Perhaps the 17th time is the charm? The 17th coach in Vancouver Canucks history that is, or will be when their 17th coach is eventually named.
There have been 16 coaches to take the podium as the head of the Vancouver Canucks coaching staff:
1. Hal Laycoe 1970-1972
2. Val Stasiuk 1972-1973
3. Bill McCreary 1973-1974
4. Phil Maloney 1974-1977
5. Orland Kurtenbach 1977-1978 [*First former player to ever Captain the team and also later coach the team].
6. Harry Neale 1978-1982, 1984, 1984-1985
7. Roger Nielson 1982-1984
8. Bill LaForge 1984
9. Tom Watt 1985-1987
10. Bob McCammon 1987-1991
11. Pat Quinn 1991-1994, 1996 [*Winner of the Jack Adams in 1992]
12. Rick Ley 1994-1996
13. Tom Renney 1996-1997
14. Mike Keenan 1997-1999
15. Marc Crawford 1999-2006
16. Alain Vigneault 2006-2013 [*Winner of the Jack Adams in 2007]
17. TO BE NAMED at a later date [*hopefully before the NHL draft!]
There are plenty of candidates for the position. There are former head bench bosses such as former Buffalo Sabre head coach Lindy Ruff or former Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan or the more unlikely option of Dave Tippet whose future with Phoenix is still up in the air. There is also the AHL route which includes current Vancouver AHL affiliate coach Scott Arniel [who also coached the Manitoba Moose when some current Canucks were on that roster!] and the current coach of the Toronto Marlies, Dallas Eakins. Eakins may not have experience behind an NHL bench but he has a reputation for being a players coach and helping to develop young players. The question remains will the Canucks go with a veteran bench boss OR take a chance with a more than capable AHL candidate? OR will they play the wild card and least likely option of going with a former player?
I like the possibility of Eakins as head coach. From all the things I have read about him, he reminds A LOT of Dan Bylmsa a few years ago before he became the head coach of Pittsburgh. I am not saying that he will have the same instant success, just simply that his coaching style reminds me of Bylsma and that I think could potentially be a good thing.
Whoever the Canucks do indeed hire as their next head coach who do you think will be named as his assistants? Now while I do not think the organization will name a former player as head coach, I do think it is definitely a possibility that they could name a former player as an assistant coach. I think Trevor Linden would excel in this category as he is familiar with players, the organization and is an impeccable leader not too mention the FANS would love to see Linden back with the Canucks. I’m not saying the Canucks will ask Linden or any other former player to come back in this capacity but it certainly presents an interesting possibility.
Mike Gillis has said that this decision will not be made on a whim but rather that they will take their time in finding and naming who they think will be the right coach for this team. It’s going to be quite a ride, are you ready for this roller coaster change coming Canuck fans? Changes in sports are inevitable. More changes will be coming before all is said and done.
First stop along this crazy roller coaster ride is finding the franchise’s 17th coach. Who do you think it will be or who do you hope will be in the running? Leave your comments below!
As always, until next time nuck said.