Alain Vigneault to coach Rangers
Alain Vigneault will be the new head coach of the New York Rangers, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.
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Glen Sather has set a new tone with the addition of Alain Vigneault as the Rangers' new coach, writes Katie Strang. Blog
Although Vigneault is technically still under contract with the Vancouver Canucks -- the hiring is imminent, the source said. The contract is a five-year, $10 million deal, a source confirmed.
The Rangers declined to comment via a team spokesperson.
Vigneault was also a top candidate for the Dallas Stars head coaching vacancy, but chose the Rangers after being made what one source described as a "lucrative" offer from the Stars.
A source told ESPNNewYork.com that Vigneault agreed to terms with the Rangers before informing Dallas he was out of the running Friday night. ESPNNewYork.com reported that Vigneault met with team owner Jim Dolan in New York on Friday.
Vigneault, who was fired by the Canucks after the team was swept by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the playoffs, would succeed John Tortorella as bench boss for the Rangers. Coincidentally, Tortorella has interviewed with the Canucks about replacing Vigneault, sources told ESPNNewYork.com.
Tortorella was dismissed four days after the Rangers' second-round exit from the playoffs last month.
Vigneault was one of only two candidates that underwent a formal interview with the Rangers this past week. The 52-year-old Quebec native beat out the Rangers' own Mark Messier for the job.
Messier, who led the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup championship in 54 years in 1994, expressed interest in the job once Tortorella was let go. He told reporters Friday he had interviewed with team brass and general manager Glen Sather while the Rangers met in California this week for their annual organizational team meetings.
Though the Rangers have not made any official decisions on their assistants, Mike Sullivan's close relationship with Tortorella makes it unlikely he'll return.
A source told ESPNNewYork.com that Ulf Samuelsson also filled out the Rangers' coaching questionnaire. Samuelsson, who previously coached under Jim Schoenfeld with the Rangers' AHL affiliate in Hartford, is highly regarded within the organization and could warrant consideration for an assistant coaching job with the team.
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