The ex-Vancouver Canucks coach replaces the departed John Tortorella, who was fired by the Rangers after the team was ousted by the Boston Bruins in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Vigneault was fired in May — less than two years after guiding his club to the Stanley Cup final — after his team fizzled out in the first round of the playoffs. The Canucks were swept by the sixth-place San Jose Sharks. It was just the first time in 12 years Vancouver was eliminated in four straight playoff games.
The 52-year-old Vigneault comes with plenty of experience, having been at the helm of the Canucks since replacing Marc Crawford in 2006, and compiling a regular-season coaching record of 313-170-57 with Vancouver. He led the team to two Presidents' Trophy titles and won the Jack Adams award in 2007.
So why did Vigneault choose New York over the Dallas Stars, where some reports said he was leaning last week?
"In the end, though, people who know Vigneault said memories of 2011 directed him to New York. To get that close to the Stanley Cup hurts, especially if you've never won it. His best chance to win comes in Manhattan," wrote CBC's Elliotte Friedman.
He previously coached the Montreal Canadiens from 1997-2001.