Vigneault on new contract: ‘I feel I’ve never been more driven than I am at this point’

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The New York Rangers have had a ton of success under coach Alain Vigneault.

They have been to a Stanley Cup Final, won a Presidents’ Trophy, and their 175 wins during his watch are the third most in the NHL (behind only Anaheim and St. Louis) during his three-and-a-half years behind the bench.

On Tuesday, they officially announced a contract extension rewarding for him that success that not only runs through the end of the 2019-20 season, but also¬†reportedly pays him more than $4 million per season, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. That would be a $2 million per year pay raise for the coach.

Vigneault had a chance to talk about his new contract on Tuesday morning before the team’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“I feel I’ve never been more driven than I am at this point,” Vigneault said, via the Rangers, while also adding that he is working his butt off to “win the ultimate thing.”

The “ultimate thing,” of course, being the Stanley Cup, which is just about the only thing Vigneault has not accomplished in his 15 seasons as an NHL coach in Montreal, Vancouver and New York.

Among coaches that have coached at least 500 games in the NHL, Vigneault’s .596 points percentage is 14th best all-time, while he has also won two conference titles (one in the West with Vancouver and the aforementioned one in the East with New York), a coach of the year award, and three Presidents’ Trophies (two in Vancouver, one in New York), while also making the playoffs eight years in a row and in nine of the past 10 seasons.

That postseason streak is looking like it is almost certain to continue this season as the Rangers enter play in the second half of the season with 63 points in 49 games, giving them a pretty significant cushion over the group of teams currently sitting on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.