By Thomas L. O’Connor – BrooklynFans.com Commentator
With the hiring of Alain Vigneault as the new head coach of the Rangers, a lot of us can breathe a sigh of relief that The Captain, Mark Messier, will not be the head coach. I have nothing against Messier, but feel that he isn’t head coach material and hope to be proven wrong someday.
Much like when Wayne Gretzky was behind the bench for the Phoenix Coyotes, I feel that Messier would do the same and just be a great name behind the bench, something to which the Brooklyn Nets think will work for them with Jason Kidd. Many of the people I have spoken to about the idea of Messier coaching were negative, but the idea of him being the next general manager seems to be a better fit. After all, when Messier came to the Rangers, he brought a lot of his guys from Edmonton that made the 1994 Rangers. The man knows how to structure a team and be a leader, though coaching requires great leadership, I for one think that he would be better suited putting the pieces together.
Vigneault has finally been ran out of town in Vancouver after an impressive seven seasons, but most times when they were first in the conference or the league, they blanked the bed in the playoffs. The Canucks finished first in their division every year except once, when they finished fifth. Given that the Canucks were swept out in the first round, it’s just something that Vancouver has done time after time. They’re good enough to make it to the party but break a heel on the dance floor long before Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” is played.
I think that Vigneault will fit well for the Rangers since he knows how to get to the top and stay there as he did with the Sedin twins, who by the way if you ask if they want ice cream, they both say yes. Vigneault’s coaching style apparently works since for the last seven years Vancouver has been the tour de force in the Western Conference. Yet we must also look at Vancouver’s playoff short comings and we will have to simply wait to see if it was the players or the coaching in the playoffs.