Well, it’s possible there’s cigars but there is no coach. Not yet anyways.
The Dallas Stars had their man pegged and they pursued him hard. Former Canucks bench boss Alain Vigneault was the top choice and it came down to the wire.
The Stars had a five year contract on the table for him all week, all he had to do was sign on the dotted line. The New York Rangers were in the hunt too for a new coach and also targeted Vigneault. But GM Glen Sather was leaning towards Mark Messier and with dissension among Rangers’ brass on what was going on, Vigneault gave a Friday deadline for them to get their big apples in order.
On Thursday it looked like Sather would get his way and Messier would become the man with the Rangers once again, though in a different capacity obviously.
Vigneault to Dallas then, right?
Not so fast.
Unfortunately for Jim Nill and co., the Rangers re-considered and yesterday opted for Vigneault after all. He apparently left some money on the table signing with New York, but while one team has been an annual playoff performer and the other hasn’t seen post season action in five long years, who can fully blame him? You could say that at least someone in this business made money second priority for a change.
Naming your coach is a big deal and the Stars haven’t made a good hire at the position in eleven years. At the end of the day though, the talent that management can put on the ice will have the biggest effect on the overall success. The Stars will have to continue the hunt and despite losing out on their guy, there are other good coaches available.
Long time Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, and the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill seem to be the leading candidates at this point.
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