V-day for the Rangers: Alain Vigneault to officially be introduced as new coach today


Finally, the Rangers will name their new coach today. Alain Vigneault, in the worst-kept secret in the  history of sports, will be introduced as the successor to John Tortorella at an 11 a.m press conference at MSG North, er, Radio City Music Hall.

I will be there and will provide tweets, audio, hopefully some video by the end of the proceedings, and later some commentary.

Also, for those who’ve been complaining about the Torts video at the top of the main blog page, well, that should get knocked down to a much less conspicuous position once a new video (fingers crossed) goes up later on.

Not sure, really, if anything newsworthy can possibly come out of this presser, other than perhaps the naming of the new coaching staff appointees, unless Vigneault says something worthwhile. We’ll see. At the very least, it’s going to be a lot more pleasant asking questions of the new guy than it was of the old guy.

Meanwhile, it looks as if Torts is doing his Eddie Murphy and Trading Places with Vigneault in Vancouver, which should be interesting to say the least.

On two other topics, I am interested to see what Mark Messier decides to do now that he’s been passed over for the coaching position, and since he’s apparently not in line to succeed Glen Sather as GM — not that Sather is going anywhere any time soon. I also have some thoughts about Sather, to share later on this weekend perhaps, about the tough decisions he’s made since May 25.

By the way, the Rangers’ summer started May 25 for the second year in a row, but today is actually the first official day of summer, so Happy Summer.

***************************************2013 CFDA Fashion Awards - Outside Arrivals

On another front, and I’m sure I will have more to say on this later, I’m not completely sure I believe what Henrik Lundqvist had to say in Larry Brooks’ story in the Post yesterday. But I am sure that I don’t know whether he’s telling the truth about his role, or lack thereof, in Tortorella’s firing.

And if he really wasn’t front and center in the mutiny, then there probably was none, because no player on the team could have affected the move as much as Lundqvist, especially since so much of the core of the roster probably didn’t want Tortorella out.

But I will say this. I hope Lundqvist wasn’t involved. I have a lot of respect for him and the way he carries himself and the person that he is, and I personally would prefer he didn’t have “coach killer” on his resume. So I hope he doesn’t.

Photos by Getty Images.


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  1. Carp – there are some things i would read into today:

    Will Messier be there? If he is that suggests he will not be leaving the organ-eye-zay-shun.

    Will B.Rich be amongst the players in attendance? If he is that suggests to me that the buyout is not imminent.

    As for Hank, he may not have explicitly said to Slats “if he stays, i go” but through his agent i bet the reasons put forward not to stay included the lack of goalscoring, chance to win now etc…

  2. Meanwhile, Bill Pidto and his -crap- crop report is on a train, locked in a cage, wearing a gorilla suit.

  3. Good morning, boneheads!

    I was reading that LB article and was trying to convince myself that Hank was honest about it. For the same exactly reason- he doesn’t seem to be a person. Well, I couldn’t fully convince myself. Still have a bad taste…Time to move on though.

  4. So Lundqvist is not entitled to express his opinion? Hasn’t earned the right? So what if he did….the team went backwards….powerplay became a running joke…the entire Richards saga just seemed to be mishandled. As was Boyle and the Haglin comment…and who knows what else. I am sure if we had an opportunity to unload on the supervisor to our boss…one on one…we’d take our shots…..especially if we felt a change would improve performance…..so if Lundqvist did kill the coach….then I support him.

  5. I think Lundquist was unhappy with his own play and the frustration boiled over, but that’s my own insignificant personal opinion…and I never take what I see in the news as face value. Not only is it edited, but the writers often get it wrong (sorry, Carp, this is from experience on environmental issues volunteer work over the past 30 years). As H.G. Welles once said, “We mustn’t put new news in a newspaper, who would believe it?!” Like the rest of you, I hope the LB quote is entirely true, but not banking on it. Will be interesting to hear the start of a new coaching regime…should we have a pool on how long it will last? Should we be quoting Winston Churchill today about 1,000 years?;>))

  6. Oh, and I agree that Tortorella caused his own demise, it wasn’t a player mutiny. As noted by others, Tortorella’s 2012 Rangers had their issues, not to mention Torts’ rough edges when dealing with the media and, most importantly, his mutiny against Slather (his “I’m not the GM” comment was the final straw.)

  7. une tasse à 74 ans et ça continue aka Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    You can only give some much rope (years ) to a coach before you have to hang ( fire ) him

    Torts had his time .. didn’t get the job done same with sather.. I think he’s on thin ice..
    FMLTGE from my lips to God’s ears

  8. bull dog line on

    maybe Hank did not say anything. wanna bet his agent did? Hank has blood on his hands whether he likes or not.

  9. “Torts fought valiantly, Torts fought nobly, Torts fought honorably.
    And Torts died.”

  10. bull dog line on

    being the beat goalie in the regular season is no longer acceptable. there are goalies in the finals, year after year, that are not as good as Hank. they are there because they make the big save at the big time. not because they give up a goal 50 seconds after there team fights there way into a tie. not because in a game 5 conference final they give up 3 crappy goals in the first. the clock is ticking on Hank. he doesn’t have a system to fall back on, or a coach to blame anymore.

  11. une tasse à 74 ans et ça continue aka Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    Well I do hope they buyout Richards , then Tort’s can bring to Vancouver,
    but the obvious fact is too much cash for aging player..
    It will be interesting to see how Vigneault tries to fix the rangers with the tools (players) sather has given him . Tools ? Freudian slip ?

  12. the video is annoying because ever since it went up this site takes way too long to load, on all devices.

  13. wild & Onecup, I’m not saying he didn’t deserve to be fired. I’m saying he wasn’t going to be fired on May 27, and then he was fired on May 29. so something changed and it has been widely speculated, and even reported by the writer now refuting it, that it was a mutiny by some players.

    I don’t believe he said “I’m not the GM” but rather “ask my GM” when he was questioned about the buyout, which he probably did not favor. There’s no way that quote got him fired.

    To think that Sather is on thin ice is naive.

  14. I think its naive to think that the players are innocent, not just Hank, but there must have been certain things mentioned by agents and maybe seen or heard from during the exit interviews. Maybe Torts did shoot himself in the foot with comments about, or to, Slats but the bullet was loaded into the gun by others it seems.

    Its also naive to think that Slats is under any pressure, he will retire to the Life President job when he feels like it.

  15. For the record, i thank Torts for giving us a team that worked hard and had an identity we could relate to but, i am now looking forward to seeing the powerplay not resemble a table hockey game and how Nash, Step, Zucc, Hags, Cally, Brassard and co play when they are given some freedom to play in the middle of the ice not against the boards or dumping and chasing constantly.

  16. Lundqvist, involved or not, does not and should not have “coach killer” on his resume. The only person who has it is Tortorella himself.

  17. It would be more beneficial and appropriate if Sappy was below the ice.

    His ability to create a winning formula for now almost 25 years highlighted by his gross ineptitude in his 13 in NY is or would be an embarrassment to any owner with an iota of gray matter, which of course describes the poster child for the word Junior.

    Without the proper tools no man/coach can construct a house or a hockey team.

    Sappy will not have to concern himself with cryogenics to preserve what isn’t in his head.

    His head has been frozen for decades along with ownership.

  18. It will be pretty nice to see Girardi and Callahan, for example, flopping on the ice like fish out of water blocking every shot that comes at them. Sure at first they may continue to do it out of habit but Im actually looking forward to seeing what kind of player Girardi is in Vigneault’s system.

  19. Czechthemout!!! on

    Blood on his hands? A little extreme,no? But whatever. Hank deserves kudos for getting Torts dumped. This team took a major step back in my opinion. We were totally dominated by the Bruins each and every game. We were also dominated by the Caps in five of the seven games. Hank stole the Caps series.
    The last time the leading player got a coach dumped worked out pretty well for the team,no?

  20. Torts brought to us fans a team that competed every night!!!! And for years, I personally felt, we haven’t had that in many, many years!!! He brought it here with the players he was given. This year, for whatever reason, it didn’t work. Who knows if Torts’ system fries players by playoff time but at least we knew, especially last year, that our Ranger team was in the game til the last tic. Don’t give a carcillo if Torts wasn’t warm & fuzzy to the media; that’s no reason to fire a coach or to think negatively about his regime. I’m sure it’s no fun to deal with him on a daily basis as a sports writer but the results on the ice is all I cared aboot and I am not a huge fan of his firing, especially since he wasn’t going to be fired than, “Oh, John, I’m relieving you of your coaching dutes” WTF

  21. THey were dominated by the Bruins because the players we have can’t compete with this Bruins team & that blood falls on Sather’s hands. As we all know, he’s teflon so to me, it doesn’t matter who coaches this team; as long as Sather is running the show, we live in mediocrity or a little better than mediocrity!!!

  22. une tasse à 74 ans et ça continue aka Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    Carp, most thought Tort’s was safe , I do think this is sather’s last gasp,, he’ll quietly quit instead of the drama of being fired , but I think it will be after next years elimination..

  23. You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.

  24. Manny!! I’ve missed you these last few days. We don’t know each other but checking in here and seeing what you have to say has become an important part of my (sad) daily routine.

  25. Hagerstown MD Rangers fan on

    Good morning everyone. Happy first day of summer.
    Glen Sather has been our GM since 2000. !3 years without a sniff of Stanley Pie and yet the sword of Damacles never seems to hang over his head. Neil Smith in his 4th year as GM presided over our first Cup in 54 years. Yes his teams had missed 2 consecutive playoffs and was on the way to a third but it seemed to me he had a plan for rebuilding. Yet the sword came down on his head. Now again here is cigar afficianado in his 13th year with it seems nary a plan and he has better job security than a NYC Council person. That is unbelievable and the game of musical coaches continues. Time to start taking bets on how long Viggy lasts?

  26. Hank’s a smart guy. He sees how Messier is revered in NY (at least in hockey circles). He knows the Lundqvist “brand” can reach its full potential, along with its post-playing career earning power, only by winning the Cup in NY. So if he wanted Torts out because he thought that was the best way for him to win, and therefore gain more fame and money, so be it. We all know that, no matter how emotional we get as fans, for the players, coaches, owners, etc. it’s a business first.

    Look, I know it’s not that simple. Professional athletes are motivated by more than just money and we like to think they care about winning above all else. But we all know that’s not always the case.

  27. Le Carp (your new name under the French regime)- It may just be the opinion of one semi clueless fan, but from the way I’ve pieced together the comments from Sather I think maybe this was him being Glen Sather. I don’t think any one player came to him and said “this is what needs to happen” I think it was more him watching and seeing a lot of the same things that we’ve all seen. A failing system that wasn’t creating much offense, an awful pp, bad defensive decisions and a lot of needless sacrificing of the bodies of core players that don’t need to break ribs ankles and fingers in order to be successful in the long run. And yes, probably his franchise goaltender standing on his head in the playoffs and posting shut outs but still not coming away with many wins as well. Maybe even a coach losing his locker room behind closed doors (just not behind closed Avery Twitter accounts)

    And none of that is me ripping on Torts because I wasn’t looking for his head on a platter like others here. But maybe all that on top of watching other teams who play a system that’s the polar opposite be much more successful…And then again, maybe it was a total mutiny and he’s protecting his players and thus bringing in a coach who is much more Curly instead of Moe..

  28. BuckarooClub on

    Any chance that AV gets asked about the monkey on his back in the playoffs at this presser? The guys regular season winning percentage is on par with Slats Oilers teams. That percentage plummets almost 20% in the playoffs.

    In 11 tries AV has only made it past the second round once, only won more then 6 playoff games in a season once, and is 1-10 in the playoffs since going up 3-2 on the Bruins in the Cup Finals.

    I’m guessing something came up in the interviews to get MSG to overlook this, and say “This is the guy who can bring us a Cup”, but what exactly was it? The fact they’re now talking about bringing Newell Brown on too makes me think that AV is gonna bring more of the same to NYC.

  29. hey carp, since we never got to find out from torts why he never tried nash on the left and gaborik on the right, can you ask coach veenyo if he would have tried nash on the left and gaborik on the right? i think his answer will immediately tell us if we got the right guy :)

  30. Boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, hah! Boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, hah!

  31. If this year’s Rangers team took a step backwards it is because they took three steps forward last year.

    Also, if the Ranegrs took a step backwards this year, how many steps back has AV taken by winning just one of his last 11 playoff games?

  32. also, lundqvist definitely has blood on his hands here… for him to deny any involvement at all is just ridiculous. whether or not it was warranted, we’ll find out. if the team opens it up next year and he still looks like a vezina goalie, then it was the right move. but if his numbers go down the tubes and the team gets worse, then we’ll all say they needed that system just to get them as far as they were getting.

  33. King Vinnew The Chuby Tummy Pooh is in Town and he is NOT naked (yet), just bit of crumb. Viva le King!
    Don’t spook him at the presser…with silly, toxic questions.

  34. So what happens to Horseteeth? Aka, another Carp’s guarantee. This guarantee of a bailout made even less sense than Torts one.

  35. Torts signed his own papers outta town for being a total d-nuzzle. Move the puck on.

  36. Not so sure about that, CCCP. I know he insulted Avery the mighty talk show host, but Torts was a darn good coach that got the team to over achieve at an alarming level last season.

  37. I think Torts was probably asked what he would do differently to beat the Bruins, as apart from Jagr and Horton, they will be putting the same lineup out again next year, if Slats didnt get an answer that included the words change or adapt then Torts was not the guy to take us all the way. I also don’t think he’s handled Kreider or Miller very well, and these are 2 kids that other teams would kill to have on their teams and can easily come in and with the right nurturing play consistently on the top 3 lines, not buried playing with Asham, Newbury, Powe etc…

  38. Remember that time that the Penguins got SWEPT by the Bruins? Then their coach got an extension?

  39. Sioux-per-man on

    Manny – are you a fan of the new coach?

    What happened to the Manny fried account?

  40. I will say this, Sioux. I am happy they didn’t choose Lindy Ruff. I am happy they didn’t hire Messier. I am happy they did not hire John Stevens. I was a fan of Guy Boucher but I guess he never even came close to having a shot at the job. I think Vigneault was one of the best choices they could make given the Rangers desire to play with a new system and under a more “modern” head coach. They got what they wanted. Now we will have to see how it plays out.

  41. Would pay big money to see people’s reactions when/if it is revealed “Tort’s guys” like Callahan/McDonagh/Girardi/Boyle had as much to do with his firing as did Lundqvist.

  42. Telling your players to drop in front of every shot, one does not need to be a great coach.

    But when it came to actual _coaching_, Mr. I don’t coach offense-PP-took-life-of-its-own Tortorella sucked at it.

  43. Sioux-per-man on

    I will say this AV’s record speaks for itself.

    6 Conference Championships, 2 President trophies, Coach of the Year award, and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

  44. I just really cannot believe that Torts was/is not a good coach. It just doesn’t add up. He has a TON of wins. A Stanley Cup. Multiple Jack Adams Finalist. Jack Adams award winner.

    It just doesn’t make sense.

  45. Also, after being fired it looks like he will immediately be scooped up by a team that is desperate for a tougher, grittier coach and approach on the ice.

  46. Hey… Remember Jim Carrey? He won Vezina once…once.

    Great regular season goalies like Bullin-wall and Hank will help you get bunch of wins. But when it comes to postseason, Torts is first round and out kinda coach.

  47. czechthemout!!! on

    So am I to understand correctly that some of the Torts supporters would rather Hank be traded than Torts be fired?

  48. It’s just not fair to say that Torts did nothing and the Goalies did everything for him. I’m pretty sure the Tort system has helped both of those goalies be better goalies and have better numbers, etc. Hockey is a *team* sport and that *team* includes the management, coaching staff and all other pieces of the organization.

    Sergei Bobrovsky won a Vezina too!

  49. in work meetings till 1 of course today… please keep us updated on all of the insight that uncle glen provides today…

    carp’s tweet about the interaction with slats outside radio city was just outstanding btw… i hope he had a cigar in his mouth at that moment

  50. Sioux-per-man on

    Torts system of blocking shots, and playing solid defense helped Lundqvist goalie stats. No doubt about it.

    IF Torts gets the job in Vancouver, and he should. I think his team will go farther in the West, than the Rangers team in the East.

    Either way, it makes for a good horse race. I’d put $1 on Torts team for a better record. But all bets are off in the playoffs, as we’ve seen this year and last year anything can happen in a 7 game series.

  51. have the nhl.com feed up with no sound… the backdrop looks great, what a job by the nyr… the chairs though don’t look very comfortable

  52. i love how dolan has his arm around sather but veenyo isn’t touching either of them… he knows

  53. _Except for all those times he didn’t lose in the first round_

    Right… Those times when he didn’t even make the postseason.

  54. Vigneault: “I believe the top skill players have to be given a little more latitude.”

    tortorella rolling over in his grave

  55. LMGO, TF! HAHAHAHAHHAHAhahahahahahahah That’s hysterical.

    “The Right Way” for Alain is a combination of offense and defense.

  56. I love that the questions come from NY1 and NYTIMES and Fischler. Great.

    So Vigneault is bringing over all the weirdo crap they used in Vanvouver like advanced stat metrics, voodoo medicine a shaman and probably some therapists.

    Hope he doesn’t can Rammer.

  57. Talking about the NHL culture changing and offense being crucial and balancing offense/defense and talking about ONE Final game that was 6-5 is really scaring me. I don’t want to have a team that has to score 5+ goals to win. The Lightning do it and never make the playoffs.

    I’m kind of in eric territory, mentally, right now.

  58. 13 years coaching (Torts) 5 times missed playoffs, 4 times lost in the first round. Two second round loses, one third round loss and a Stanley Cup.

    Aside from the cup, not a very impressive resume.

  59. Sioux-per-man on

    Manny – If Vigneault can get them to score 3 goals a game. The Rangers win 3 out 4 games played.

    Henrik is still the King in the net. You can count on 1 hand how many games he has lost when the Rangers scored 3 or more and he lost.

    I’m liking what I’m hearing.

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