Looking relaxed and sounding genuinely happy to be back at Rogers Arena, Alain Vigneault addressed the Vancouver media for the first time this morning since being relieved of his coaching duties by the Vancouver Canucks in May.
Tonight, Vigneault's new team the New York Rangers face his old team—and of course, the same goes for John Tortorella, who was fired by the Rangers and is now calling the shots behind the Canucks bench.
Vigneault arrived at the rink early this morning and did his best to thank as many of the staff he'd worked with over his seven years as coach here. He said he spent much of Wednesday in the city visiting with old friends, and capped his day by taking his new staff out to dinner at Joe Forte's.
Asked what sort of reaction he expected from Canucks fans tonight, Vigneault downplayed his return by saying fans don't come to see coaches, they come to see players. There was no official word from the Canucks, but it's expected the organization will acknowledge Vigneault's return during an early stoppage in play.
The Canucks finish their preseason schedule with tonight's game.
Vigneault's Rangers wrap up their exhibition schedule tomorrow night in Las Vegas against the Los Angeles Kings.