New York Rangers’ Likelihood of Firing Alain Vigneault in the Offseason

Just because Alain Vigneault was given a contract extension mid-season doesn’t mean he is immune to being fired. If his team loses in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row, will the New York Rangers go back on their deal?

When it comes to the topic of the longevity of Alain Vigneault’s tenure with the New York Rangers, the fan base is pretty divided. One-half of the fan base is completely fine with everything he does, cites his two conference final appearances and asks, “who are you gonna find that’s better to replace him?”

The other half of the fan base is fed up with his constant line juggling, unfair treatment to rookies and young players alike, giving the minutes they deserve to older, past their prime favorites of his own.

Regardless of where you stand on this polarizing topic, what happens in the next few weeks will be huge for Vigneault, as it might determine the bench he stands on over the course of the next 82-game season.

The Extension Means Nothing

Back on January 30th, the Rangers extended Alain Vigneault’s contract through the 19-20 season. Of course, that caused a riot in RangersTown. Granted, the extension came a day after a humiliating 6-4 loss at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Vigneault’s predecessor John Tortorella that was much worse than the score indicated.

Although the optics were horrible, Tortorella could tell you that mid-season extensions mean absolutely nothing. While in New York, Tortorella signed a contract extension with the Rangers in the midst of the 2012-13 season and was later canned after a second-round loss to the Boston Bruins.

How could the Rangers fire their coach after making it to the conference finals the year before and making it to the second round the next year? The same way they can fire Vigneault with another first round loss.

Related Story: Alain Vigneault’s Extension of Sorrows

For what it’s worth, Vigneault has had a very good winning percentage over his last two season at .623 percent, but Tortorella just edged out Vigneault in that category in his last two seasons as Rangers coach with a .624 winning percentage.

Not Much Time Left to Make His Mark

It’s obviously an uphill battle for Vigneault due to the lack of good depth on defense, but he still has plenty to work with to make this team a contender. You would be hard-pressed to find a better forward group in the league. You also have a world class goalie in Henrik Lundqvist standing in the crease.

Related Story: Vigneault’s Questionable Youth Development Decisions

For the team to have come out as lifeless as they have at home this season, coupled by his head-scratchingly horrible personnel decisions, Vigneault deserves all the negative attention he gets.

If Alain Vigneault wants to ensure that his Rangers tenure will continue, there is one thing he needs to do: win in the playoffs. If Vigneault can’t do that, he will likely see a different team’s locker room routinely next season.

Vigneault has proven over the course of his NHL career that he is as good a regular season coach as they come, as far as results are concerned. In New York, that alone is not gonna cut it.