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Newfoundland's Darryl Williams gets burned in Vigneault firing

Newfoundlander Darryl Williams has been let go by the New York Rangers after four years as an assistant coach with the NHL team. — New York Rangers/Jared Silber/NHLI
Newfoundlander Darryl Williams has been let go by the New York Rangers after four years as an assistant coach with the NHL team. — New York Rangers/Jared Silber/NHLI

A couple of days after canning their head coach, Rangers part ways with two assistants, including Mount Pearl native

When National Hockey League teams fire their head coaches, there is often collateral damage.

That was the case when the New York Rangers decided to part ways with Alain Vigneault over the weekend; assistant coach Newfoundland native Darryl Williams was among those who got caught up in the wash of his exit.

On Monday, two days after dismissing Vigneault, Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton announced Williams and associate coach Scott Arniel had also been let go.

The 50-year-old Williams, who is from Mount Pearl, joined the Rangers in 2014 after spending six seasons as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks, including five under Vigneault, who was fired by Vancouver in 2013.

Williams has served in several coaching capacities prior to joining the Canucks, including associate coach, video coordinator, and strength and conditioning coach for the St. John's Fog Devils of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 2005 to 2008.

He was also an assistant coach with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League and head coach with the Kansas City Outlaws of the United Hockey League.

In 2017, Williams was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame in light of his successes as both a coach and a player.

After skating in the major junior ranks in the Ontario Hockey League, Williams played 11 seasons of professional hockey. His pro career includes two games with the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings during the 1992-93 season.

Williams registered 126 goals and 157 assists for 283 points in 676 career games in the AHL and the International Hockey League.

With the Rangers, Williams had functioned as Vigneault’s eye-in-the-sky, following the game from the press box and relaying information gained from a different perspective. However, for the last couple of months of this season, Williams role had changed a bit and he had been spending the third period of games on the bench.
Vigneault was fired on Saturday night, just after the Rangers finished their season with a 5-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

He had been the team’s head coach the last five years and the Rangers went 226-147-37 overall in that stretch, reaching the post-season four times and the Stanley Cup final in 2014. But this season, New York finished last in the Metropolitan Division with a 34-39-9 record, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

Gortion said he’ll be looking for a “fresh” voice to replace Vigneault, although it is noteworthy that, as of Monday, there had been no announcement concerning the future of Lindy Ruff, Vigneault’s other assistant and the former head coach of the Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars.

Former St. John’s IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge was at the helm of the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers’ AHL farm team, this past season.

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