Unlike the three other candidates for the Rangers head coaching job, Dallas Eakins, Lindy Ruff and Mark Messier, Alain Vigneault never played for the Rangers during his NHL career.
His career consisted of 42 games for the St. Louis Blues in the early 1980s. Vigneault though has coached three current Rangers in three different stops of his coaching career.
He coached Martin Biron as an 18 year old with the Beauport Harfangs (QMJHL) in 1995-96. Biron went 29-17-7 and lost in the finals.
Biron played 18 games the next season for Vigneault before being traded to Vigneault’s old team in Hull.
In Montreal in 1998-99, he coached Arron Asham for seven games when Asham was 20-years old.
Asham played 33 games in 1999-2000 for Vigneault.
In Vancouver, he coached Taylor Pyatt from 2006 to 2009.
Vigneault and Derick Brassard live in the same hometown in Quebec.
1:50PM: Renaud Lavoie tweets that Brassard and Vigneault were neighbors in Hull, Quebec when Brassard was growing up.
He coached Stephane Matteau (he is around the team a lot, at least from a marketing and appearance perspective) in Hull of the QMJHL in 1987-88 and 88-89,
He was an assistant with Ottawa in 92-93, 93-94 and coached Gord Dineen. Gord is the brother of Rangers long-time video coach Jerry Dineen.
Other former Rangers he has coached at various levels, Markus Naslund, Martin Rucinsky, Vladimir Malakhov, Jason Ward, Igor Ullanov, Marty Straka, Brad Isbister, Jason Krog, Lawrence Nycholat, Jason Labarera, Mikael Samuelsson, Chris Higgins, Manny Malhotra and Dale Weise.