Flyers

The Flyers have named a new head coach

The Philadelphia Flyers have announced a new head coach for the 2019-20 season.

It’s not the interim head coach, Scott Gordon. It’s…

ALAIN! VIGNEAULT!

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

According to Pierre LeBrun, Vigneault will be paid $25 million over five years.

From the press release:

The Philadelphia Flyers have appointed Alain Vigneault as the 21st head coach in franchise history, signing him to a multi-year contract, according to Executive Vice President & General Manager Chuck Fletcher.

“We are extremely excited to have Alain join this franchise and lead our team behind the bench for many years to come,” said Fletcher. “He brings a tremendous amount of success over an extended period of time that will prove valuable to our team to take the next steps in returning the winning culture to the Philadelphia Flyers organization.”

“It is an honor to be selected as the next head coach of the Flyers,” said Vigneault. “The history they have established and the passionate fan base has made this a first-class franchise. I am excited to work with Chuck, the talented group of players, and the prospects coming up through the system in order to return Philadelphia to the top of the NHL landscape.”

Vigneault, 57 (5/14/1961), brings 1,216 games of experience as an NHL head coach to Philadelphia over parts of 16 seasons, and has coached an additional 139 Stanley Cup Playoff games. His most recent position was with the New York Rangers, where he coached five seasons (2013-2018). He also spent seven seasons as the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks (2006-13) and three-plus seasons at the helm of the Montreal Canadiens, where he started his head coaching career in 1997 and departed 20 games into the 2000-01 campaign. Vigneault will also serve as the head coach for Team Canada at next month’s IIHF World Championships in Slovakia.

In Vigneault’s 15 full seasons as a head coach, eight of his teams have finished with 100 points or better. A ninth team, Vancouver in 2012-13, achieved 59 points during the lockout-shortened campaign for a points percentage of .610, equivalent to a 100-point season. His teams have won seven division championships and have made the playoffs 11 times, advancing past the first round on eight of those occasions, and reaching the Stanley Cup Final twice (Vancouver, 2010-11 and NY Rangers, 2013-14). Three of Vigneault’s teams have earned the Presidents’ Trophy – Vancouver on two occasions, 2010-11 and 2011-12, and the New York Rangers in 2014-15.

The best season of Vigneault’s coaching career to this point came in 2010-11 with Vancouver, which won the Presidents’ Trophy by 10 points that season with a 54-19-9 record for 117 points. After a seven-game quarterfinal win over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Canucks beat Nashville in six games and San Jose in five to reach the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost in seven games to the Boston Bruins.

Vigneault returned to the Final three seasons later with the New York Rangers, a team that was not among his eight 100-point clubs. That Rangers squad survived a seven-game series against the Flyers in the first round and another against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round before defeating Montreal in six games in the conference final.

Following his first season in Vancouver in 2006-07, Vigneault won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL Coach of the Year after guiding the Canucks to a 13-point improvement from the previous season, earning a Northwest Division title and a return to the playoffs after missing in 2005-06. It was the first of six division championships the Canucks would win under Vigneault, including five in a row from 2008-13.He has been a finalist for the award on three other occasions – in 1999-2000 with Montreal, 2010-11 with Vancouver and 2014-15 with the Rangers. His career regular season record as an NHL head coach is 648-435-35-98.

Over the course of a three-year playing career as a defenseman, Vigneault appeared in 42 NHL games with St. Louis from 1981-1983. He began his coaching career in 1986 in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, spending one season with the Trois-Rivieres Draveurs and five with the Hull Olympiques. In 1992-93, Vigneault joined the expansion Ottawa Senators as an assistant coach, where he spent 3 ½ seasons before returning to the QMJHL, where he coached the Beauport Harfangs through the end of the 1996-97 season. He was named the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens the following season.

A native of Quebec City, Quebec, Vigneault takes over for Scott Gordon, who served as the interim head coach of the Flyers from December 17, 2018 through the end of the 2018-19 season. Gordon was 25-22-4 over 51 games in the role.

Overall thoughts? Meh. Not an exciting name, especially considering everybody wanted Joel Quenneville, who decided to coach in Florida last week. I mean, if he can utilize these players any better than Dave Hakstol or Gordon did, I guess that’s a win?

Meanwhile, we’ll keep watching teams that blow the Flyers out of the water continue playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 


You can follow Nick Piccone on Twitter (@nickpiccone) and e-mail him at nick@phillyinfluencer.com. You can read his pro wrestling articles on PhillyVoice here.

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