Alain Vigneault has missed the playoffs four times in 15 full seasons as an NHL coach. He’s also been to the Stanley Cup Final two times and is the winningest coach in Vancouver Canucks history. (To be fair, he’s also coached the most games in franchise history.)
And while he didn’t coach at all this season, it was only a matter of time before Vigneault was snapped up for one of the many head coaching vacancies that exist.
At first glance, Vigneault and the Flyers seem like a good mix. Philadelphia has a good roster, full of capable offensive players. And we know Vigneault likes forwards who are also responsible in their own end. Pretty sure he’s going to love Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton.
Whether he can nurture young players like Nolan Patrick, Ivan Provorov and Samuel Morin remains to be seen. At times it seemed like he wasn’t deploying Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich properly, though that player’s occasional healthy scratches even without Vigneault as his coach are, while still puzzling, proof that it may not have been all on his former boss.
In Vancouver, Vigneault inherited a team of burgeoning superstars and led them on the right path to offensive prominence. In Philadelphia, he has some veteran players, some of whom, like Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, have been among the best players in the league at certain points in their careers.
Vigneault is a good bet to get every bit of offence out of those players, and the younger ones the Flyers have in the pipeline, that they have to give. We wouldn’t be surprised at all if Philadelphia is back in the playoffs next year.
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