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Rangers Do The Right Thing Hiring Vigneault

By at 17 June, 2013, 9:43 am

You knew the Rangers would do the right thing here. And with the hiring of Alain Vigneault, it seems like they have.

After the tough love and abrasive approach of John Tortorella, the Blueshirts needed a change and Vigneault’s soft but firm approach seems just right for the team right now, so much so that those who do sports betting on NHL may just pick the Rangers to win the Cup in 2014.

His former assistant with the Vancouver Canucks, Rick Bowness, who was recently hired by the Tampa Bay Lightning to be an that team’s top assistant, said in an interview with the New York Daily News, Vigneault was a special person.

“Ten minutes into the interview, I knew I was going to hire him, (because of) his honesty, straightforwardness, strength of character,” Bowness said to Pat Leonard of the Daily News. “You knew he was going to be very loyal, very committed and very hardworking. You could just tell.”

One of the biggest complaints of Tortorella’s regime was that he stifled offensive creativity in favor of a defensive blocking shots approach. That cost him this year with the Rangers power play going in the tank during the playoffs.

But defense wins championships and Vigneault was able to balance both offense and defense to allow the Canucks to become a powerhouse, winning two President’s Trophies and reaching the Finals once.

“You’ve got to let your players play, you’ve got to let them run, and at the same time you can command commitment to team defense, which we were able to do and then went to the Finals,” Bowness said to the Daily News. “We never lost our focus on team ‘D’, but we certainly loosened the reins up and let them run a little bit as time went on.”

Plus after coaching in hockey hotbeds like Montreal and Vancouver, Vigneault should have no problem adjusting to New York. In fact, it may be easier because unlike the Canadian markets, the pressure can be a little less in the states.

“He’s been through a lot of pressure situations,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. “He can handle a lot of pressure. All the heat that he’s had to put up with in Vancouver, he’s handled it extremely well, and it never seemed to bother him.”

And that includes working with the New York media, which was very hostile under Tortorella.

“The media will not intimidate him one bit,” Bowness said to the Daily News. “I never saw one thing that there was something in the media that rattled him. He has thick skin, and he doesn’t care. The media will not get to him one bit.”

It’s too early to tell if Bovada sportsbook for hockey has the Rangers as the 2014 favorite, but hiring Vigneault is definitely a good start for the Blueshirts.





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He’s a vice president of hockey operations in Florida.
It probably helps that his father, Vinny, owns the team.
With this bright red tie and beard, he evoked Seneca Crane from “The Hunger Games.” He showed no emotion when the Panthers won the top pick. When interviewed by TSN’s James Duthie, he seemed to indicate that, despite the acquisition of veteran goalie Roberto Luongo, the Panther are in a major rebuild.
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Once more, with feeling:
Who is Travis Viola again?
The 25 year old was formally hired in Oct. 2013 as the Vice President of Hockey Operations & Special Projects for the Florida Panthers. The Panthers said Viola “will be a full-time member of SSE’s executive team, work with Panthers EVP & GM Dale Tallon in all areas of hockey operations, while also working side by side with President & CEO Michael R. Yormark on a number of special business development projects.”
From the Panthers:
A passionate, lifelong hockey fan, Mr. Viola has used his enthusiasm and creativity to spearhead hockey-based charitable fundraising efforts including the NHL’s “Beard-A-Thon” campaign. His sports industry experience also includes five years with the New York Yankees organization.
Born and raised in New York City, Mr. Viola is a 2010 graduate of Fordham University in the Bronx where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree. Prior to joining the Panthers, Mr. Viola spent two years as a proprietary trader for Axiom Markets. Mr. Viola is extremely active in community endeavors and has worked with organizations including “The Bronx African American History Project”, PETA, and more.
(A search for Viola’s role with the Yankees turned up empty.)
Viola travels with Tallon on the road for the Panthers’ away games. According to sources familiar with the team, he enjoys interacting with the players and life on the road. He learned how to skate when he was four years old, inspired by Wayne Gretzky. Today, we hear he’s more partial to Henrik Lundqvist.
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You’re a hockey nut. Your father just purchased an NHL team. He turns to you and says, “How would you like to be a vice president of hockey operations, travel the world, hang with the players and attend every game with full access?”
You’re saying … what, “no?” “No dad, I’m content playing fantasy and watching games in my underwear, hoping not to spill Miller High Life on the remote.”
Of course you’re taking the gig. And they before you know it, you’re watching Bill Daly pull a golden card with your team’s logo on it, seated a few feet away from Brian Burke’s hair.
Life is good … well, besides the part about the team being terrible enough to win the lottery.


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By at 15 April, 2014, 6:58 pm

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By at 15 April, 2014, 6:33 pm

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The rest of the lottery field:
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