Mar 21, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault talks to his players during the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. The Blackhawks won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Hi Alain, Nice to Formally Meet You

October 12, 2011; Philadelphia, PA USA; Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault shouts from the bench during game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Flyers defeated the Canucks 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

I mean you can’t surely cover the hiring of Alain Vigneault I mean, AV (sorry Glen) enough can you?

Of course not.

After being introduced to the online world earlier this week as the next head coach of the New York Rangers, the team formally announced him today, with the glitz, the glamour, and the Rockettes, or just James Dolan at Radio City Music Hall.

In a 45 minutes (well actually a 15, thanks for the half hour delay guys) press conference, Sam Rosen MC’d the gathering as we all saw what AV would bring to the table, and one thing he likes is to play hockey “the right way”, so that phrase many Ranger fans over twitter hashtag gets to live on!

What we learned:

  • 13 candidates to consider, brought it down to 9, then interviewed AV and Messier in person. Sather then talked to another 4 over the phone.
  • Sather will not discuss his relationship with Messier, or the potential buyout of Brad Richards. This was not the time and place to do so. On the Messier front, said that they’d talk after he got back from the Boston GM meetings.
  • AV will allow his skilled players a little more latitude, and the ability to use that skill. Good for Nash, Hagelin and Kreider. Sure we can throw in Brassard, Stepan and Zuccarello in there too.
  • AV was at the practice facility where he said he talked to assistant coach Mike Sullivan, wait I thought he was fired? EXPLAIN!
  • The defense will be up in the rush a lot. A Renaissance for Michael Del Zotto?
  • AV stated that he wants 3-4 assistants. 1 for the powerplay, 1 for the penalty kill and 2 behind the bench. He didn’t state it, but Benoit Alliare will be safe as goalie coach, we already knew that.
  • Sather thanked Tortorella for his time prior to introducing AV, and after. After the press conference, he stated that the Rangers system wasn’t working in the way the NHL was evolving. Mentioned that Torts was incredibly stubborn, and not easily willing to adapt to those changes, which in turn cost him his job.
  • Sather thought about changing coaching during the season, but with the team making the playoffs wanted to wait and see.
  • From what AV heard about current Captain Ryan Callahan, he’s like what he has heard, and plans to keep him as captain. Does not expect to have any input, nor wants to have any input regarding the future of Brad Richards.
  • AV was more open, jokingly saying “having a second team interested in me made it easy come negotiation time”.

It’s going to be very interesting to see just how those changes take place, and what impact they are going to have on the team and the organization. It’ll be a telling offseason for the Rangers as well as we’ll learn just what type of players AV is looking for and wants to build the perfect contender to battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Blueline Station will be sure to cover it all, as the offseason for the Rangers should be very interesting.

Meanwhile, the coaching swap is (almost) complete. Sources are stating that former coach John Tortorella was seen jumping on a plane from Denver to Vancouver to become the next Canucks head coach.

In case you missed it, here is the questions and answer portion of the news conference with AV and Glen Sather:

Tags: #AlaiNYR Alain Vigneault AV Brad Richards Coaching Search Glen Sather Head Coach John Tortorella Mark Messier Michael Del Zotto Mike Sullivan New York Rangers Ryan Callahan Vancouver Canucks

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