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When will the Canucks decide on Vigneault?

May 21, 2013, 1:38 PM EDT

Alain Vigneault Getty Images

It’s been two weeks since the Vancouver Canucks were swept out of the playoffs, and still no announcement has been made concerning the future of head coach Alain Vigneault.

Never one to rush things (see: trading Roberto Luongo), the only thing general manager Mike Gillis would say in his end-of-season press conference was that Vigneault would be part of a “thorough review” of every element of the organization.

Vigneault himself has yet to address the media.

The smart money is on a change behind the bench. Vigneault may be the winningest coach in Canucks history, and he may have taken Vancouver to Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cuy finals; however, two straight first-round playoff exits were, in the words of Gillis, “unacceptable.”

“This off-season will lead to difficult decisions including roster adjustments and changes in personnel,” wrote Gillis in a letter to season-ticket holders.

Assistant coaches Rick Bowness and Newell Brown are also considered on the hot seat.

For Vancouver Province columnist Ed Willes, the decision, one way or the other, is taking entirely too long.

It registers as needless dithering. Gillis and Vigneault have been together for five years. The head coach’s track record isn’t exactly a mystery. You could argue Scotty Bowman with Sir Alex Ferguson and Vince Lombardi as his assistants couldn’t have won with the 2013 Canucks, but that seems to be beside the point. If this team is going to reinvent itself, it needs a new face and a new voice.

If Vigneault is indeed fired, it will be interesting to see what he does next. The Dallas Stars have yet to hire a coach to replace Glen Gulutzan. But the only other current vacancy is in Colorado, and that may be filled very soon.

More interesting to Canucks fans, though, will be who replaces Vigneault, and what the team’s on-ice philosophy will be going forward. Gillis has made clear his belief that the game has changed in recent years. Speedy-and-skilled hockey, he believes, is out, while dump-and-chase-and-battle-in-the-corners is back in.

Many disagree with Gillis’s assessment. Or, at the very least, they think he’s overstating things.

But it’s Gillis that’s going to make the call.


  1. imleftcoast - May 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    If the Sedins play at the Worlds isn’t enough, Gillis should be fired. It’s as obvious as the nose on his ugly mug and that the Canucks need to acquire Loui Erikson.

    • elvispocomo - May 21, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Easier said than done.

      • patrickhday1970 - May 22, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        Not really, give up Edler before his NTC goes active. He has more brain farts than a 22 yr. old Tanev does. Corrado slots in nicely with Alberts at the 5th and Sixth spots.

      • elvispocomo - May 22, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        And if that doesn’t do it for Dallas? Do we keep adding in the hopes they say yes, like throwing in Jensen or Gaunce?

        Edler may have his issues, but he also has 40-50 more points in any given year than Tanev. You don’t just drop that from your defence and hope to be successful. Hoping Corrado can make up that difference or that Tanev suddenly becomes a scoring machine next year is wishful thinking, and this team has already seen the loss of significant point production without replacement in the form of Ehrhoff from the D.

    • hsnepsts - May 21, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Yeah, and Gillis needs to convince the league to adopt European sized ice rinks too.


      Sure Lou looked good with the Sedins, but it’s a different game over there. The Sedins are obviously great players, but their game isn’t ideal for the NHL ice. However, I can’t think of many players alive right now that are better on the big surface with those deep corners for cycling the puck.

      Looking forward to Sochi

      • patrickhday1970 - May 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Actually there’s the coaching angle….they were dominating opposing defences for three years before everyone figured out how to defend them. That’s on the coaching staff. Eriksson has
        looked really good with the twins and is only 27 and a 70 point a year player. Trade Edler to
        the Stars for Eriksson, flip Edler to the Flyers for Couturier.

    • imacdane - May 21, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      Who would the Canucks give up? The only say the Stars move Eriksson is if they get T6 center in return.

      • imleftcoast - May 21, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        Three-way trade.

      • jovocop2112 - May 21, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        Kesler for Eriksson? Thats a deal most Canucks fans would say is absolutely insane but in theory you are merely giving up 2 good lines for 1 great one…and there is no guarantee Kesler will ever return to his prime. Find a way to get a replacement 2nd line center some how and it looks good to me

  2. hsnepsts - May 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Vancouver province “columnist” Ed Willes is wrong. its not dithering. its the off season. 2 weeks in the off season is a perfectly acceptable amount of time to wait on whether to fire a head coach. Ed is just starved for material now that the nucks are out, and it looking for some mud to sling. Hey Ed, there are other sports out there to write about, you know.

  3. clutchfan - May 21, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Why rush? If you plan on changing a coach, you should have a solid replacement in the wings. Sounds like another silly article by Willes.

    • imleftcoast - May 21, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      They still have Luongo. Rushing is not something they are doing.

  4. kaptaanamerica - May 21, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    The Canucks need to get a new coach, but MG needs to get his plan approved by ownership first.the media wants to sell papers. There aren’t a whole lot of candidates with a resume out there right now so the Canucks can take their time for now.

  5. patrickhday1970 - May 22, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Kesler for Eriksson IS stupid. First Kesler is a vocal leader in the room, he leads by example. He was one of the few players to show up to play against the Sharks, beat the preds pretty much by himself a couple
    of years ago. He WAS a bit beat up, but with a lot of time off in the last year and a half he should be back to the Kesler of old.

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