alain vigneault

In case you missed it on Sunday night, Rangers Twitter was turned upside down when Alain Vigneault made a pair of roster decisions that, for all intents and purposes, made little sense to a good number of people. The first was scratching Pavel Buchnevich (third on the team in goals and scoring), and the second was benching Brendan Smith for Steven Kampfer.

On the surface, there really is nothing wrong with the decisions in a vacuum. Logically speaking, Buch had been struggling to score lately, and there was likely a need to get Kampfer in a game before the bye week. That’s perfectly fine, if those reasons were given by the head coach when pressed on the issue. Instead, we got a vanilla “I liked the matchup” response. He dodged the question with, in my opinion, a bull**** answer. He insulted my intelligence in the process.

For those of you who think this is just another post complaining about roster decisions, it’s not. There has been a ton of time on Twitter —by others— dedicated to why scratching Buch is silly. It’s about the lack of accountability for Vigneault, who thinks he doesn’t need to be truthful. If he had provided the reasons mentioned above in a transparent manner, I would disagree and move on. My New Year’s resolution, after all, is to ignore his roster decisions.

Think back to the days of John Tortorella and his 10 second post-game interviews. The media killed him for it in New York because he didn’t give answers. But now, the media gives AV a pass for non-answers because there are more words involved. If this was Torts, he would’ve been crushed by the media, stating that his lack of answers is crushing development of the kids, and he is not dressing the best roster. But AV is more likable to the media and he smiles more, so he gets a pass?

This shtick of vanilla answers that don’t actually address the question is getting old. I understand not answering about every roster decision, but for something like this, where there would certainly be backlash for making the most recent decisions, clear answers are required. It’s a part of your job.

Considering how much fire AV has been under this year, clear and concise answers regarding some of these roster decisions will go a long way to earning some of the trust back from the fan base. “Just win baby” isn’t viable anymore when we know we are being lied to. Plus it certainly doesn’t help when they, you know, aren’t winning. Accountability, thy name is Vigneault.


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