May 7, 2012, 12:29 PM EDT
Sometime today in Vancouver, the future of Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, and perhaps even general manager Mike Gillis, could be decided.
The GM and the club’s owners, chairman Francesco Aquilini and his two brothers (Roberto and Paolo), will reportedly meet to discuss what to do about a team that won its second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy then fell in five games to the Kings in the first round.
In his season-ending press conference, Gillis said he has “every bit of confidence” in Vigneault, so we can assume the GM wants his coach back.
Among the scenarios that could play out:
—- Gillis convinces ownership that Vigneault is worth keeping, and both are back.
—- Ownership demands that Vigneault is fired, so Gillis fires him.
—- Ownership demands that Vigneault is fired, so Gillis quits.
Both GM and coach have a year remaining on their contracts, and neither will want to go into the season without an extension.
An interesting side story involves the two local newspapers, one (the Vancouver Sun) that’s been calling for the coach to be kept, the other (The Province) to be fired.
That in itself isn’t interesting, but Province columnist Tony Gallagher was instrumental in convincing Aquilini to hire Gillis after Dave Nonis was fired in 2008, and Gallagher has been calling for Vigneault’s head since long before the Canucks flamed out in the first round.
As Vancouver Sun columnist Iain MacIntyre notes, “if the Aquilinis can be successfully lobbied once, it can happen again.”
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