Alain Vigneault

Last updated
Alain Vigneault
Vigneault coaching a Vancouver Canucks practice in 2009
Born (1961-05-14) May 14, 1961 (age 58)
OccupationIce hockey coach, player

Coaching career
PositionHead coach
General manager Chuck Fletcher
Team Philadelphia Flyers
Previous team(s) Vancouver Canucks
Montreal Canadiens
New York Rangers
Years as NHL player1981–1983
Years as a coach1986–present
Years as an NHL coach1997–present
Years with current team2019–present
Ice hockey career
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Position Defense
Shot Right
Played for St. Louis Blues
NHL Draft 167th overall, 1981
St. Louis Blues
Playing career 19811983

Alain Vigneault (born May 14, 1961) is a Canadian professional ice hockey head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Vigneault has previously coached the Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, and the New York Rangers in the NHL, as well as in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). During his career with the Canucks, he won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach of the year in 2006–07 and has become the team's record holder for wins as a coach. Under Vigneault, Vancouver won back-to-back Presidents' Trophies (2010–11 and 2011–12) and made one Stanley Cup Finals appearance (2011). In his first season with New York, he led the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance (2014) in 20 years.

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

Ice hockey team sport played on ice using sticks, skates, and a puck

Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams usually consisting of six players each: one goaltender, and five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team.

Philadelphia Flyers professional ice hockey team

The Philadelphia Flyers are a professional ice hockey team based in Philadelphia. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Part of the 1967 NHL Expansion, the Flyers were the first expansion team in the post–Original Six era to win the Stanley Cup, victorious in 1973–74 and again in 1974–75.


Prior to his coaching career, Vigneault played professionally as a defenceman for six seasons in the NHL, Central Hockey League and American Hockey League (AHL). In the NHL, he played 42 games over two seasons, 1981–82 and 1982–83, for the St. Louis Blues.

Defence in ice hockey is a player position whose primary responsibility is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. They are often referred to as defencemen, defencewomen or defenceplayers, D, D-men or blueliners. They were once called cover-point.

American Hockey League ice hockey league in the United States

The American Hockey League (AHL) is a professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League (NHL). Since the 2010–11 season, every team in the league has an affiliation agreement with one NHL team. When NHL teams do not have an AHL affiliate, players are assigned to AHL teams affiliated with other NHL teams. Twenty-seven AHL teams are located in the United States and the remaining four are in Canada. The league offices are located in Springfield, Massachusetts, and its current president is David Andrews.

The 1981–82 NHL season was the 65th season of the National Hockey League. The William M. Jennings Trophy made its debut this year as the trophy for the goaltenders from the team with the fewest goals against, thus replacing the Vezina Trophy in that qualifying criteria. The Vezina Trophy would thereafter be awarded to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position. The New York Islanders won their third straight Stanley Cup by sweeping the Vancouver Canucks in four games.

Playing career

As a youth, Vigneault played in the 1973 and 1974 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournaments with a minor ice hockey team from Hull, Quebec, and then a team from East Ottawa. [1]

Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament

The Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament is an annual minor ice hockey event in Quebec City. The event was founded in 1960 to coincide with the Quebec Winter Carnival, and give an opportunity to players under 12 years of age to have international competition. The tournament raises funds for the local Patro Roc-Amadour foundation, and is mostly run by volunteers and a few staff. The event takes place each year in February at the Videotron Centre, and previously spent 56 seasons at the Quebec Coliseum. As of 2018, the event has showcased the talent of over 1,200 future professionals in the National Hockey League or the World Hockey Association.

Minor hockey is an umbrella term for amateur ice hockey which is played below the junior age level. Players are classified by age, with each age group playing in its own league. The rules, especially as it relates to body contact, vary from class to class. In North America, the rules are governed by the national bodies, Hockey Canada and USA Hockey, while local hockey associations administer players and leagues for their region. Many provinces and states organize regional and provincial championship tournaments, and the highest age groups in Canada and USA also participate in national championships.

Hull, Quebec Sector within City of Gatineau in Quebec, Canada

Hull is the central district and oldest neighborhood of the city of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. It is located on the west bank of the Gatineau River and the north shore of the Ottawa River, directly opposite Ottawa. As part of the Canadian National Capital Region, it contains offices for over 20,000 civil servants. It is named after Kingston upon Hull in the United Kingdom.

Vigneault played as a defenceman in the QMJHL for four seasons, beginning in 1977–78 with the Hull Olympiques. He recorded 11 goals and 46 points over 59 games as a rookie, before improving to 13 goals and 54 points over 72 games to rank fifth in team scoring the following season. In his third QMJHL season, Vigneault was traded from Hull to the Trois Rivieres Draveurs. Between the two teams, he accumulated a junior career-high 64 points (11 goals and 53 assists) over 63 games. The following season, his fourth and final in the QMJHL, he tallied seven goals and 62 points over 67 games, before adding four goals and ten points in 19 playoff games. His efforts helped the Draveurs to the QMJHL Finals, where they were defeated four-games-to-one by the Cornwall Royals.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League sports league

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is one of the three major junior ice hockey leagues which constitute the Canadian Hockey League. The league comprises teams across the provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Since the departure of the Lewiston Maineiacs from Lewiston, Maine, the QMJHL is the only one of the three member leagues of the CHL that does not currently have teams located in the United States. The current president of the QMJHL is Gilles Courteau.

The 1977–78 QMJHL season was the ninth season in the history of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The league inaugurates two awards, the Robert Lebel Trophy for the team with best goals against average, and the Guy Lafleur Trophy for the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs. Ten teams played 72 games each in the schedule. The Trois-Rivières Draveurs finished first overall in the regular season winning the Jean Rougeau Trophy, and won the President's Cup defeating the Montreal Juniors in the finals.

Gatineau Olympiques ice hockey team

The Gatineau Olympiques are a major junior ice hockey team based in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, that plays in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The Olympiques play home games at the Robert Guertin Centre. The club, then known as the Hull Festivals, was granted membership in the QMJHL in 1973. The Olympiques have appeared in the Memorial Cup seven times, winning once in 1997. Over eighty former players and coaches have gone on to play or coach in the National Hockey League (NHL), including Martin Biron, Aleš Hemský, Luc Robitaille, Jeremy Roenick, Michael Ryder, Maxime Talbot, José Théodore, Colin White, Claude Giroux, David Krejčí, Jack Adams-winning head coaches Alain Vigneault and Pat Burns and 2011 Stanley Cup-winning coach Claude Julien.

Following his QMJHL career, Vigneault was selected in the eighth round, 167th overall, by the St. Louis Blues in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He joined the Blues organization during the 1981-82 season where he appeared in 14 games for the club; tallying 1 goal and 2 assists. The remainder of his rookie season was spent in the minor league with the Blues' Central Hockey League (CHL) affiliate, the Salt Lake Golden Eagles. Vigneault was called up to the Blues again the following season where he recorded a goal and three assists in 28 regular season appearances, as well as one assist in four in the playoffs games, while splitting time with the Eagles. The 1983 playoffs were Vigneault's final appearances as a player in the NHL, as he finished his career the following season splitting time between the Maine Mariners of the AHL and the Montana Magic in the CHL.

St. Louis Blues Hockey team of the National Hockey League

The St. Louis Blues are a professional ice hockey team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Blues play their home games at the 19,150-seat Enterprise Center in downtown St. Louis. Enterprise Center is the second home arena of the Blues, with the team first playing at St. Louis Arena from 1967 to 1994.

The 1981 NHL Entry Draft was held at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec. The National Hockey League (NHL) teams selected 211 players eligible for entry into professional ranks, in the reverse order of the 1980–81 NHL season and playoff standings. This is the list of those players selected.

Central Hockey League North American mid-level minor professional ice hockey league which operated in the late 20th and early 21st centuries

The Central Hockey League (CHL) was a North American mid-level minor professional ice hockey league which operated from 1992 until 2014. Until 2013, it was owned by Global Entertainment Corporation, at which point it was purchased by the individual franchise owners. As of the end of its final season in 2014, three of the 30 National Hockey League teams had affiliations with the CHL: the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Coaching career

QMJHL and Ottawa Senators

Vigneault began his coaching career at the age of 25 in 1986–87, one season after his retirement as a player. He began in the QMJHL, coaching one season for the Trois-Rivières Draveurs and five for the Hull Olympiques, the same two teams he played junior hockey for. He coached the Olympiques to personal QMJHL regular season bests in 1987–88 with a 43–23–4 record and a playoff championship. [2]

Trois-Rivières Draveurs ice hockey team located in Trois-Rivières, Quebec

The Trois-Rivières Draveurs ("Raftmen") were a junior ice hockey team playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. They played at the Colisée de Trois-Rivières, in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. The team was originally known as the Trois-Rivières Ducs ("Dukes") and were a founding member of the QMJHL in 1969. They were renamed the Draveurs in 1973.

In the 1992–93 season, Vigneault got his first break in the National Hockey League (NHL) as an assistant coach with the expansion Ottawa Senators. After three-and-a-half years in that position, the Senators' assistant coaches were dismissed during the 1995–96 season and Vigneault returned to the QMJHL to coach the Beauport Harfangs. He led the team to his second QMJHL Finals appearance, where they were defeated by the Granby Prédateurs.

Montreal Canadiens

After a full season with the Harfangs in 1996–97, Vigneault began his second stint in the NHL and his first as a head coach, with the Montreal Canadiens. Becoming the 20th coach in the history of the Original Six team, he replaced Mario Tremblay. After winning the Stanley Cup in 1993, the team had not advanced past the first round of the playoffs in the four years since. In his first season with the Canadiens, he coached the team to a regular season record of 37 wins, 32 losses and 13 ties to rank fourth in the Northeast Division. They then advanced to the second round with a four-games-to-two series victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, before being swept in four games by the Buffalo Sabres. The following season, however, the Canadiens failed to make the playoffs with a 32–39–11 record.

During his third season with the Canadiens in 1999–2000, he returned to above-.500, despite numerous long-term injuries to key players, just narrowly missing a post-season berth. For his efforts, despite his team failing to make the playoffs for a second-straight year, he was nominated for the Jack Adams Award as the League's coach of the year, ultimately losing the award to Joel Quenneville of the St. Louis Blues. After the Canadiens continued to struggle the following season, Vigneault was fired midway through the campaign and replaced by Michel Therrien.

Following his tenure with the Canadiens, he spent two-and-a-half years inactive as a coach. In 2003–04, he was hired to coach the Prince Edward Island Rocket. That season, he coached them to a 40–19–5 record and a second-round appearance in the playoff.

Vancouver Canucks

After another season with the Rocket, in which the team finished out of the playoffs, Vigneault was hired by the Vancouver Canucks organization to coach their minor-league affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, of the American Hockey League (AHL). Following a successful season in Manitoba, in which the Moose earned 100 points and reached the second round of the playoffs, he was chosen to replace Marc Crawford as the Canucks' head coach ahead of the 2006–07 season. The Canucks had failed to qualify for the playoffs in Crawford's last season with the club and were seen to have underperformed after being considered Stanley Cup contenders after the 2004–05 NHL lockout. In replacing Crawford, who was the Canucks' record holder for all-time wins by a coach, Vigneault became the 16th coach in team history. While Crawford was known for coaching the team under an offence-first mentality, Vigneault had a defensive-minded reputation at the time of his hiring. In addition to letting Crawford go, General Manager Dave Nonis retooled the team considerably. Key offensive players Ed Jovanovski and Todd Bertuzzi departed as stay-at-home defenceman Willie Mitchell and star goaltender Roberto Luongo were brought in.

In his first season as head coach of the Canucks, Vigneault coached them to a franchise record 49 wins, eclipsing the 46-win season recorded under Pat Quinn in 1992–93. The team won the regular season Northwest Division title before being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks. As a result, he received his second Jack Adams Award nomination and beat out Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres and Michel Therrien of the Pittsburgh Penguins in voting to win the coach of the year on June 14, 2007. The following season, however, the Canucks failed to qualify for the playoffs and GM Dave Nonis was fired. After Nonis' successor, Mike Gillis, was brought in, it was speculated whether or not he would retain Vigneault. [3] [4] After several meetings with Gillis, Vigneault was re-signed to a one-year contract extension to keep him in Vancouver to the 2009–10 season. Vigneault's assistant coaches Barry Smith and Mike Kelly, inherited from Crawford's coaching staff, were both fired. [5]

With the departure of captain Markus Näslund in the 2008 off-season, Vigneault and team management controversially selected Roberto Luongo as the Canucks' new captain, despite NHL rules forbidding goaltenders to be chosen for the position. Luongo became the first goaltender to captain an NHL team in 60 years, though he was not permitted to wear the captain's "C" on his jersey, nor was he permitted to perform the traditional on-ice duties of a captain in the NHL (such as speaking to the referees on behalf of the coach). [6] Under new leadership and management, Vigneault and the Canucks returned to the post-season and won their second Northwest Division title in three years. They were once again defeated in the second round, however; this time by the Chicago Blackhawks.

About to enter the final year of his contract in 2009–10, Vigneault was signed to a three-year extension in September 2009. [7] The Canucks matched their franchise-best 49 wins from Vigneault's first season and repeated as Northwest Division champions. Though for a second consecutive year, they were eliminated by the Blackhawks in the second round.

After finishing near the top of their conference for the majority of Vigneault's tenure with the team up to the 2009–10 season, the Canucks won their first-ever Presidents' Trophy as the league's best regular season team after a franchise year of 54 wins and 117 points. They advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1994, but lost the championship in seven games to the Boston Bruins. Vigneault earned his third nomination for the Jack Adams Award in 2011, but lost to Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The following year, the Canucks repeated as Presidents' Trophy champions. During the season, Vigneault became the most winning coach in Canucks' history with his 247th victory with the team, a 3–0 shutout against the Colorado Avalanche on November 23, 2011. At 427 games, it took him 97 fewer contests than his predecessor, Crawford, to set the mark. Though the league's best regular season team once more in 2011–12, the Canucks were eliminated from the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round; losing in five games to the eventual champion, the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings. [8]

During the 2013 playoffs, the Canucks were swept in the first round by the San Jose Sharks. After the loss, many Vancouver fans voiced the need for a major change among the Canucks coaching staff, mainly Vigneault. After many rumors and much speculation, Vigneault was fired by the Canucks on May 22, 2013.

New York Rangers

On June 21, 2013, the New York Rangers hired Vigneault to be their 34th head coach, replacing John Tortorella, who coincidentally was hired as Vigneault's replacement in Vancouver. He signed a five-year, $10 million contract. [9]

Vigneault's Rangers initially struggled in the first half of the 2013–14 campaign, but finished very strong. The Rangers finished second in the Metropolitan Division, qualifying for the post-season and making it to the team's first Stanley Cup Final since they defeated the Vancouver Canucks in the 1993–94 season. The team, however, lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five games in the Final.

In 2014–15, Vigneault's second season with the team, the Rangers set a franchise record with 113 points in the regular season, winning the NHL's President's Trophy for the first time since the 1993-94 season. [10] In the first round, the Rangers knocked out the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games, winning the fifth and clinching game on an overtime winner from Carl Hagelin. [11] It was the earliest Sidney Crosby and the Penguins had been eliminated from the playoffs since his sophomore season in 2006–07. In the semi-finals the Rangers found themselves facing a familiar foe in Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, the fifth meeting between the two franchises since 2009 (each team had won two). The Rangers fell behind 3-1 in the series and were down 1-0 in game five, a mere 101 seconds from elimination, before Chris Kreider broke the shutout. In overtime team captain Ryan McDonagh scored the game winner to send the series back to Washington. In game six Kreider once again sparked the team, scoring in the first minute and final second of the first period as the Rangers withstood a late rally by the Capitals to win 4–3 and force a game 7 at Madison Square Garden. Anticipation was extremely high for this game as prices for a seat reached record prices. [12] Ovechkin opened the scoring on a high glove wrister in the first period but Rangers' rookie Kevin Hayes evened the score on the power play. In the first Game 7 overtime at Madison Square Garden since the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, Derek Stepan scored the game-winning goal, sending the Rangers to their third conference finals in four years, where they would eventually be eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

On April 7, 2018, the Rangers fired Vigneault after the team finished at 34-39-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010. [13] [14]

Philadelphia Flyers

On April 15, 2019, the Philadelphia Flyers hired Vigneault as their head coach. [15]

Personal life

Vigneault lives in Gatineau, Quebec. He is divorced and has two daughters, Andreane and Janie. When he coached the Canucks, Vigneault could often be found on game days jogging around Vancouver's Stanley Park. He is known by the Vancouver media for his sense of humour and for his resemblance to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Playing career statistics

   Regular season   Playoffs
Season TeamLeagueGP G A Pts PIM GPGAPtsPIM
1977–78 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 5911354692401120
1978–79 Hull OlympiquesQMJHL72134154217
1979–80 Hull OlympiquesQMJHL355343982
1979–80 Trois-Rivières Draveurs QMJHL286192593715630
1980–81 Trois-Rivières DraveursQMJHL677556218119461053
1981–82 St. Louis Blues NHL 1412343
1981–82 Salt Lake Golden Eagles CHL 6421012266711237
1982–83 St. Louis BluesNHL2813439401126
1982–83 Salt Lake Golden EaglesCHL33145189
1983–84 Montana Magic CHL4721416139
1983–84 Maine Mariners AHL 110114610004
NHL totals4225782401126
CHL totals14452833594711237

NHL coaching record

TeamYearRegular seasonPostseason
MTL 1997–98 82373213874th in Northeast Lost in Conference Semifinals (BUF)
MTL 1998–99 82323911755th in NortheastMissed playoffs
MTL 1999–00 82353494834th in NortheastMissed playoffs
MTL 2000–01 205132070(fired)
VAN 2006–07 82492671051st in Northwest Lost in Conference Semifinals (ANA)
VAN 2007–08 82393310885th in NorthwestMissed playoffs
VAN 2008–09 824527101001st in NorthwestLost in Conference Semifinals (CHI)
VAN 2009–10 82492851031st in NorthwestLost in Conference Semifinals (CHI)
VAN 2010–11 82541991171st in NorthwestLost in Stanley Cup Finals (BOS)
VAN 2011–12 82512291111st in NorthwestLost in Conference Quarterfinals (LA)
VAN 2012–13 4826157591st in NorthwestLost in Conference Quarterfinals (SJ)
NYR 2013–14 8245316962nd in Metropolitan Lost in Stanley Cup Finals (LA)
NYR 2014–15 82532271131st in MetropolitanLost in Conference Finals (TB)
NYR 2015–16 82462791013rd in MetropolitanLost in First Round (PIT)
NYR 2016–17 82482861024th in MetropolitanLost in Second Round (OTT)
NYR 2017–18 8234399778th in MetropolitanMissed playoffs

Awards and accomplishments

See also

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  12. Wells, Nicholas (2015-05-13). "Rangers Fans Pay Record Prices For Game 7 Hockey". CNBC. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  13. "Bob McKenzie on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  14. "Rangers fire head coach Vigneault - Article - TSN". TSN. 2018-04-07. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  15. "Flyers name Alain Vigneault head coach". April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
Preceded by
Mario Tremblay
Head coach of the Montreal Canadiens
Succeeded by
Michel Therrien
Preceded by
Lindy Ruff
Jack Adams Award Winners
Succeeded by
Bruce Boudreau
Preceded by
Marc Crawford
Head coach of the Vancouver Canucks
Succeeded by
John Tortorella
Preceded by
John Tortorella
Head coach of the New York Rangers
Succeeded by
David Quinn
Preceded by
Scott Gordon
Head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers
Succeeded by