Canucks Coach Conundrum

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.

Sarah E.L.

Thank-you & Good Luck!

And so it begins. Today marks the FIRST big change by the Vancouver Canucks. Head Coach Alain Vigneault, and assisants Rick Bowness & Newell Brown have been let go. I may be one of the few that like Vigneault but you have acknowledge that he helped make this team competitive in his time here. I for one, will miss our French-speaking winning-est coach in franchise history!

In his 7 seasons as Vancouver’s head coach the team missed the playoffs just ONCE[2007-2008]. In his other 6 seasons the team finished in the top 3 and amassed 6 North West Division titles. Among his other accomplishments he coached this team to TWO consecutive Presidents Trohpies as the league’s best regular season team [2010-2011, 2011-2012].

Alain Vigneault came in after Marc Crawford and helped this team amass 105 points in the 2006-2007 season [a new club record until 2011 in which the team amassed a 117 points!]. In his first season as head coach he WON the Jack Adams[coach of the year award] and was nominated again in 2011. He pushed this team into pure dominance during the 2010-2011 season and coached them to within one game of winning it all. He set a franchise record as the winning-est coach in Canucks history with his 313 wins! His overall record in 540 games with Vancouver was 313-170-57[wins-losses-ot/so losses]. FYI he has a total of 422 NHL wins….313 of those in Vancouver].

Yes, I understand that following their most incredible season[2010-2011] when they were ousted two straight years in the first round it means CHANGE is imminent. The coach is usually one of the first big pieces changed. This news did not come as a shock but I do hope people appreciate the service that Coach AV did for this team in his time here!

I want to be one of the many[I hope!] that will wish Alain Vigneault luck in his next endeavor and THANK him for all he did for the team in his time here. I hope that at the end of the day he will be remembered for the many good things he did rather than the way his time here ended.

THANK-YOU ALAIN VIGNEAULT for helping turn this team into a playoff contender! #GOODLUCKCOACHAV wherever you end up next season! [the funny thing about being a coach in the NHL, you are never unemployed for long!]

As the Vigneault chapter closes for the Canucks, a new chapter begins. It will be very interesting to see where or who Mike Gillis looks at for the next coach. I am excited to see who will be the next coach. I ask you, the fans: who would you like to see as the next head coach of our Vancouver Canucks? A former player like the Avs went with or perhaps another veteran Coach[Lindy Ruff? Dave Tippett]? I

Things are beginning to look a lot different around here, it will be very interesting to see how the rest of this saga turns out! As I said before this will be a very interesting summer for the team…and this is only the beginning of the changes to come.

As always, until next time, nuck said!

Sarah E.L.