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Alain Vigneault turns down Stars, likely headed to Rangers

Sean Leahy
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The Dallas Stars are turning into the girl at the dance who gets a little bit of attention before all that attention starts moving toward the prettier girl in the shiny new dress.

After receiving permission to speak with Dallas Eakins for their head coaching job, the Stars' interview never came off as Eakins decided to accept an offer with the Edmonton Oilers. Now just a week after missing out on Eakins, the Stars have lost another candidate on their list of coaching prospects.

According to TSN's Aaron Ward, Alain Vigneault informed Stars general manager Jim Nill that he wishes to be removed from consideration for their head coaching gig. (UPDATE: Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News received confirmation of the news from Nill himself.) Darren Dreger reports that the Stars are believed to have had a "substantial" offer on the table for his services, but now the former Vancouver Canucks bench boss appears to be heading to the Big Apple to fill the New York Rangers vacant position.

From Larry Brooks of the New York Post:

Vigneault, who brought the Canucks within one victory of the Stanley Cup in 2011, is believed to have met with Garden owner Jim Dolan yesterday, even as Mark Messier confirmed his candidacy to succeed John Tortorella behind the Blueshirts’ bench.

The Blueshirts had not yet presented an offer to Vigneault, who impressed president/general manager Glen Sather in their meeting on Tuesday at La Quinta, Calif., as The Post reported.

But a contract proposal is expected to be forthcoming, what with Vigneault last night withdrawing his candidacy to coach the Stars, who had been keenly interested in hiring him.

News came out Friday that Mark Messier had interviewed for the Rangers' job, and the Los Angeles Kings had given NHL teams, including New York, permission to speak with assistant John Stevens. That was likely part of the process and now that Vigneault has withdrawn from consideration in Dallas, it's sped things up for the Rangers.

With Vigneault likely heading to New York, that leaves Lindy Ruff, long-rumored to be a top candidate for the Rangers, still searching for a job. He does have a relationship with Nill from working with Team Canada, so the familiarity is there.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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