New York, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Rangers named Alain Vigneault as their new head coach on Friday, replacing John Tortorella, who was fired on May 29.
Reports last weekend indicated that Vigneault was the Rangers' choice, particularly after it was reported that he withdrew his name from consideration from the Dallas Stars job, which on Friday went to Lindy Ruff.
Vigneault arrives on Broadway fresh from a seven-year stint with the Vancouver Canucks, including a 26-15-7 record and a Northwest Division title during this past lockout-shortened season.
"When I was thinking about the opportunity to coach the New York Rangers, one of the Original Six teams in this great city, there's not a chance that I could pass that up," said Vigneault during his introductory press conference.
Despite leading Vancouver to 30-or-more wins in six straight seasons and guiding the club to a club-record 54 wins with a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2011, the Canucks faltered in the opening round of the postseason the last two years, losing a five-round decision to the Kings last year and suffering a sweep at the hands of San Jose last month.
"Alain Vigneault has had success throughout his career and his coaching style is a perfect fit for the Rangers," said Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather in a statement Friday. "We feel very fortunate to have him leading this team, as we continue to pursue our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup."
The 52-year-old native of Quebec compiled a 313-170-57 regular-season record and 33-31 postseason mark with Vancouver. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach in 2007 after helping the Canucks to 49 wins and a playoff series victory.
Prior to his successful stint with Vancouver, Vigneault guided Montreal to a record of 109-118-39 in 3 1/2 seasons from 1997-2000. The Canadiens made the playoffs just once during his tenure and he was fired after the club started 5-13-2 during the 2000-01 campaign.
Overall, Vigneault has a regular-season record of 422-288-96, but just 37-41 in the playoffs.
Tortorella was surprisingly dismissed after the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference finals last season and the conference semifinals this year.