While the Rangers and Alain Vigneault remained true for a fourth straight day to their apparent mutual vows of silence after agreeing to marry, the putative head coach is believed to be assembling a staff to join him on Broadway. Newell Brown, who worked as Vigneault’s assistant for three years in Vancouver following stints in Anaheim, Chicago and Columbus, is a leading candidate to join the Rangers. Brown was responsible for running the power play with the Canucks, a unit that became a particular sore spot under John Tortorella’s regime. Vancouver led the league in power-play efficiency at 24.3 percent in 2010-11 (Brown’s first year) before slipping to fourth at 19.8 percent the following season and then skidding to 22nd overall this year at 15.8 percent, just a tick ahead of the Blueshirts’ 15.7. Brown offered an interesting observation/statistic regarding the power play in the aftermath of his dismissal by Vancouver, whicho also fired Vigneault and associate coach Rick Bowness. He told the Vancouver Sun that “77 percent of power-play goals are scored with at least two right-hand shots [on the ice].” The Rangers currently have four right-hand shots on the roster who regularly worked (or not) on the power play — point men Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman and forwards Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan. Fourteen of the Blueshirts’ 24 power-play goals (58.3 percent) — including 11 of their last 16 (68.75 percent) — came with two right-hand shots on the ice, with 11 overall featuring the Callahan-Stepan duo. When the Canucks led the league in 2010-11, four of their top eight most-used players on the power play were right-hand shots — Ryan Kesler, Sami Salo, Mikael Samuelsson and Kevin Bieksa. By this season, Kesler, who played in only 17 games, was the only right- hand shot among the Canucks’ top nine in power-play minutes, with Salo and Samuelsson having departed and Bieksa 10th in man-advantage ice time.
Vigneault asst. may join Rangers
New York Post | Jun 19