sather choose to do for a coach moving forward, I would not be surprised if it was a head coach of an NCAA Hockey team.
So Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to sign a 2-3 year deal with the Rangers soon. This came at 3:33 a.m. (est) and this is probably nothing new for some fans. Kovalchuk said he was going to come back to the NHL next season, but not many knew where, he did show interest in going to the Rangers or a Metropolitan team, but nothing was set. Well now something is “set” and Kovalchuk could be a Ranger for the next 2-3 years.
Kovalchuk last played in the NHL in 2012-2013, he is now 35-years-old but during his time in the NHL, he tallied 816 points in 816 games, 417 goals, and 399 assists. His best year came in 2005-2006 where he scored 52 goals and 46 assists in 78 games. He later tallied 83 points in 2011-2012, in 77 games, six years later he still had it. Well now six years later, let’s see what he can do…