When Chuck Fletcher took over as the General Manager of the Flyers, he envisioned a long-term commitment to the Draft, while preaching a swift moving rebuild. Fletcher is committed to keeping the house that Hextall has built, but wants to win asap. He has inherited a young Flyers team that is just flat-out inconsistent, and they needed a new face. Well, yesterday it began as Fletcher hired Alain Vigenault to become the 21st Head Coach in Flyers history.
Vigneault (648-435-98 Coaching record, .588 Winning Percentage) has previously taken the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals. He is known to be animated behind the bench, and apparently was good with grooming young talent. For instance, he groomed the young Sedin twins, Alexander Edler, Roberto Luongo, Henrik Lundqvist, and Marc Staal to the promised land. Fletcher wanted a Coach that was familiar with winning, and Vigneault brings that aspect to the table, “He’s won the Jack Adams Trophy, won the Presidents’ Trophy,” Fletcher said. “So certainly that track record of winning games is critical. But I also think he has a tremendous track record of developing players, and holding his players accountable.”
“It is an honor to be selected as the next head coach of the Flyers,” said Vigneault. “The history they have established and the passionate fan base has made this a first-class franchise. I am excited to work with Chuck, the talented group of players, and the prospects coming up through the system in order to return Philadelphia to the top of the NHL landscape.”
The timing of this change is right, and hopefully the orange and black can move in the right direction now. Hopefully, Vigneault can make them a consistent hockey team, as Flyers fans haven’t seen a consistent hockey team on the ice in about 4 or 5 years. Getting back to the basics, and getting this team to buy into the new culture will be key for Vigneault’s success as Coach of the Flyers.
Vigneault is more of a defensive-minded coach, and the Flyers could really use that at this time. Their Team Defense has been inconsistent for the past few years, so hopefully Vigenault can bring some consistency to the club.
The former Canucks and Rangers coach can right the ship, and eventually lead the Flyers proud organization back to the promised land. It may take a year to two, but who knows, right? The Flyers made a bold move, and this puts everyone on notice, to include the players. The players share some responsibility for the lack of success too, not just the coaching staff. One thing is certain Flyers fans, time will tell how this bold move pans out.
Flyers prospect Tanner Laczynski will return to Ohio State for his Senior season, as a Captain of the Buckeyes.