Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: coaching
I was working on my job application letter this morning—applying for the soon-to-be-available position of head coach of the Vancouver Canucks—but I got stuck early. (After all, when you start with “Dear Dumbasses…” there’s really nowhere to go with it that’s going to salvage that job application). So with me out of the mix, I’ve opted to focus my energy on second-best choices.
First off, will there in fact be a coaching change? They played better last night but is it too little, too late? My feeling is that it is, but I could be wrong. This is the Canucks, after all, a team which gave Vigneault an extension last season, rather than just let him play out this final year on his previous contract to see how things go. And given that the team missed the playoffs last year, you’ll have a hard time explaining the logic of that move to me.
But let’s assume that Mike Gillis is ready to pull the trigger and knock Vigneault off his bench. If so, this 7 day break over the All Star weekend is the ideal time to do it—so if it does happen, who are your favorite options?
Why not? It’s the easy thing to do.
Not enough goals? Offense isn’t trying hard enough. Not enough saves? Goalies/defense are getting caught with their pants down. (bye-bye Curtis Sanford…).
Quite honestly, there are plenty of valid criticisms about how the Vancouver Canucks have been playing recently, but there’s a whole lot of blame to go around, too. And after a performance like last night’s, coach Alain Vigneault‘s act is wearing thinnest of all.
1. Markus Naslund: Money Doesn’t Matter (mostly)
On his decision to play at least one more season in the NHL:
“It was not a hard decision to make with a little distance to everything. I feel very motivated to continue playing in NHL.”
The Vancouver Canucks padded their coaching ranks Tuesday, naming Ryan Walter an assistant.
The 50-year-old Walter joins head coach Alain Vigneault and associate coach Rick Bowness behind the Vancouver bench for the upcoming season.
Walter has worked on and off in media over recent years, covering hockey for Sportsnet and TSN among others. He has also been working as a motivational speaker and has a Masters Degree in Business. (And don’t forget an acting stint as a referee in the movie Miracle).
So, may I present the ‘top-secret’ video resume that got Ryan Walter the Canucks job:
A casual remark from Cliff Ronning buried at the end of this article in a local Burnaby paper yesterday, caught my attention:
“Sooner or later I’m going to slow down a bit. My ultimate goal would be somehow to work with the Canucks in some capacity. I would stop doing everything to do that because that’s pretty well where my heart is.”
That says a lot, given that this organization didn’t exactly endear itself to Ronning back in 1996, when “the Canucks offered him a 30 per cent pay cut and everyone else a 30 per cent raise.” (Which instantly brings to mind a Mike Keenan joke, but he wasn’t even in Vancouver yet so I’ll have to bank that one. Which is annoying. Mike Keenan jokes are a crowd-pleaser.) But perhaps the money issue is understandable given that the 1996 roster must have commanded some big bucks going into the 1997 season.
Anyway, back to Ronning…
From Ben Kuzma at Canwest (via the Guardian):
The coaching fate of the Vancouver Canucks’ Alain Vigneault will be determined by the end of this week in the most ironic of locations — the gambling heartland of Las Vegas.
With Canucks management and scouts assembling in the Nevada city for their annual meetings, new general manager Mike Gillis said Tuesday that Vigneault has been summoned from his home in Gatineau, Que., to face further scrutiny over the next two days.[...]
In his season-ending address, Vigneault defended his defensive style as one that is common throughout the NHL. Still, the Canucks finished 24th in offence with 213 goals — down nine from the previous season — and their power play was ranked 18th at 17.1-per-cent efficiency. It was 17.2 per cent in 2006-07.
Lay your bets, hockey fans: Will Vigneault keep his job, or does he get offed in Vegas?