The more time I spent thinking about it the more I was leaning towards AV for this team. He's had pretty damn good success in a big market, and he grew that team to what it has been. While I do care about his playoff record, you can't blame him solely for that teams woes. Several times his big players didn't show up, same can be said for Torts although he got consistent goaltending.
Intrigued with AV, like the fact that he is one of the best at matching lines, think that was a serious deficiency of Torts.
What one coach has accomplished with another team(s) means little when he coach's a new team, with different personnel. What I look at is the style/systems they use and how they will apply it to their new team. I think AV is a great choice for this current NYR team.
I also like that he has come from one of the most successful sports franchises in NA, being influenced by great past coaches and players in the NHL. It's no coincidence in my opinion, that alot of great coaches, who have gone on to win the SC with other teams, began their careers in MONTREAL. I can think of 3 (Julien, Burns and Lemaire) quickly off the top of my head, and coincidentally all 3 were hired by a GM who is universally regarded as one of the top 3 current GM's in the league and in the past 20yrs, yeah Don Lou, from NJ.
Quenneville and Julien are in their 3rd NHL coaching jobs. The Rangers will be AV's 3rd NHL coaching stint.
It is uncanny, really, the symmetry that exists in the storylines for both head coaches in the Stanley Cup finals.
Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins and Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks are Stanley Cup winners, of course, and both have been the subject of firing rumors once or twice during their otherwise stellar runs with their current teams.
Oh, and they've got another thing in common: They're both excellent at their craft.
"One of those guys is going to win a second Cup,'' Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock told ESPN.com Friday. "To me, that's unbelievable. No disrespect to Scotty Bowman, but this is a totally different world than when he was doing it. I'm jealous as hell one of them will win a second Cup.''
Indeed, either Julien or Quenneville will be the first two-Cup winner in the NHL's salary-cap era, a distinction that will set them apart from their current peers.
But either way, their reputations are already forged around the league.
"Both guys provide structure with compassion,'' St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock told ESPN.com. "Players really trust both guys and the information they provide, they really believe in their style of play and do a great job of selling it to the players. Both guys handle the star players really well and get them to buy in. Both of them have become long-term guys because they bring a real structure to everyone: staff, players, trainers.''
“AV has been nothing but great for this team,” Henrik continued. “So if they want to go in a different direction, that's up to them. I think our core players have really grown up here and have become better as the years went on. AV has helped us grow as players and, I think, as leaders as well. So I have nothing but good things to say. He's had our attention from Day One until the last game. That's never been a problem. He's been nothing but good to us
I really like this hire. Outside of maybe Babcock, Quenneville, and MacLean, there's nobody in the league I'd prefer behind the bench.
He's a proven winner. A no BS coach who demands a lot from his players and gets it. Yes, Vancouver won some Presidents' Trophies on the backs of two Sedins and some sad-sack Oiler, Avalanche, and Flames teams, but he also has a lifetime coaching record of nearly :600 in two schizophrenic hockey markets with 'coal into diamonds' kind of pressure.
Sure, there's been the odd case of established players like Keith Ballard and David Booth who performed much better prior to coming to the Canucks and, consequently, fell out of favor with Vigneault. But I firmly believe our guys will thrive in this new atmosphere, under a new leader, and a new voice!