Alain Vigneault Fired by Rangers After Team Misses Playoffs

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2018

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 06:  Head coach Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers watches from the bench during the first period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 6, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After missing the postseason for the first time since the 2009-10 season, the New York Rangers fired coach Alain Vigneault on Saturday. 

The team announced the news just hours after it concluded its disappointing season with a 5-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers:

New York (34-39-9) finished last in the Metropolitan Division with 77 points, the ninth-fewest in the league.

Vigneault coached the Rangers for five seasons, going 226-147-37 with four playoff appearances and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014. He previously coached the Montreal Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks, taking the latter to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.

It was a tough season in New York from the beginning, with the team getting off to a 1-5-2 start. Ten wins in 12 games thereafter helped get the Blueshirts back on track for a while, but by the time January hit, they fell apart.

The Rangers went 5-16-1 during a 22-game stretch that started in early January and ended in late February. The organization went into full fire-sale mode as a result, trading away captain Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller, Nick Holden and Rick Nash before February's deadline.

If there were any chance of Vigneault saving his job, it likely vanished down the stretch. New York went 2-7-1 to head into the offseason on a low note.

The 56-year-old Vigneault has a strong enough track record that he should be able to land another coaching job if he so desires. After all, leading two franchises to the Stanley Cup Final is no easy feat.

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