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Flyers Pick Alain Vigneault as Their New Coach

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The Philadelphia Flyers hired Alain Vigneault as their coach on Monday, hoping the veteran can help lead them to their first Stanley Cup since 1975.

Vigneault has led the Rangers and Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup finals and takes over a Flyers team that missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher was hired in November after Ron Hextall was fired. Fletcher fired Coach Dave Hakstol a month later and replaced him with the interim coach Scott Gordon. There was no immediate word if Gordon would stay in the organization.

“The history they have established and the passionate fan base has made this a first-class franchise,” Vigneault said. “I am excited to work with Chuck, the talented group of players, and the prospects coming up through the system in order to return Philadelphia to the top of the N.H.L. landscape.”

The Flyers went 37-37-8 for 82 points this season and have not reached the second round of the playoffs since 2012. Gordon was 25-22-4 over 51 games. The Flyers last played in the Cup finals in 2010.

The Rangers made the playoffs in four of Vigneault’s five seasons as coach, including a 2014 trip to the Cup finals. They went 226-147-37 in the regular season under Vigneault, who is third in regular-season and playoff wins in franchise history. Vigneault, who turns 58 in May, has coached 16 N.H.L. seasons for the Montreal Canadiens, the Canucks and the Rangers, who fired him after the 2017-18 season. His teams made the playoffs 11 times, and he took Vancouver to the 2011 Cup finals. He was named N.H.L. coach of the year in 2006-7 with Vancouver.

Vigneault will also serve as the head coach for Canada at next month’s world championship tournament in Slovakia.

“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,” Fletcher said.

The Flyers are franchise in flux with a core of veterans that has failed to win many meaningful games. Those players include captain Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, James van Riemsdyk and Sean Couturier, and Philadelphia also has a group of promising 20-somethings like Travis Sanheim, Oskar Lindblom, Shayne Gostisbehere and Nolan Patrick.

The Flyers showed marked improvement this year when they called up 20-year-old goalie Carter Hart, and they believe he has potential to carry the team on a deep playoff run.

KADRI SUSPENDED The N.H.L. suspended Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri for the rest of the first round for crosschecking Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk in the head.

The league announced the decision Monday not long before the two teams played Game 3 of their series in Toronto. The best-of-seven series was tied, 1-1.

Kadri hit DeBrusk in the third period of Boston’s 4-1 victory. The N.H.L. had the option to suspend him for more than five games.

Kadri was barred three games for boarding in the opener of last year’s first-round series against the Bruins and has had seven previous hearings with the N.H.L. Department of Player Safety since 2013. All four of his previous suspensions involved contact with an opponent’s head, and the league considers a player’s disciplinary history when determining the length of a suspension.


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