The formal portion of the Rangers’ coaching search will begin today when Alain Vigneault meets with general manager Glen Sather and front office counselors on Day Two of the club’s organizational meetings in La Quinta, Calif. The 52-year-old former Canucks coach is believed to be at the top of a rather short list to fill the vacancy created by the firing of John Tortorella, though the situation and field would be shaken up dramatically if the Penguins dismiss Dan Bylsma in the wake of their sweep by the Bruins in the conference finals. At this point, former Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff and Mark Messier — who is at the meetings in his capacity as a special assistant to Sather but is recusing himself from discussions with candidates — are also in line for consideration. As of last night, the Blueshirts had not scheduled a meeting with Ruff, though they have been granted permission by Buffalo GM Darcy Regier to speak with him. The Rangers, who had been in touch with AHL Marlies coach Dallas Eakins before he was snapped off the market by the Oilers, may seek to speak with Kings assistant John Stevens, the former Flyers head coach in whom Vancouver has decided interest. Vigneault, whose Canucks came within one victory of the Stanley Cup in 2011 losing a Game 7 at home to the Bruins after holding 2-0 and 3-2 leads in the Final and who took Vancouver to the Presidents’ Trophy in both 2010-11 and 2011-12, is regarded as the yin to Tortorella’s yang in regard to temperament and approach to communication with his players. He had been committed to a four-line philosophy in Vancouver this season, doling out between 12:35 and 19:20 of ice per game to a dozen forwards. That is a doctrine that could be tested with a Rangers’ roster that lacks depth of that degree.
Vigneault to meet with Rangers today
New York Post | Jun 11