Vigneault's New York Connections

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Taylor Pyatt


Rangers forward Taylor Pyatt and Alain Vigneault both arrived in Vancouver for the 2006-07 season, and both had their best season to date in the NHL.

Vigneault was coming off a three-year stint away from the NHL, with stops back in the QMJHL and a year in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose, the AHL affiliate of the Canucks. The Canucks went 49-26-7, won the Northwest Division and finished No. 3 in the Western Conference. The Canucks lost to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Anaheim Ducks, in five games in the second round.

Pyatt, meanwhile, had come off a disappointing season in Buffalo where he posted six goals and 12 points in 41 games. He immediately turned it around in his first season in B.C., posting 23 goals — still a career-high — and 37 points in 76 games. He had a strong playoff as well, scoring two goals and six points in 12 games.

The following season, Vigneault and the Canucks went 39-33-10 and missed the playoffs. Pyatt, though, still had a strong season, posting 16 goals and 37 points in 79 games.

The 2008-09 season saw the Canucks return to the playoffs after going 45-27-10, good enough for another division title. But, like 2006-07, the Canucks were unable to get passed the second round, as the Chicago Blackhawks in six games defeated them.

In his final season in Vancouver, Pyatt saw both his games and his points decrease, as he scored 10 goals and 19 points in 69 games. He would leave the Canucks and join the Phoenix Coyotes the following season.

Vigneault would stay in Vancouver four more seasons — including two 50-plus win campaigns and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals — before being leaving the Canucks.