Vigneault expects to be back behind Rangers' bench next season

Rangers coach’s defiant defense may not be enough to save job

Modal Trigger Alain Vigneault and Jeff Gorton Robert Sabo Getty Images

The New York Rangers didn't waste any time in firing Alain Vigneault following their final game of the season.

In early February, the moment the staff was still above.500 and within three factors of a play off spot, General Manager Jeff Gorton didn't signify if Vigneault would return following this season.

When Gorton announced the Rangers' pivot toward a youth movement, he said Vigneault's future would be decided after the season. "We have a lot of faith in A.V. We'll leave it at that". In the days after, the team traded Rick Nash and Nick Holden to the Boston Bruins and dealt captain Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Rangers finished last in the Metropolitan Division with a 34-39-9 record this season. He'll finish third in wins in Rangers' franchise history.

Vigneault trained the group for five seasons, making a Stanley Cup appearance in his first calendar year. The Rangers were eliminated in Game 7 of the conference finals the next season, and followed that with first- and second-round playoff exits. The team earned the Presidents' Trophy for its league's most useful album in 201415. Vigneault repeatedly said he believed the Rangers would have made the playoffs if they didn't go in that direction.

Vigneault spent five seasons behind the NY bench, going 226-147-37 in the regular season and 31-30 in the postseason, including a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14 and a Presidents' Trophy season in 2014-15.

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