Moose name Vigneault coach

The Manitoba Moose, in conjunction with the Vancouver Canucks, today announced that Alain Vigneault has been named the head coach of the Moose.

Vigneault, 44, becomes just the fourth head coach in the 10-year history of the Manitoba Moose. The Quebec, Que., native has spent the past two seasons behind the bench of the QMJHL’s Prince Edward Island Rocket. In 2003-04, Vigneault was named coach of the QMJHL’s Second All-Star Team as the Rocket went 40-19-5-6.

Vigneault, who previously spent over three seasons as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens from 1997-2001, becomes the sixth current AHL bench boss to have NHL head coaching experience, joining Albany’s Robbie Ftorek, Hartford’s Jim Schoenfeld, Iowa’s Dave Allison, Toronto’s Paul Maurice and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Michel Therrien, who succeeded Vigneault in Montreal in 2001.

During his time with Montreal, he compiled a record of 109-113-39-5. The Canadiens reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in Vigneault’s first season as Habs head coach, and following the 1999-2000 season, Vigneault was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year.

Prior to his time in P.E.I., Vigneault was a scout with the St. Louis Blues for two seasons (2001-03). He also served as an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators from 1992-95. In addition to his two years with the Rocket, Vigneault has served as a QMJHL head coach with Beauport (1995-97), Hull (1987-92) and Trois-Rivieres (1986-87), earning CHL Coach of the Year honors in 1988 when he guided Hull to the Memorial Cup.

Vigneault played three pro seasons after being drafted by St. Louis in 1981, including 42 NHL games with the Blues. He finished his final pro season (1983-84) with the AHL’s Maine Mariners, helping them to a Calder Cup championship that spring.