On Tuesday, the New York Rangers released their preseason schedule.
While normally cause for little interest, the release was intriguing in that it features a game that defies all preconceived notions of preseason hockey — because it’s actually kind of compelling.
On Sept. 26, new coach Alain Vigneault will take the Blueshirts to his old stomping ground, Vancouver, to face the Canucks, who are now coached by Vigneault’s predecessor in New York:
The game is part of New York’s West Coast exhibition tour, which begins with a Sept. 23 game in Calgary, followed by a game the following night against the Oilers in Edmonton.
From there, the Rangers will fly to Vancouver to take on the Canucks, before heading to Las Vegas to partake in the Kings’ annual Frozen Fury event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
It makes sense the Canucks and Rangers would find a way to meet up.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time in NHL history two coaches have swapped benches and become the other’s immediate successor.
Vigneault left Vancouver as the Canucks’ all-time winningest head coach, capturing the Jack Adams trophy in 2007 while leading the club to back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies in 2011 and ’12.
Tortorella was an Adams nominee in 2012, leading the Rangers to first place in the Eastern Conference (for the first time since 1994) and the conference finals (for the first time since 1997.)