There's been a lot of criticism thrown Alain Vigneault's way from Rangers fans (myself included) during the first three and a half months of the season. His quiet, stoic demeanor can be misconstrued as passionless, while his hands-off approach can be mistaken for laziness.
And when the Rangers players didn't initially embrace his fast paced system, we all questioned whether he was the right man for the job. We wondered if he had the personnel to run his up tempo game plan. If he had the passion to inspire his team. And whether the players were quietly second guessing their decision to send John Tortorella packing.
While I still can't say for sure that Vigneault will lead this team to the Stanley Cup or even the playoffs, what I can tell you is that the players are very happy with their head coach.
How do I know this? Because Dan Carcillo offered this little nugget about the head man of his new team who penciled him into the starting line-up in his very first game as a Ranger so that he could be acknowledge by the Chicago crowd for his contributions to the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory last season (via Bergen Record)...
“Everyone here really likes (Vigneault) and I’ve talked to guys in Vancouver and they really liked him as well. He’s a players’ coach. It’s little things like that, that makes you want to play harder. I thought it was a nice gesture.”
...as a guy who always liked playing for a disciplinarian, I'm of the mind that a successful coach needs to get in his team's face to motivate and inspire them play to their potential. Which is why I've rode Vigneault pretty hard this season for the team's lack of emotion. But this comment by Carcillo has definitely given me some pause. Being nice makes players want to play harder? Who knew?
...maybe the Ranger players' lack of passion hasn't led to their uneven start to the season. Maybe it was the calm, even keeled approach they adopted from their coach that has allowed them not to panic in the face of early season adversity and keep their heads above water until they finally became comfortable with a system that was the complete polar opposite of what they've been running the past five years. Mind blow..
FYI, while the Rangers are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, the Tortorella led Canucks have lost five straight (0-3-2).
EHBIG... Your posts are WAY TOO LONG and BORING. I don't see your points through all your self aggrandizing... no need to inform us of your work experience and what you achieved to gain credibility. All this, "I was the number one this and that for a Fortune 500, blah blah blah..... It's obnoxious and no one cares. Just make your point without the verbose editorializing and then people will read it.
Great bosses know how to deal with people. You have to know when to use the carrot and when to use the stick, but at the end of the day if people do not respect you, they will only do things out of fear. That is a recipe for disaster long term. That means you have to always watch people like Kim Jong Un. People never learn on their own and they do not grow. They rebel whenever they can. You don't build true loyalty. Your loyalty is conditional. Of course if you are disciplining someone, then you have to be clear when they are wrong. But you don't have to act like a horse's ass. The days of autocratic bosses are numbered.
First, Carcillo never said that AV was nice, but rather said that AV did a nice gesture. That gesture of "respect" has earned Carcillo's respect.Second, it's all about perspective. It's funny. As fans, we are ignorant of what really goes on behind the scenes, yet we make assumptions and presume what's best for the team. But let me ask you, wherever you work at whatever job you do, would you be more motivated to work for a calm boss who treated you with respect, pushed and supported you without screaming at you, embarrassing you, or publicly calling you out? Or would you rather work for the opposite? Think about that and then try to understand why no one wanted to play for Torts anymore. It's so easy to say that you loved the fiery, "hard-ass" way Torts coached, when you're not the one actually playing for him.And for anyone who argues that Torts was more successful in his approach of being a hard ass disciplinarian, look at the results. Torts was about even as where AV is (in same time tenured) and also very similar in results with Tom Renney (who a lot of people called a "nice guy" except for his players who loved him and thought he was a consummate professional who treated his players with respect. Just go ask Jagr.)
I agree with everyone who's arguing that we, as fans, are ignorant of what's really going on in the locker-room and are projecting our own expectations/anxieties (based on our own personal history) onto the coach and how the team responds.
That said, it bothers me that AV doesn't see the need to start a team with at least a couple of players who can play a tough game. Again, this is my bias, but toughness seems critical to the long term (i.e. playoff) success of a team even in today's NHL. I'm not convinced, by observing his choices as coach, that AV shares my bias, in fact, I lean towards believing he would rather minimize that aspect of his roster. So, after starting the season as an AV supporter, I've slowly grown more and more disappointed as the season has progressed. I think the recent success, much like the success the Rangers enjoyed when they first called Kreider up, shows that the team can compete in spurts by using its speed and skill as long as opponents allow it. But any success now is, in my opinion, a false hope for playoff longevity. The way NY plays is not built for the competitive intensity of the post-season.
How about a mid-term grade report on the players? I always enjoy reading that. Also, do we have the ingredients to be a Stanley cup team? If no, what is missing? Love the blog and the fan comments. Thanks.
Holy Poops.....get a grip on yourself, Kevin. The team is 3, that's right 3 games above 500% in the softest div. in the entire league....slow down with your accolades and look at "the big picture" here.......something that the NY Media has not yet learned how to do when it comes to Hockey....it is called Strategic Thinking" rather than the knee-jerk stuff that you wrote here.
If anything is known about leadership (again lacking in NY Hockey Media) the most effective leader wants to be RESPECTED....RESPECTED....RESPECTED he or she doesn't give a Rat's butt about being liked. You think Bowman gave or gives 2 poops if any of his teams liked him????
I don't know about you or any of the other Hockey Media in the greatest city in the world but as a friend....or as a lover....or as as a parent....or as a business man......or as a teacher.....or as a team leader I have found being nice is like giving your sister "a nice kiss"........being a "nice Dad"......etc. Hopefully you get the picture. Nice is boring and produces boring results. Winning leaders are never described as nice. Winning teams are never described as Nice!..........isn't that nice?
"Nice' is what blends in....."Nice" mixes well with others....."Nice" gets along with others........."Nice" is a good listener".....Well being "Nice" is just plane "Nice" isn't it? Was that "Nicely" said?
What I have learned when it comes to measured performance in any walk of life is that being unique and different (not being nice!) is what creates unique and different results and only only one (unique) and one different (differentiates itself from the rest of the entire league) team wins the Cup!
How can you write what you wrote after watching such a boring....lack luster but "nice"....real "nice" performance by two teams??????????? That is my "nice" question to you??
Good article Kev. Fan's reactions to the (percieved) personality of the coach are like most opnions they have, ill-founded and myopic. If the team wins - they will love the coach and his particular style will be all the rage, opposite if they lose. Billy Martin was an angry SOB that would almost physically fight his players - Yanks won. Davey Johnson could be used as an insomnia aid - Mets won. Rex Ryan...Yeah! Great coach hi players LOVE him. Rex Ryan...worst coach ever...his players have it too easy! Mike Keenan - he was blasted for being hated and too hard...until he won a Cup. Claude Julien...his players love him...and umm...pretty good coach. In reality the GM is 95% responsible for the success of a team. The coach brings out the last 5%, WHICH...when you are talking late in the playoffs with TWO otherwise equivalent teams can make a big difference. But it is HUGELY overemphasized before then.
"Viigneault is a huge pushover and I don't think he should be in the NHL. The Sedin brothers hate him." What's he going to say?
Im happy with the Rangers play lately but they are so far behind the best teams in the NHL....not being cynical, just realistic
Unfortunately, nice coachs dont win Stanley cups; the fact that the team "loves him" makes me doubt Vaignaults capability even more now
If Cally or Girardi are not signed in next 6 weeks, big decisions will exist for Slats at trade deadline.
Hes been nice all year and nothings come from it. Players have their own mind sets. For some reason Nash is playing harder. Probably no more concussion symptoms. Richards is more in shape. Hes not playing harder. Just looks more conditioned. We dnt have the best roster to work with. Thank god dorsett is off the roster. Idc who took his place. Pyatt too. Those r cats. We r looking for dogs. Animals who wanna win. Like when we had dubinsky.
I think a coach's style varies in effectiveness from player to player. Guys like Richards, Nash, Gabby, and maybe even Kreider don't want to be yelled at like kids anymore. Stepan, on the other hand, might thrive on that kind of thing.
@TheNYRBlog I guess the saying is true " kill them with kindness"
@TheNYRBlog keep in mind coaches mistakes can only lose games , Players still have to paly and win them on ice
@TheNYRBlog i would would like to make an appointment for when Stepan will score his next significant goall....Thanks ! :-)
It's just whatever you have to do to inspire, motivate and earn trust of players. It's crucial for the whole team (including the player/coach dynamic) to gel and form an identity. This seems to finally be happening and I couldn't be happier. He is who he is, and has had MASSIVE success as a head coach in this league. Can't expect him to all of a sudden be a jerk and treat grown men like children because it worked for half of tortarella's tenure. These players are men now, and deserve a coach like AV.
@JoeyKocurThanks so much for pointing out that my posts are way too long and boring, much too confusing and people won't pay attention. Actually all of that has been a severe problem for me since early childhood so I really appreciate you again reminding me that I should follow your autocratic perspective on how posts should be made.
In the future I look to your example and perhaps your all-in leadership to guide me...to coach....to support me to follow your autocratic methodology. Thanks again JoeyKocur. Somehow I believe your way will finally bring me peace and happiness........Now no name calling, Joey......AV doesn't do that!
Great post Shoot... You are spot on. Only limited people use an autocratic ass-hole leadership style. Also, if you have smart subordinates, they will flip you off and leave. Torts was a good coach but a shitty, small-minded leader who is not even worth discussing.
@shoot_the_goalie So I have gotten your attention.....eh. This blog is it suppose to stimulate thinking and the exchange of ideas? Or is everybody suppose to agree with everyone else?
Firstly all I questioned was the timing of Kevin's comments and his observation of last night's performance. We differed on that. Kevin called it exciting hockey and that is O.K. I experienced last night's game as boring by both teams and I thought the crowd was also bored. I also thought Sam R. and his buddy were so bored that they started to entertain themselves with conversation that had nothing to do with The Rangers, much less the sport of hockey. I guess they weren't enjoying all those stoppages in play either.
I had this crazy idea that this season The Rangers have displayed a lack of team consistency when it comes to winning hockey and that after last night's game, albeit a win that same inconsistency reappeared.I had anticipated the same winning hockey that the team so crisply displayed in Chicago. I was disappointed by the team's performance (but pleased with the result.) Kevin had a somewhat different reaction to the team's performance only
It is just two ideas that clashed.....that is all.
In my life I have been responsible for millions and I mean millions of dollars for Fortune 500 Companies both as a sales person and as a senior sales manager. I know first hand what accountability is all about. You don't meet your quota or your sales team doesn't meet their quota you are toast. I chose to play under those rules and abide by those rules
I have a ton of experience speaking to the media.....relating to CEOs.....relating to other Senior mgrs......and my most important job inspiring my sales people. Go to my web site www.clevelsmarts.com my record speaks for itself. If you like TV you will recognize some of my accomplishments.
I have never advocated in any of my comments The kind of coach you describe. MY job was to be a great leader of my people not a good leader.....not a nice leader but a great leader AND a great leader INSPIRES. And the reason why I know that pay attention here Gravey,is that is the public feedback I received from clients, from my sales people and from my own children. They all say that. In addition to ultimately achieving great results through my work with clients, sales people...... my own children all 3 of my children have earned free rides to private Universities in Az and in CA. I know how to establish inspiring relationships under great pressure.My task achievements are on my web site.
Of course a coach can be inspiring without embarrassing his people.....of course a coach can be inspiring without publicly calling his people out....without screaming at them. MY teams' feedback about my leadership behavior speaks to what you are saying. Perhaps you have never experienced that kind of coach/teacher and that is understandable because there are not a whole lot of them around.
I always worked in a super big money high pressure situation where station clients were free to walk into any of my sales meetings and sit and observe how I was coaching the very sales people who were responsible for all of their station revenue. In addition clients knew about every single sale that each of my sales people made or messed up because those results were published by The Big Three Accounting firms on a daily basis. How is that for pressure and accountability?
I have a big picture perspective on life and consequently on the game of Hockey. I am a passionate Dude ( as one of friends call me) and my passion has always been a source of inspiration to others (because I never ever give up on them. I know that and they know that!) I enjoy sharing my ideas here and most importantly I want to learn something new from others on here.I am always disappointed when smart people make harsh personal judgments about others and don't stick to the expressed ideas. I like Torts very much because of the way he coaches the game. I respect him because he won the prize. I do not for a second condone how he handles the media. I simply don't have sufficient proof that he mishandles his players. Remember my sales clients (who were always my most demanding critics) could always observe and question the way I coached at any time. No one gets into Torts' kitchen like that. ....so I simply reserve judgment on that and I super respect that he lead a team to the Cup.
btw...this post was not aimed at you Kevin. Aimed at those who think you have to have a hard ass coach to win championships.
I like AV's style, but as you, I do not agree with his soft approach.
Good point, but I also would like to bring up that Chicago utilizes it speed and skill to dominate its opponent every night. They don't really play too physical either.
@NYR_4_LifeMcD: A, Kreider: A, Talbot: A, Zuke: B+...everyone else: F
"I think what bothers me most about the whole “nice day” thing is that word “nice.” It’s a weak word. It doesn’t have a lot of character. Nice.
“Isn’t he nice? He is so nice. And she’s nice too! Isn’t that nice? How nice they are!”"
- George Carlin
Dude take a chill pill.
ironic that you say "get a grip"
@EHBIGAPPLENot sure what team you've been watching the last two weeks or so but the Rangers team on my TV has been pretty exciting.
And it's not like I'm making this crap up. That's a direct quote from a player who wasn't even asked to comment on AV that he wants to play harder because the head coach did something nice.
Where does it say a coach can't be liked by his players AND respected and how do you or anyone else know that AV is not both?
@Herman_NYRBlog Yeah, but he wasn't asked about his thoughts on AV. He volunteered that information on his own.
But they are in the weakest division and have kept pace to jump in right behind the penguins. The 2 and 3 spots are going to be highly contested down the stretch as are the wild card spot. If the boys in blue keep this pace, they will begin to pull away and we will laugh at this conversation
@Wallace1Definitely personal preference, but it seems to be working for a large majority of the team right now.
@PATR2014 You have a better chance of getting a doctor's appointment under Obamacare.
@SmellyKisio agreed, and the contrast between AV and Torts couldn't be more clear than the post-game pressers. Torts was an abrasive, defiant child, who gave very little information, while AV is a clear, articulate adult. In a market like NYC, where the spotlight is constant and the pressure enormous, AV brings calm and focus. For this reason, his passion may not show much in front of the cameras, but on the ice during practice, and in the locker room, I bet he's intense and passionate while still being constructive and respectful. I think he's a great fit for the Rangers and in the next few years they will be battling for the top of the conference, IMHO.
I was not singling you out, and if you thought I was, then I apologize. I was referring to many peoples' criticisms (on this thread and others) concerning AV's nice guy approach and how it doesn't work and that you need a "tough love" coach to win championships. There are many people on these boards who are critical of AV's lack of emotion, lack of fire, and attribute that to a criticism that he's not a good coach. With that said, I'm not sure how anything I said could be construed as a personal attack, but if you took it that way then I apologize again for the misunderstanding. I was asking a rhetorical question for those who support Torts/Keenan like coaches, asking regardless of "wherever you work and whatever job you do", would you rather work for a leader who pushes you to do your best or a leader who punishes, yells, humiliates. I was not passing personal judgement on you or anyone else on this board, nor questioning what type of leader you and they may personally be. I was simply asking a question using an analogy that hockey players are essentially employees and the coaches are their bosses, and again, asking rhetorically, to put ourselves in their shoes. I respect posters' opinions on this blog and I find many return the courtesy, and that's what makes this particular blog so great over many others. So again, if you (and any others) took any personal offense to my post, that was not my intention as I'm just here to talk about the NYR
@DanielDHizzyHizgilov@Hotfreak Quenneville plays the Hawks the same way The Bruins play, the same way the Blues play, the same way the Kings play, the same way the Ducks play and the same way The Sharks are learning to play and the same way the Canucks are learning to play. Chicago and The Ducks have more speed and skill but they still play hard in all 3 zones if their opponent plays that way and they all are willing to give a check and take a check. (ask The Bruins about The Hawks)
If you look at AVs teams and his successful record It indicates that his success was based on speed and skill with an up tempo strategy that did not include hard on the puck in all 3 zones. Avs coaching patterns would never allow him to put up toughness to set a tone because his team were not built that way.
AVs success came to a close with CBAs Cap Structure. He did not want to adopt the more hard-nosed defense-first strategy to compete with the rapidly emerging and now visible Western Conference. Out he goes and in comes a new Coach. That doesn't mean he stinks or he sucks or he might be called an arrogant bore. He is an excellent coach but the context in which he now coaches has changed, requiring a coaching strategy that recognizes the limitations of The Cap. The Cap structure demands to build a Cup winner from the Net out then develop an excellent D and score your goals with a strong fore check together with speed and skill that absolutely buy into that system. The Cap system makes effective trading for the kind of talent vey difficult because teams now are signing FAs and RFAs before they hit the market.
The cap requires a very sophisticated system to recognize talent in the Draft, in Europe and in Colleges.
@Kevin DeLury@EHBIGAPPLEKevin, if you thought last night's game was exciting then more power to you. I found The Rangers broadcasting staff desperately trying to stay awake during the broadcast talking about The Knicks' resurgence. Perhaps you missed it but they even made reference to how difficult it was for them to call a game that was a cure for insomnia.
You might know this I certainly don't the record number of play stoppages and face offs for a single game? Even Arniel commented how there was no flow to the Rangers' game. You may have noticed how everything was one run and gun play after another by each side up and down....continuous breakdowns on both sides.........and zero neutral zone play....and you find this exciting to watch?......Well you and I are different and that is O.K.
I saw an exciting Ranger team in Chicago. I did not see the same team in NYC last night but perhaps I missed something!
My experience.....real life experience....says of course that leaders can be both liked and respected.
2nd question......."I don't know"....gravey94 read that slowly "I don't know." What I do know is what was publicly said by Canuck players.....what was recorded by Vancouver's media....and what the context was in which those communications were made. Most people never look at the context in which anything is said or done.
......As far as I know, as their coach was fired Canuck players never used the "respect" term in describing their relationship with AV. I do know from life experience that if they ever described their relationship with AV as one of mutual respect it would be perceived by Canuck senior mgmt as a critique of their decision to fire AV in the first place.....and of course that is a mandated No No, particularly in a very conservative and controlling sport as hockey. (ask Theo Fluery or gay hockey professionals to confirm that if you have any doubts)
Because of my own life experience I would never say that some or even quite a few of Canuck players did not both LIKE and RESPECT AV.....I'M SURE THEY DID. It would be a possible career faux pas if they shared their experiences out loud to the media.
SO HOW DID I DO HERE?....GRAVEY94
@TheNYRBlog hey Kev did you see cap geek top overall Hockey earners...Redden is near top ~ STILL ! i have the list if you want
@TheNYRBlog O mNO!!! you crack me up....!!!
@DanielDHizzyHizgilov@Hotfreak The Cap was a gradual squeeze that slowly created a change in the entire context (how to win) in the NHL. Boston's senior mgmt saw it coming way back almost before anyone else. That was also "the pitch" that Torts used on Sather to get his coaching position with NY.
After a short time Sather decide to go back to his Oilers days which would have required a free spending strategy to build a winner. And of course all of that is Sather and Dolan's middle names even if there is a Cap......get marquee offensive talent into MSG.
Senior mgmt everywherewhere always uses a scapegoat to cover its mistakes and 99.9% of the time there is an additional change in strategy for the entire team....They refer to it as......."We are going in a different direction." Hockey which is a very closed entity refers to it....."As he lost the locker room."
@IcyCupWe see people, not as they are but as we are!
Well, considering you wrote the word "respect" 3 times in CAPS in response to Kevin's comments and told him to relax in his accolades, i think it's appropriate to ask my questions. I wasn't addressing your dissertation on the word nice because I fell asleep. ;-) As far as your response above, I find it funny that you say things like "I do know" and "context" and "would be perceived" as if they are absolutes. Once again, you do not know. The only people that do are the ones who say what they say. Carcillo knows that he likes and respects AV for allowing him to play in Chicao, he then went out and had a very effective game last night. That is more concrete than you, I, or anyone else can write here.
@TheNYRBlog i do agree...AV seems to be a players coach....for better or worse