But life goes on and so does the hockey world, which means it’s time to talk news.
In New York, the Rangers signed head coach Alain Vigneault to a two-year contract extension. That puts him behind the bench through the 2019-2020 season.
The Blueshirts seemed all but assured a playoff spot this season, with the club looking at a 31-17-1 record going into today’s contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Vigneault’s ability to parlay some long-term success out of this Rangers’ franchise has led to the extension and he should become the first coach since Phil Watson to start a fifth consecutive season with the team. That’s a pretty good indicator of the club’s respect for their man, although one has to think the ultimate prize would go a long way to solidifying Vigneault as the team’s all-time best bench boss.
The Rangers have gone 175-97-23 under the tutelage of the 55-year-old, who joined the team in 2013. They reached the Stanley Cup Final in his first year and lost to Los Angeles in five. They also snagged the Presidents’ Trophy in 2014-2015 and have scored the fifth-most points in the NHL since 2013, plus the third-most points in the Eastern Conference since 2013.
So, he must be doing something right.
Vigneault brought his up-tempo game to the Rangers from Vancouver, where he took the Canucks on a similar run and helped them win two Presidents’ Trophies. They also reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2011 before a loss to the Bruins caused the city’s morons to flood the streets.
With the Rangers, Vigneault is dealing with a club that keeps getting younger. And that seems fine with him. The team has 10 players 25-years-old or younger on the current set.
The extension is a good thing for New York and a good thing for Vigneault, so everybody should be happy for the time being. The team’s been scoring and putting up numbers, but they’ve gone 5-5-0 in their last 10 and could stand to break the stalemate with a win on Tuesday.