By Sean Hartnett
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Having stockpiled a set of excessive-ceiling youths to go together with a powerful group of beneath-30 mainstays, the Rangers are brimming with a vibrant future.
It’s crucial for the fitting coach to preside over what is an important part within the group’s plan to ship an extended-awaited Stanley Cup parade. The conditions desired are a capability to develop promising kids, whereas nonetheless discovering methods to summon probably the most out of established stars.
Alain Vigneault has struck the proper chord all through his three-plus years behind the Rangers’ bench. He has sealed three consecutive playoff appearances amid the extremely aggressive nature of the Metropolitan Division, whereas coming tantalizingly near lifting the last word prize.
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Since Mike Keenan famously ended a fifty four-yr drought by delivering the Stanley Cup to Broadway in 1994, no coach has come nearer to bringing the Blueshirts again to the mountaintop than Vigneault. The fifty five-yr-previous led the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup Ultimate look in 20 years in 2014, and narrowly missed out on a repeat journey a season later.
Hypothesis of his future driving on his efficiency within the 2017 playoffs has confirmed to be inaccurate. In accordance with Larry Brooks of the New York Submit, the Rangers have prolonged Vigneault’s contract via the 2019-20 season. He was beforehand inked by way of subsequent season. A proper announcement relating to his extension is predicted to return on Tuesday.
By extending Vigneault’s contract a further two years, the Rangers are displaying full religion in him with the ability to speed up the progress of their gifted pool of kids. Kevin Hayes, Mika Zibanejad, J.T. Miller, Brady Skjei, Pavel Buchnevich and Jimmy Vesey are all beneath the age of 24. Miller and Hayes are each on tempo to set private bests in factors — and have grown by leaps and bounds defensively beneath AV’s watch. This bodes nicely for Zibanejad, Buchnevich, Vesey, plus future younger forwards that may pull on a Rangers sweater.
Skjei is tremendously necessary to this workforce’s future, given his prime-pairing potential and the traits he shares with a youthful Ryan McDonagh. The 22-yr-previous has an identical physique sort, the skating capacity and confidence wanted to hold the puck into the offensive zone, in addition to the power to develop right into a shutdown…