Recap: Alain Vigneault On The Mike Francesa Show

Yesterday afternoon, Alain Vigneault was a guest on the Mike Francesa show on WFAN:

  • How did the Rangers job come about: “The day after they let John go they called me to see if I had interest in the NYR and obviously I did since it’s the NYR. We talked a bit, we said we would get together in a week to ten days. At that time I told them I was talking with another team in the NHL. Last week I went to Palm Springs to meet Glen and his staff. We discussed hockey and his staff for a few hours. The next day I went home and they called me to talk about a few more issues, got another call on Thursday to come down to NY to meet Mr. Dolan, I did that on Friday and got everything done Friday around supper time and agreed on coming to the Rangers.”
  • On a previous relationship with Sather, “I know Glen like everyone knows Glen in the NHL but I don’t have a close relationship with him. This is coming into a new organization where I don’t know anybody. It’s the same thing that happened to me seven years ago when I went to Vancouver and it’s exactly what happened to me when I went to Montreal. Every where I go I make great friends and that is what I expect to do with the Rangers as well.”

  • On pressure, “both markets I have been in, they are Canadian markets with a lot of scrutiny and attention. It’s a lot like NY. If you are a player or a coach you want to be in these environments where people care. I have been very privileged to coach in three great markets.
  • On his style, “My job as the coach is to win games and it’s to get the most out of your players. Depending on the skill set that you have you can play certain ways. I believe we have a good skill set, we have good offensive players and defensemen that can make passes and jump in the rush. I think we will be a team that plays the right way, when we have the puck we will make some plays and when the other team does we will close the gap and get it back. There is one way to play this game, it’s the right way and playing hard and committing to every shift.”
  • On what he expects of his players, “to be professional and to come ready to work. It’s up to me to create the right kind of atmosphere where they can grow and learn but they need to put in their time, work on their skills, the team concept, but they are pros and we want them to behave that way. Everything I hear about this group is that they have great character and compete so this should be a lot of fun to work with this group.”
  • On the power play, “I have had that question many times today and I believe that with the skill-set we have, we didn’t play against the Eastern teams this year, but we have a good skill set and power play has a lot to do with puck movement, getting shots on net and recovering the puck. I have had a solid PP in Vancouver and I am confident that with the right PP we will be successful.”
  • On assistant coaches, “This is going to be Glen’s decision and mine. He would not want to impose someone on me that I am not comfortable with and I wouldn’t want to impose someone on him that he isn’t comfortable with. I met the staff yesterday, I talked with Benoit Allaire earlier this week. Glen and I have not formally sat down and talked about assistants but we are going to to do that in the next couple of days, and with the draft a week away we will talk about who we want to meet with and come up with the best staff we can.”
  • On his playing days, “I was limited skill wise so I compensated with other things. I played honestly but it was a short career with 42 of the best games you will ever see.”
  • Is there a certain way to play in the NHL, “I believe that there is a right way to play and it’s not that complicated. If you have space and time to make a play than you need to make that play. It’s not always a dump and chase game. When top players are given a bit more leeway to make something out of nothing. A lot of times there isn’t much room but they need to make something happen one on one and create chances.’
  • On how well he knows NY, “Other than coming here and playing against the NYR for ten years, I think we only came here 3 times with the Canucks, but it’s a big city and I am looking forward to being part of the community.”
  • On his notions of the Rangers, “I know they are good team with good players. There is a real solid foundation. It’s up to me and Glen to put a good staff together and we will work with the players to get the best out of the,”
  • Why he chose NY, “There were three things, the first is that this is a good team and we have a chance to win. The second is that it’s an Original Six team and anyone in my shoes that has a chance to coach a team with this tradition, you have to do it. On the third note, on more of a personal level, I am a divorced father and I have been away from my home in Gatineau, Quebec for ten years, I had seven in Vancouver, one in Winnipeg and two in PEI and being in Vancouver, and being a divorced father it was tough with my two girls. They could only come and see me around Christmas and if they could fit in a school break with the schedule I would only come East  once every two years so that was challenging and the fact that now they are an hour flight away from NY and they love to shop….(laughing) I got a lot of pressure from them to take this job, so they are real happy and I will be a lot closer to them, my family and friends.”
  • On his relationship with the media, “I understand my responsibilities towards the fans and the media, I know it’s not an easy job. If you were to ask the people in Vancouver about our relationship, they would say it’s very professional. We treated each other fairly and I don’t think it will be an issue here.”
  • On his message to Ranger fans, “I am going to put my best foot forward. I have been told that we have a very solid group of players and I am confident in my ability to get the best out of them and we will work every night. The fans will be real proud of their team.”