PHILADELPHIA — That didn’t take long.
Just nine days after their season ended, the Flyers hired Alain Vigneault as their head coach Monday.
Taking the reins of his fourth NHL team, Vigneault agreed to a multiyear contract, the Flyers announced. He replaces Scott Gordon, who coached the Flyers on an interim basis after Dave Hakstol’s firing.
“He brings a tremendous amount of success over an extended period of time that will prove valuable to our team to take the next steps in returning the winning culture to the Philadelphia Flyers organization,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement.
At his year-end news conference last week, Fletcher called Gordon a “strong candidate” for the job and praised the way he got the Flyers back into playoff contention with an 18-4-2 run before they faded down the stretch. But Gordon was hired to coach the Flyers’ AHL farm team, the Phantoms, by the previous general manager, Ron Hextall, and it was expected that Fletcher would want to put his own stamp on the franchise.
Vigneault, 57, who has a career record of 648 wins, 435 losses, 35 ties and 98 overtime losses, called it an honor to be named the Flyers’ coach.
“The history they have established and the passionate fan base has made this a first-class franchise,” he said.
The Flyers haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1975 and have missed the playoffs in four of the last seven years, so Vigneault certainly wasn’t talking about recent history. The Flyers haven’t won a playoff series since 2012.
Vigneault led the 2011 Vancouver Canucks and the 2014 New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final.
“I’m excited to work with Chuck and the talented group of players and the prospects coming through the system,” Vigneault said, adding he wanted to “return Philadelphia to the top of the NHL landscape.”
Vigneault most recently coached the Rangers from 2013 to ’18. Before that, he spent seven seasons with Vancouver and three-plus seasons with Montreal. He will coach Team Canada in next month’s IIHF World Championships in Slovakia.
A native of Quebec City, Vigneault had his best coaching season in 2010-11, when he directed Vancouver to the President’s Trophy with a league-high 117 points and a 54-19-9 record. The Canucks then beat Chicago, Nashville and San Jose to reach the Cup Final, which they lost to Boston in seven games.
Vigneault, who won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year in 2006-07 with Vancouver, spent 42 games in the league as a defenseman for St. Louis from 1981-83 (two goals, seven points, 82 penalty minutes) before starting his coaching career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 1986. His first NHL coaching job was with the expansion Ottawa Senators, as an assistant for three-plus years starting in 1992-93.
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