Skip to content

Sather says new Rangers coach Vigneault ‘loves the offensive game’

Jun 21, 2013, 12:46 PM EST

Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Six Getty Images

We touched on this a couple of days ago, but the topic is worth revisiting after Alain Vigneault was introduced as the new head coach of the New York Rangers Friday morning at Radio City Music Hall.

Before we get to what was said today, let’s first read what was written about Vigneault, right after the Canucks fired him last month, by undoubtedly his biggest media critic during his time in Vancouver, The Province’s Tony Gallagher:

AV’s roots are in defensive hockey, while the team he coached was built to attack. At times he fought his instincts and the team did well, but at other times, particularly when the club had injury problems, he would revert to his comfort zone of dump-it-in, dump-it-out hockey. That’s fine with bigger, lesser skilled teams. Not with this roster. And when the Canucks tried to play that way the past two seasons when it counted, in the playoffs, it’s been hideous.

This change is long, long overdue.

Now, it should be noted that not everyone agrees with Gallagher all the time. But when Rangers GM Glen Sather says this morning that he made the hiring decision in large part because Vigneault “loves the offensive game,” well, it sort of stands out. Because it almost makes it sound like Vigneault is the philosophical opposite of the last Rangers coach, John Tortorella, who Sather said he fired because the “game has changed” and teams don’t win with dump-and-chase hockey anymore.

Vigneault, not surprisingly, met the issue in the middle, explaining it’s important to “play well at both ends of the rink.” If there’s space to get creative, get creative. If not, make the “high-percentage play,” i.e. dump it in (or out, if you’re defending).

He also said — and this is probably the key part — that a team has to “put a system in place that maximizes the talent you have.” For example, when he first came to Vancouver in 2006, the “skill level wasn’t as high” as it was later in his tenure when the Canucks ranked among the highest-scoring teams in the NHL.

So here’s the big question — what does Vigneault think of the current Rangers roster?

“I feel in New York our skill base is pretty solid,” he said.

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Predators, Wild exchange high-skill goals

    Feb 26, 2015, 10:30 PM EST

    Craig Smith, Mike Fisher AP

    Nice work from Craig Smith and Nino Niederreiter, respectively.

  2. Bowman: Blackhawks are ‘pretty close’ to making a trade

    Feb 26, 2015, 10:17 PM EST

    Stan Bowman AP

    The possibilities are extensive, it seems.

  3. Mason returns to Flyers fold early as Zepp gets the hook

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:52 PM EST

    Steve Mason Steve Mason

    Two goals on eight shots was enough to inspire a change.

  4. Clarkson is glad to hit ‘reset button’ in Columbus

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:37 PM EST

    David Clarkson AP

    He doesn’t regret signing with Toronto, though he’s welcoming the change.

  5. WATCH LIVE: Wild at Predators on NBCSN

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:00 PM EST

    Nashville Predators v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    Minnesota needs this against one of the West’s best.

  6. Firing talk doesn’t bother Bruins’ Julien

    Feb 26, 2015, 7:39 PM EST

    Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    In other news, it appears as though David Krejci is on LTIR.

  7. Report: NHL investigated alleged Clutterbuck spit on Sedin

    Feb 26, 2015, 6:32 PM EST

    New York Rangers v New York Islanders New York Rangers v New York Islanders

    Canucks requested the league take a closer look, but no evidence was found.

  8. Blackhawks deny rumors of locker room fight

    Feb 26, 2015, 6:18 PM EST

    Ottawa Senators v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Head coach Joel Quenneville said it’s “all news to me.”

  9. Trade: Leafs re-acquire Brennan, send Abbott to ‘Hawks

    Feb 26, 2015, 5:30 PM EST

    Toronto Marlies Getty Images

    A familiar face goes back to the Toronto organization.

  10. Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils

    Feb 26, 2015, 4:39 PM EST

    Jaromir Jagr Sightings In Prague Getty Images

    Bold move from Florida GM Dale Tallon.

  11. Kings to unveil Luc Robitaille statue outside Staples

    Feb 26, 2015, 4:31 PM EST

    2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final – Game Six Getty Images

    Joining the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Chick Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya.

  12. Welcome back: Blues re-acquire Cracknell from Columbus

    Feb 26, 2015, 4:06 PM EST

    Florida Panthers v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Former “CPR Line” line member is headed back to St. Louis.

  13. Trotz doesn’t see a ‘big, sexy, difference-maker guy’ on the market

    Feb 26, 2015, 3:04 PM EST

    Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz Getty Images

    “People are getting excited for mid-range players.”

Featured video

Trade deadline storylines to watch
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Krejci (2599)
  2. T. Hall (2386)
  3. B. Wheeler (2231)
  4. R. Nash (2126)
  5. K. Shattenkirk (2116)