Alain Vigneault Agrees to Contract to Become Flyers Head Coach

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2019

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 29:  Head coach Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers watches from the bench during the third period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on December 29, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rangers defeated the Coyotes 6-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers hired Alain Vigneault as their next coach, the team announced Monday. 

"We are extremely excited to have Alain join this franchise and lead our team behind the bench for many years to come," general manager Chuck Fletcher said of the move. "He brings a tremendous amount of success over an extended period of time that will prove valuable to our team to take the next steps in returning the winning culture to the Philadelphia Flyers organization."

TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported the Flyers signed Vigneault to a five-year, $25 million deal.

This is the fourth stop of Vigneault's head coaching career. He most recently spent five seasons with the New York Rangers, compiling a 226-147-37 overall record and guiding the team to four playoff trips. The Rangers reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14, his first season on the bench.

The reaction to Vigneault's hiring wasn't overwhelmingly positive, but it wasn't overwhelmingly negative either.

The 57-year-old replaces Dave Hakstol, who was with the team for three-and-a-half seasons. The Flyers fired Hakstol in December after getting off to a 12-15-4 start. Scott Gordon filled in for Hakstol on an interim basis, with Philadelphia going 25-22-4 under his watch. With 82 points, the Flyers finished 11th in the Eastern Conference.

According to Spotrac, Philadelphia is on track to have the fifth-most salary cap space ($47.8 million) this offseason, but the team will want to reserve a chunk of that to re-signing some of its key free agents. Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton and Travis Sanheim are all hitting restricted free agency.

By opting for Vigneault over a younger coach with less experience, the front office is clearly looking to rebound quickly in 2019-20.

It's hard to argue with his track record. Between his time with the Rangers and Vancouver CanucksVigneault has nine playoff appearances over his last 12 years. That provides a solid baseline for expectations in Philadelphia next season.

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