He’s the franchise leader in wins in the 42-year history of the Vancouver Canucks, but that didn’t save Alain Vigneault from being the NHL’s latest coaching casualty. The Canucks fired Vigneault, as well as assistant coaches Rick Bowness and Newell Browne today after the team was ousted in the first round of the playoffs two years in a row.
After being hired in 2006, Vigneault amassed a regular season record of 313-170-57, a Jack Adams award in 2007 and was one win away from a Stanley Cup championship in 2011. While not many expect Coach V to be out of work for too long given his resume, there was a feeling that he was losing his ability to motivate his lineup after over 6 years in Vancouver. Two years removed from the 2011 Stanley Cup final and despite continuing to win the Northwest division title, the Canucks have had lethargic showings down the stretch and in the playoffs. Their inability to score goals in the post-season has been well-documented, and calls for change could no longer be ignored after another disappointing finish this year. Vigneault’s dismissal is probably just the beginning of changes for the Canucks this summer, with an impatient fan base recognizing that the window to win for this group is rapidly closing.
With the coaching position now vacant, who do you think should take over behind the Canucks bench? There is no shortage of qualified candidates, with the likes of ex-Sabres coach Lindy Ruff and Marlies boss Dallas Eakins potentially available.