The Rangers have begun the process of choosing a new coach to replace the fired John Tortorella.

Now, the question becomes: When does the process end and how many candidates are interviewed?

Former Canucks coach Alain Vigneaut met with Rangers general manager Glen Sather and other team executives Tuesday in La Quinta, Calif., and ex-Sabres coach Lindy Ruff also will be interviewed.

Meanwhile, Tortorella, fired from his second NHL job on May 29, was in Vancouver as a candidate to replace Vigneault as the Rangers gave the Canucks permission to speak with the combative coach.

Hall of Famer Mark Messier, a special assistant to Sather but with no previous NHL coaching experience, is in La Quinta, where the Rangers began their annual off-season organizational meeting Monday, and also is expected to interview for the bench post.

Vigneault, 52, had a 422-288-35-61 record with the Canucks and Canadiens, and his personality is the opposite of the fiery Tortorella's, which likely would be a welcome relief in the Rangers' dressing room. Ruff, 53, went 571-432-78-84 with the Sabres from 1997 until he was fired on Feb. 20 and has a demeanor closer to Tortorella's.

Sather has said he hopes to have a coach in place by the NHL Draft on June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark.