NHL Rumors: Vigneault lost the room, plus Penguins sale approved does that change things for Malkin and Letang?
The fallout from the Philadelphia Flyers firing of Alain Vigneault continues. When GM Chuck Fletcher was asked by reporters if AV lost the room, he wasn’t sure how to respond.
“I honestly don’t know that. I certainly know that he tried,” Fletcher answered. “You go back to the 2019-20 season, his message was well-received. Right now, we’ve lost our way and I think a new voice is needed.”
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NHL Rumors: AV lost the room
AV signed to a five-year contract in April 2019, posting a 74-54-19 record as coach of the Flyers. He owns a 722-489-117 mark with 35 ties while serving as the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens (1997-2001), Vancouver Canucks (2006-13), New York Rangers (2014-18) and Flyers.
Vigneault, 60, has twice taken his team to the Stanley Cup Final, doing so with Vancouver in 2011 and with New York in 2014. Yet, his style seems to wear thin wherever he goes.
“There’s no love lost between the Flyers players and Alain Vigneault,” Frank Seravalli said on the Rundown podcast. “I can tell you from talking with Flyers players, they feel like he’s arrogant, doesn’t communicate well, and doesn’t spend a lot of time communicating with players.”
AV being a hands off coach is nothing new. Similar things were said at the end of almost all his previous tenures. Bottom line, that approach is fine when you are winning but not when the losses start to mount.
Penguins sale approved – what’s next for Malkin and Letang
Yesterday at the Board of Governors meeting, they approved the sale of the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Fenway Sports Group.
The big question going forward is what will the new ownership do with some of their aging assets like Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. Both players will be UFA’s this summer.
“The Pittsburgh Penguins are a premier National Hockey League franchise with a very strong organization, a terrific history and a vibrant, passionate fan base,” FSG chairman Tom Werner said. “We will work diligently to continue building on the remarkable Penguins’ tradition of championships and exciting play.”
Mario Lemieux, who previously had a lot of say regarding the futures of his aging core remains a part of the new ownership group. Will he have the same authority on players going forward? That remains to be seen.
By all accounts, FSG is committed to winning championships with a proven track record. They helped end the Boston Red Sox curse just three years after buying them in 2001. So, Penguins fans can rest assured that the motivation should remain the same.
Still, there is no real clarity on what direction new ownership will take this team. Under the previous regime, many would have leaned on the side of re-signing both Malkin and Letang. Now it seems a lot more undecided.