Skip to content

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

Jun 21, 2013, 12:46 PM EDT

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. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Marc-Andre Fleury AP

    Pittsburgh and Ottawa need to win to survive.

  2. Blues without Jori Lehtera for Game 5 vs. Wild

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Jori Lehtera Getty Images

    The odds of him playing were initially “50-50.”

  3. Video: Spaling gets unusual goal as puck bounces off arm

    Apr 24, 2015, 8:59 PM EDT

    Spaling goal

    That tied Game 5 between Pittsburgh and the Rangers at 1-1.

  4. Video: Ryan snaps 16-game goal scoring slump

    Apr 24, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Ryan goal

    is that the start of a breakout for him?

  5. Price, Dubnyk, Rinne are Vezina Trophy finalists

    Apr 24, 2015, 6:38 PM EDT

    Carey Price Getty Images

    The Canadiens goaltender looks like the heavy favorite.

  6. Bettman doesn’t want to give Isles fans ‘hope’ of return to Nassau County

    Apr 24, 2015, 4:16 PM EDT

    Capitals Getty Images

    “Lots of possibilities have been thrown out about an arena for the last decade and none of them have materialized.”

  7. Chicago to start Darling in Game 6

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators - Game Five Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators - Game Five

    After allowing four goals in a Game 5 loss to Nashville.

  8. Chiarelli named Oilers’ GM and president of hockey ops

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:17 PM EDT

    Chiarelli

    “In this business, you can’t be afraid to make trades.”

  9. Chevy re-confirms Pavelec as Winnipeg’s No. 1

    Apr 24, 2015, 2:48 PM EDT

    Ondrej Pavelec Ondrej Pavelec

    Much like he did at the end of last year.

  10. Richardson favored to be next Buffalo coach, says oddsmaker

    Apr 24, 2015, 2:10 PM EDT

    Luke Richardson 3

    Currently coaching Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

  11. Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist

    Apr 24, 2015, 1:57 PM EDT

    2015 NHL All-Star Weeknd - Commissioners Press Conference Getty Images

    Commish liked the chant to calling goalies “sieves”.

  12. Is Grabner among the Isles’ walking wounded?

    Apr 24, 2015, 1:43 PM EDT

    Michael Grabner AP

    Apparently, according to a report out of Austria.

  13. Neil out, Chiasson in as Sens look to stave off elimination again

    Apr 24, 2015, 12:56 PM EDT

    Ottawa Senators v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Ottawa trails three games to one, but is coming off a big win.

  14. Wilson safe in San Jose; Carlyle the next coach?

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:55 AM EDT

    Doug Wilson AP

    Sharks reportedly have permission to speak with the former coach of the Leafs and Ducks.

Featured video

Plenty of pressure on Blues
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. Z. Kassian (2974)
  2. S. Weber (2681)
  3. K. Letang (2596)
  4. M. Fisher (2446)
  5. C. Ehrhoff (2255)