Alain Vigneault is having GPS issues as he piles up the commuting miles and a preseason Lincoln Tunnel adventure took the New York Rangers coach to New Jersey instead of his Upper West Side home. No wonder he loves the city’s sprawling subway system.

“It’s a little embarrassing — I’m having some challenges getting used to everything” a fit Vigneault chuckled Thursday in his first Vancouver address since being dismissed as Canucks coach on May 22. “Everyone remembers the great Preston car commercials I did here and every six months I’d flip it (vehicle) over and there would be 1500 to 2000 kilometres — if I took a trip to Whistler. In New York after two weeks with a new car I had 1000 miles on it because I live 25 miles from the practice facility (Tarrytown NY). It’s a different pace but like a lot of cities it’s got some great advantages.”

Great shopping. Great restaurants. But one trip to SoHo with his daughters was enough for Vigneault now far removed from a leisurely stroll from his former Coal Harbour home to Rogers Arena. And if Vigneault is more successful navigating the Rangers through the tough Metropolitan Division then the leather-lunged Madison Square Garden faithful will forget about the departed John Tortorella and embrace their new bench boss.

While Thursday was the final preseason tune-up for the Canucks the flip-flopped coaches shared the billing of adapting to new cities and new players. For Vigneault that means communicating the way he always has — so loudly from the bench that can be heard on the television feed — to get his message across.

“It will be a little weird to see him there but I’m sure I’ll still hear him yelling and think he’s yelling at me” said Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa. “That voice is pretty distinct. I’m sure we’ll be hearing it throughout the game. We had a lot of success and he was a big part of that — he turned the team around.

“A lot of guys were on their way out and a lot of us were coming in. He made everybody accountable right away and we kind of grew. I have nothing but good things to say about him.”

Henrik and Daniel Sedin Ryan Kesler Alex Burrows and Bieksa started to blossom under Vigneault’s direction and his seven-year tenure that brought the club within a win of the franchise’s first Stanley Cup isn’t lost on anybody. Especially the coach who embraced the on and off-ice maturation process in his players. You don’t just manufacture five division titles and back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies without mutual respect and a buy-in. However the Canucks became stale predictable and vulnerable and two straight first-round playoff exits led to one expected conclusion. Fair or not Vigneault had to go. So did his long-time confidant Rick Bowness.