One name that hasn’t come up too frequently in the various head coaching searches around the league is veteran bench boss Alain Vigneault. However, he appears to be on the radar for at least one team as the Flyers have asked for (and been granted) permission from the Rangers to speak to Vigneault, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (Twitter link).
Philadelphia had to seek permission as Vigneault has one year left on his existing deal with New York and actually will see his pay increase from $4MM to $4.25MM for the 2019-20 season. The Flyers would likely need to assume at least a significant portion of that if they ultimately pick him to take over from interim head coach Scott Gordon.
The 57-year-old would certainly be a step in the opposite direction compared to their recent hires as their last two full-time head coaches (Dave Hakstol and Craig Berube) were both in that role for the first time. That wouldn’t be the case for Vigneault who has 1,216 career games behind an NHL bench with the Canadiens, Canucks, and the Rangers with his teams posting a 648-435-133 record in that span. He’s reached the Stanley Cup Final twice, once with Vancouver in 2010-11 and again with New York in 2013-14.
Vigneault was not behind an NHL bench at all this season after David Quinn took over for him with New York. However, he will lead Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships so if he’s deemed to be GM Chuck Fletcher’s preference, it wouldn’t be surprising if they tried to get a deal done before his duties with Canada get underway in the not-too-distant future.