The New York Rangers fired coach Alain Vigneault on Saturday night.
The announcement came after the Rangers closed out the season with a 5-0 loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia, finishing 34-39-9 and missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
New York finished last in the Metropolitan Division with 77 points.
The Rangers said they will begin searching for Vigneault’s replacement immediately. Associate coach Scott Arniel and assistant coach Darryl Williams were also let go while Lindy Ruff remains on staff, general manager Jeff Gorton said Monday.
The Rangers declared in a letter to fans before the NHL trade deadline that they were “reshaping” the team, which would bring an infusion of youth and would include some trades involving veteran players. They dealt captain Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller to the Tampa Bay Lightning, forward Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins and Michael Grabner (their top goal scorer at the deadline) to the New Jersey Devils.
Gorton told ESPN in March that it was less a “reshape” than a “rebuild” for New York.
The possibility of teams addressing the position in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft plays a role, as well. Rather than signing a veteran, clubs with safety needs might instead be focusing on prospects like Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick, Florida State’s Derwin James or Stanford’s Justin Reid.
“I still have it. But I didn’t know if it was from him so I felt no need to respond.”
In a piece for Sports Illustrated in June, Young said detailed the number of issues reportedly between the two, including how Fisher would cancel meetings without telling him, he leaked personal conversations between the pair to the media, and that he told people Young was suicidal.
Fisher denied all those accusations.
“I’ve been asked many, many times to comment in response to three of his comments, and I had nothing to gain my commenting because all three of his comments were false, they were not true,” he said. “I know the truth, so I stayed away from all that.”
“I’ve been able to see results,” Lopez said through a translator. “These first two outings have been good, and those are just the first two good outings. I’m expecting more in the future.”