The New York Rangers may have been bounced in the opening round of the 2016 playoffs, but they aren’t looking to make a coaching change. In a phone interview with Montreal’s LaPresse newspaper, Alain Vigneault confirmed that he’ll be back behind the Rangers’ bench next season.
“I’ve had discussions with the club’s front office and they told me that they wanted me to come back next season,” Vigneault told LaPresse (quotes have been translated by PHT).
Vigneault and Rangers management will meet in Palm Springs next week to discuss what went wrong in 2015-16.
Even though the season didn’t go the way the Rangers had hoped, Vigneault insists he was never worried about losing his job.
“I don’t really worry about that stuff,” Vigneault said of the rumors surrounding his job security. “There’s 82 games in a season plus the playoffs and you can’t start thinking about your fate after each game. After a loss, you forget it and start thinking about the adjustments you need to make. In regards to our situation, we still managed to pick up 101 points this season. That’s a good season, but we still expected more from our team in the playoffs.”
Like every off-season, there will be changes, but Vigneault isn’t expecting any major ones.
“There’s definitely going to be changes. I don’t know if there’ll be big changes because today, it’s hard to make big changes. With the salary cap, it’s not realistic to think that way.”
When pressed about potential changes, Vigneault wasn’t willing to elaborate.
Vigneault also touched on the way Dan Boyle went after two reporters at the team’s year-end media availability. It’s safe to say he wasn’t thrilled about the way the whole thing went down.
“It’s a lesson for me and our whole team,” added Vigneault. “It’s disappointing because Dan had a really nice career. He won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay, but all people will remember him for is this incident. What happened with him really surprised us. It’s too bad. I hope people will remember him for the career he had.”
The Stanley Cup playoffs continue with one game on Friday night. You can catch tonight’s action via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.
Tampa Bay at NY Islanders (7:00 p.m. ET)
The TV broadcast of Game 4 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Lightning lead the series 2-1.
Here’s some relevant reading material you might enjoy:
A huge tilt on day one of the World Hockey Championships, as Canada and the USA clash in Russia. You can watch the game online using the NBC Sports Live Extra app.
Canada came away with a gold medal in last year’s tournament while the United States took home the bronze. Of course, each team’s roster changes significantly every year.
The USA’s next game is tomorrow against Belarus. Canada will play Sunday against Hungary.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
–Here’s a feel-good story. Canucks prospect Brock Boeser is taking a girl with Down syndrome to prom. (Sportsnet)
–NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire does a lot of traveling during the playoffs. (Sports Illustrated)
–It sounds like ESPN’s Mike Wilbon isn’t a fan of the Coyotes’ latest front office hire. (ESPN)
–Watch the highlights from last night’s game between the Stars and Blues. (Top)
–Former referee Kerry Fraser wants the old charging rule to make a return. (TSN)
–Hockey is becoming more common in the North Carolina Sports Hall-of-Fame. (Charlotte Observer)
–Leafs prospect Mitch Marner’s family home caught fire prior to Game 1 of the OHL final. (Sportsnet)