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Entries with the tag: alain vigneault

Is Cody Hodgson Getting Shafted?

The Vancouver Province’s Tony Gallagher takes issue with Canucks coach Alain Vigneault today, with an aggressive column questioning AV’s decision to ship Hodgson to Calgary yesterday for the opening pre-season set.

In a year when second-line centre Ryan Kesler is hurt and there is finally an opportunity to get the gifted prospect a bona fide look in a top six spot in his right position, the first signal the player gets from his coach is yet another shot across the bow.

After eating all that humble pie by publicly stating that he wasn’t going to worry about how he was used and that he was going to concentrate on making sure he had the right attitude and worry about his own game, the first thing his coach does is send him to Calgary on the day of the game and start him with a couple of stiffs in Victor Oreskovich and Mike Duco.

What can possibly be achieved by this other than annoy Hodgson?

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, cody+hodgeson, mike+gillis

Post-Series: Canucks Coach Vigneault

Q.  Alain, did you feel good about tonight the way the game started?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  Yeah, I thought, you know, our guys were ready to play.  But you know what, at the end of the day, I’m not going to analyze this game right now.  Everybody is disappointed.  Our players gave it their best shot.  At the end of the day, you’ve got to give credit to where credit is due.  Boston played a real strong game.

They have great goaltending and they were able to score a couple of tough goals around our net and they deserved to win.

 

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Filed in: playoff hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault

Game Day: Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault

Q.  Alain, you said yesterday that Alex Edler is fine, is he good to go tonight?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  Good to go.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about the insertion of Jeff Tambellini, Game 7 in his hometown, a dream scenario, especially for him tonight?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  Without a doubt, for Jeff to come in at this point.  He has had some experience in this series, but he hasn’t played regular.  But he’s going to get an opportunity here tonight to play the seventh game to win the Stanley Cup.

I’m sure he’s excited.  He knows about their history in B.C., the history of the Canucks.  I’m sure he’s going to be real good tonight.

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Filed in: playoff hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, game+7, interview+transcript, scf

Post-Game Video: Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault

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  Tags: alain+vigneault

Game Day Transcript: Alain Vigneault

Video added 10:52am PT— not all of it is the same material as the transcript below.

Q.  What did you like about your alignment or defensive performance in Game 5 that kept the Bruins from being able to get the pucks through, which seems to be the key to their forecheck, getting it to good places?  You guys seemed to prevent that pretty well in Game 5?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  I think we kept the puck out of neutral zone and took away some of their forecheck.  Obviously they’re such a skilled team they can throw different things at you, and we’re going to have to be ready tonight.

 

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, interview, scf

Canucks Day Off: Luongo, Edler, Alberts, Ballard

Canucks Q&A with Roberto Luongo, Alex Edler, Andrew Alberts and Keith Ballard, transcripts.

UPDATE: Alain Vigneault video here, and transcription added at the bottom part of the post.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, alex+edler, andrew+alberts, interviews, keith+ballard, roberto+luongo, transcript

Post Game 4 Video: Coach Vigneault

Filed in: playoff hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault

Canucks Today: Coach Alain Vigneault

Q.  Some of the players talked about how bad the ice was this morning.  Do you expect it to be a factor?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  The ice is the same for both teams.  Throughout the season, teams play sometimes on real good ice and sometimes on ice that is not as good.

So I think it will get better, though, as the day goes on here.

Q.  The league said they were going to address all of the extracurricular between-whistle stuff with the teams.  Did you address it with your players or feel the need to?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  Well, all year long we’ve played whistle to whistle.  That hasn’t changed in this series.  All the referees have to do is call the ones who initiate the scrums.  That’s going to stop right there.

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Filed in: playoff hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, transcript

Canucks Today: Q &A with Coach Alain Vigneault

Q.  Some of your players last night after the hit on Nathan Horton questioned it.  They thought it might be a questionable hit.  Some of those same players today are saying they think the hit is fine.  Why the change of tune?  Do they believe it’s a clean hit or are they supporting a teammate?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  I can’t answer for them.  I don’t know who told you that.

I do know at the end of the day, we hope that the young man regains his health.  That’s the utmost importance.

I do think at the end of the day also it was a north/south play, Chara to Horton, he made a pass to Lucic.  He was looking at his pass.  Aaron was a tad late.

Aaron isn’t a dirty player, never has been, never will be.  It was a hit that unfortunately turned bad.

Q.  Are you saying you’re surprised by the length of the suspension then?

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Filed in: playoff hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+rome, alain+vigneault, nathan+horton

Post-Game 3: Vancouver Canucks Transcript & Video

Q&A with coach Alain Vigneault. Video, then transcript below.

Q.  Given what was at stake today, the opportunity to go up 3-0 in the Stanley Cup, were you surprised at the way your team played tonight?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  Well, I really liked our first period.  Obviously we had to kill off a five-minute penalty.  We did a pretty good job.  We had a couple of great scoring chances that, you know, I thought their goaltender made some real good saves on.

Then the game, you know, shifted in the second.  On the first play or the first period we were in the draw, Alex breaks a stick, the puck seems to have eyes and finds the back of the net.  Then we lost a little bit of momentum.  Then on their power-play, we put the puck in our own net.  Then they scored on our power-play.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault

When Vancouver Loses, They Like to be Showy About it

Kaboom.  And Bruins win 8-1

Geezus, that wasn’t so much a ‘loss’ as it was an execution.

Anyway, most important thing: I hope there’s good news about Nathan Horton later. That was terrible to see, and I think we can reasonably expect not to see Aaron Rome back in this series, as I’m sure the NHL will inform us all on Tuesday. (Note: NHL hearing with Rome is at 11am.)

As for the rest of that game… I’m going to have to resort to that old standby “Not tonight dear, I have a headache.”  But I’ll try and post some video for you to watch soon (*Also a phrase I’ve used before. Weird).

God, what an atrocious game—it was like a game 4 Canucks - Blackhawks redux.  And that wasn’t much fun the first time, either.

Update 9:02pm PT: Alain Vigneault, post-game press conference video and transcript are here.

Filed in: playoff hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, boston+bruins, vancouver+canucks

Game 2: Canucks Post-Game Transcripts/Video

NOTE: Updated with transcripts including Manny Malhotra, Daniel Sedin and Roberto Luongo. Plus Henrik Sedin, Sami Salo and Ryan Kesler videos down below.

All the game video posted here. Now, the interview video and/or transcripts, post-game. First, Alain Vigneaul (with more to be added below):


Vigneault Transcript:

Q.  Could you talk about your team’s response when you’re down 2-1, the mood in the dressing room going into the third?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  Yeah,  you know, I didn’t like 15 minutes of that second period.  Thought we didn’t have our work boots on.  We got out-muscled down low in our end and out-muscled in their end, thought they really took it to us.

But we talked about adjusting different things, especially our work ethic.  Thought our guys were real good the last five minutes of that second period and real good in the third period. There’s another tough battle by two teams that are battling really hard.

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Filed in: playoff hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin, manny+malhotra, roberto+luongo, ryan+kesler, sami+salo

Game Day Transcript: Vancouver Canucks

Transcripts of today’s Q&A’s with Manny Malhotra, Henrik Sedin, Alex Edler, Daniel Sedin, Christian Ehrhoff, and coach Alain Vigneault.
_______________________________________
Q.  Manny, can you end the suspense and tell us if you’re playing tonight?
MANNY MALHOTRA:  It’s gone from day to day to game-time decision right now.  I’m honestly not trying to send you guys on a wild goose chase.  That’s just the nature of the situation right now.

Q.  At this point in the day, do you feel healthy enough to play?
MANNY MALHOTRA:  I feel really good, yeah.  I felt good yesterday skating.  Felt good this morning.  So, again, hopefully I’ll continue throughout the day.

Q.  Manny, what were you looking for from your game to give you an indication that you’re ready?

MANNY MALHOTRA:  It’s tough to say.  Obviously being good in the circle is going to be a big part of what I do.  It’s always tough to say how your legs are going to be responding in a game.  I felt good the last few days of skating as far as my wind goes.

I think early on, things we’re going to talk about if I go, is just simplicity, getting my feet moving, getting pucks in, making smart decisions with the pucks, keeping things real basic for right now.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, alex+edler, christian+ehrhoff, daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin, manny+malhotra, media

Friday Canucks: Alain Vigneault Transcript

Q.  Any sort of update on Manny?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  Manny is day to day (laughter).

Q.  How did he look to you today?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  Skated well.

Q.  There was a little bit of confusion.  Last weekend you said he was cleared to play.  On Tuesday Mike said he wasn’t cleared to play.
COACH VIGNEAULT:  No, nobody said that.  He’s cleared for physical contact, which is cleared to play.  We said, I said at that time, he was day to day.  He was monitored every day.

Nothing has changed.

Q.  I don’t want to ask you about Dan Hamhuis.  I might know the answer.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault

Manny Malhotra Cleared to Play in SCF

image

From the Canucks official Twitter:

Manny Malhotra has been officially cleared to play, said coach Alain Vigneault.

Malhotra is day-to-day, Vigneault added. Would not discuss the #Canucks Game 1 line-up.

What a comeback.  TSN’s Bob McKenzie remarked that it was “bordering on a medical miracle” the other day, when Malhotra returned to full practice. And with this new announcement from the team, it’s hard to argue the point.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, manny+malhotra, playoffs

Transcript: Today’s Q&A with Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault

Today’s session with Vigneault is transcribed below.

Q. Alain, a very general question about what it’s taken the group of newcomers, be it off-season or mid-season guys, to understand your goals to be the important pieces they’ve been. How have they adapted?

COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, I don’t think it took them very long at all. Probably the main reason for that was the strong leadership that we had in our dressing room, the fact that the quality individuals we have in there knew those guys that were coming in were important parts, and they made them feel at home.

They were quick to help them understand what our culture was, what our standards that we’re looking for on a daily basis. It was a real smooth transition.

Q. Alain, how would you describe the difference between the Kevin Bieksa that we’re seeing in the playoffs and the Kevin Bieksa that started the season?

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  Tags: alain+vigneault

Transcript: Canucks Practice Day - Alain Vigneault

From today’s Q&A with Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.

_________________________________________

Q. Coach, can you update us. We got word about Mikael Samuelsson going under the knife.
COACH VIGNEAULT: Obviously he’s out indefinitely. He got operated on. That’s it.


Q. Back at all for the playoffs?
COACH VIGNEAULT: No.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault

Q& A Transcripts:  Canucks/Sharks Coaches Talk to Media

Alain Vigneault and Todd McLellan answer questions this morning. 

First, coach Vigneault:

Q. What does it say about Ryan to not take the bait at the opening faceoff in Game?@1? Would there have been a time in his career when he would have taken that bait?

COACH VIGNEAULT: Hockey is an emotional game. I’m not going to get into every little thing that happens on the ice.

It’s two players that want to win.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, todd+mclellan

Transcript: Canucks Practice Day Quotes

Transcript from today’s Q&A with Daniel Sedin, Maxim Lapierre, and Mason Raymond.  The official transcript starts out without a question for some reason, hence the opening remark from Sedin.

Update: Alain Vigneault transcript now added below.

______________________________________________

DANIEL SEDIN: I think if we play the way we can, we don’t have to take penalties because we’re going to be in the right position all the time.

It comes from being sharp, playing good as a team.

Q. What have you learned from the last two years about Antti?

DANIEL SEDIN: He’s a winner. He hasn’t lost a playoff series yet. You have to respect that.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, daniel+sedin, mason+raymond, maxim+lapierre

Q&A Game Day Transcript: Vigneault, Raymond, Burrows, Edler

From today’s media Q&A with Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, Mason Raymond, Alex Burrows and Alex Edler.
____________________________________________

Q. Mason, when you look at the games, highly entertaining in the regular season. Is that the type of hockey you’re expecting?
       
MASON RAYMOND:
I think so. Regular season is regular season. Playoffs is a whole ‘nother level now. They’re going to be obviously heated battle games. We’ve had some good rivals with these guys. As a group, we’re looking forward to starting off Game 1.

Q. Alex, just a couple of emotional rollercoaster rides. How easy is that for you to put that behind you?

ALEX BURROWS: I think we’re a pretty mature group in that locker room. We’ve approached games the same way all year long, that’s one game at a time. Obviously I know it’s cliché, but that’s exactly how we approached things all year. I don’t think that’s going to change. Chicago series was great, Nashville, too. That’s behind us now.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, alex+burrows, axel+edler, mason+raymond

Q & A Transcript: Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault

From Saturday’s media Q&A with Canucks coach Alain Vigneault and GM Mike Gillis. Below is the complete transcript.
_______________________________________________


Q. Alain, your thoughts on Hank and Danny? Fresh start for them, but especially them because of the criticism and the fire they were under for not producing as much as everyone expects them to in the last round?

COACH VIGNEAULT: I think they got some unfair criticism there. They obviously are here to produce. With that being said, though, they played some solid games where they spent a lot of time on the other team’s end. They spent a lot of time generating some quality chances.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

Not Such a Good Friday in Vancouver

“Hockey Playoffs” vs “Sticking Hand in Meat Grinder”:  What might be most fun on a weekday night?

I’m torn. 

“Hockey Playoffs” seems like a no-brainer… till you suddenly remember you’re a $%#@&! Vancouver Canucks fan, and unexpectedly the hand-in-meat-grinder thing sounds like it might have an upside.

God bless the Canucks—all that sheer talent, all of it unilaterally focused on some mission to terrorize their own fanbase.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, cory+schneider, roberto+luongo

Re-Learning Canucks Hockey

(Prologue: So, to explain my MIA, I had that baby last March and then I took my sweet time reading the “How To” manual for her… but I think maybe I’ve got that girl all figured out so now I’m back.  To all of you out there who used to visit my little column and exchanged notes with me,  I’ve missed you!  I hope all is well!)

To start, I have to admit that I don’t know much about these Vancouver Canucks nowadays, and might need a little re-education, ergo opinions are very welcome.  So here’s the first problem I’ve had in figuring out all the changes in the last year or so:  I keep hearing phrases like “class of the NHL” and “Alain Vigneault is the greatest” and so on.

Lordy, it’s ramblings like this that makes a long-time fan very nervous. I know that sounds pessimistic, but sweet geezus, I’m a Canucks fan… pessimism is my freakin’ JOB.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

April 13, 2009: Canucks Heading Into Playoffs with Confidence

Vancouver, April 13, 2009— The Vancouver Canucks surprised many last week, returning to the playoffs after a one year absence, landing in sixth spot, the result of a series of big wins in the final weeks of the season.

“We knew we were in a position to decide our own fate,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “It was a matter of staying focused and getting some big performances from unexpected sources.”

The Canucks certainly got that.  After the blockbuster acquisition of Mats Sundin last December, many expected the multi-millionaire late addition to single-handedly be the catalyst that would boost this team to the next level, but instead the Canucks went into a January nosedive that few expected them to pull out of.

“I’m shocked they were able to manage it,” said Scott Burnside in his report filed on the ESPN website over the weekend. “My feeling in January was that they had no chance whatsoever to make the playoffs.”

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Filed in: dumb stuff, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, darcy+hordichuk, mike+brown, mike+gillis, parody, playoffs, willie+mitchell

Speculating on a New Coach in Vancouver

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?

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, coaching, mike+gillis, pat+quinn, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks

Home is Where the Hell Is

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January hasn’t been pretty for the Vancouver Canucks and I don’t have much to add to the dialogue of panic that’s been going on.  My own kneejerk reaction was—and still is—to look hard at coach Alain Vigneault, but obviously the current slump is about more than any one man.

Looking around the whole team, I’d say it’s a perfect storm of crap.

 

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, kyle+wellwood, mats+sundin

Let’s Blame the Players

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.

 

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, coaching, pavol+demitra, taylor+pyatt

Canucks Need Better Starts, and Other Useless Information

From TSN:

“The start of our games have to be better,” [Alain] Vigneault said after the team practised at GM Place Thursday. “We know it, we’ve talked about it. We’re going to continue to address it.”

And other breaking news you might need confirmation on:  Global warming is apparently not science fiction, and Princess Diana is still dead.

So, moving on to more important issues…

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, canucks, loonie, special+teams

Can a Coach Change His Game?

[Note: Updated below with a quote and link about the Sedins meeting with the boss last night.]

Last week, Canucks GM Mike Gillis was on the radio one day, answering a pile of questions about the usual subjects—the state of team, the Sundin situation, the Sedins future, etc.  None of what he had to say that day was particularly revolutionary, but still informative.

It also happened that I was at GM Place for a few hours that same afternoon, and hanging around being useless for so long I started thinking about what I would ask Gillis if he wandered into our neck of the building. 

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

A $21 Million Shopping Trip Should Be More Fun Than This

It’s difficult to gauge the exact dollar amount available in the Vancouver Canucks’ bank come July 1st.  I’ve read estimates from less-than-$20-M to $21.6 M.  My own addition comes out to $21.1 M, only very slightly off the calculations by nhlnumbers.com.

Whatever the exact amount (and incidentally, I’m less-inclined than before to make fun of hiring a “capologist”) it’s a healthy amount of free agent spending money.

But for those Canucks fans out there still dreaming of Marian Hossa, I daresay it’s not going to be nearly enough.

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, brendan+morrison, free+agents, marian+hossa, mike+gillis, pavol+demitra, rumors, salary+cap

Vancouver Quotes, Innuendo and Lies

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.”

and more…

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, coaching, markus+naslund, mike+gillis, ryan+walter

Cliff Ronning & the Canucks

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…

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, canucks+tv, cliff+ronning, coaching, media

Putting Vigneault’s Record on the Hot Seat

The Yankee Canuck takes a hard look at Alain Vigneault’s coaching record and comes up with this:

In six seasons, Vigneault has guided his teams to the bottom third in offense five times; four of those teams didn’t made the post season. Of the two teams that did, neither has gone past the second round. One could argue that, in both Vancouver and Montreal, he had few offensive talents at his disposal, but is not the job of a coach to make the best with the players he has (I believe that’s what got Francis the nod as a Jack Adams winner in Phoenix)?

Additionally, in two seasons with Vancouver we have watched him misuse certain players (Naslund, Linden), verbally call out other players (Cooke, Bulis, Bieksa, Mitchell, Luongo) and has a reoccurring problem of creating effective lines. It’s still an easy argument to make that the only reason Vancouver has had any level of success under Vigneault is because he has Luongo playing in his prime (and Vigneault managed to compromise that edge when he overworked Lui badly over the final two months of last season). As Jim Jamieson said in the Province yesterday, “When a team loses seven of its last eight games — including several no-shows — with a playoff spot in the balance, questions have to be asked.”

A very good analysis, and one that generates a number of questions. You can read the complete post here.

P.S. The Jack Adams Award winner is selected annually by the NHL Broadcasters Association (NHLBA) but there’s very little information about them on the web and no membership list that either myself of the Yankee Canuck have been able to find.  If anyone can provide more information about that organization, it would be much appreciated.  Cheers. (12:56pm PT Update: That was quick—someone has already passed on the information I needed. Thanks!)

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, jack+adams+award, nhl+broadcasters+association

Vigneault Signs an Extension

From the Vancouver Canucks:

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis today announced that Head Coach Alain Vigneault has agreed to terms on an extension that keeps him under contract through the 2009-10 season.

“This is a significant announcement for our hockey club,” said Gillis. “My first priority when taking over the job was to meet with Alain and ensure we shared the same philosophy about building an elite level team for now and for the future. Alain has done a very good job in his two years in Vancouver and I am confident that will continue.”

Not too surprising given the fact Viggy had the authority to sack two of his own assistants last night.  I’m really going to have to spend some time making fun of this situation later.

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

The Fall Guy

From Dan Murphy at Sportsnet.ca:

When Dave Nonis was fired and replaced by Gillis, I was among the many who thought Vigneault was on very shaky ground. I mean, how many times do you see a coach survive a GM change? It’s common practise for the new GM to bring in “his guy.”

Now I know what you’re thinking. Gillis is simply keeping Vigneault on so he has a fall guy if things don’t start out well this season. Perhaps. [...]

[But if ] I was a betting man (and I’m going to Vegas this weekend so you better believe I am) I would lay odds that we’ll hear news about a Vigneault extension before we hear about a Vigneault dismissal. But that’s just me.

Hmm. Perhaps. But if I was a betting woman (and I don’t go anywhere near Vegas as a rule because I am, and I’m really, really bad at it) I would lay odds that we’ll be hearing more about that “fall guy” plan, not a dismissal or an extension.

Seems like just the right approach for a clever new GM looking to build some personal job security in this business.

Filed in: alanah makes dumb bets, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

Renewing the Vows in Vegas

Will Vigneault be fired in Vegas? The poll (below) indicates that most fans think so. But while I’m not a fan of the coach, I tend to agree (at least in part) with Iain MacIntyre via the National Post, who feels Viggy will get more time.

So, ask yourself: Would the GM include his coach in critical strategy sessions to finalize the Canucks’ entry-draft list, identify free-agent targets and generally plan for next season, then punt him? You know, so Vigneault could take his Jack Adams Trophy and the Canucks’ top-secret plans to another team?

Gillis is unconventional, but not mad.

Chances are the delay in clarifying Vigneault’s status is not due to the possible termination of his contract, but the possible extension of it. Vigneault has a year remaining and obviously would prefer not to be a lame duck, since the most recent one of those - Quenneville - will be pulling shotgun pellets from his rump for weeks.

Firing the Jack Adams-carrying coach is simply much riskier for Gillis than keeping him on another season.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, free+agents, mike+gillis, nhlpa, trevor+linden

Busy Days—From Vancouver to Vegas

From Scott Burnside at ESPN,

Busy times in Vancouver as new owner Francesco Aquilini cries to the local papers every time he reads something that rankles him and with new GM Mike Gillis throwing everyone connected to the Dave Nonis regime under the bus. Now, Gillis is starting to rebuild the Canucks in his own image, announcing that he’s hired longtime NHLer Scott Mellanby to be a conduit between the team’s hockey operations and himself. [...]

The Canucks are holding their annual meetings in Las Vegas this week and Gillis is expected to make a final decision on whether to bring back coach Alain Vigneault. Sources have told ESPN.com that Vigneault rubbed some veteran players the wrong way and there is a strong suspicion Gillis will bring in his own coach.

That about sums it up, although I’m not sure how Burnside came up with the idea that Gillis is “throwing everyone connected to the Dave Nonis regime under the bus.”  Perhaps he will, but not yet.

As for “sources” suggesting Vigneault rubbed some veteran players the wrong way… well, I don’t think you’d need sources any more complex than a television set and some common sense to have figured that one out.

Update 8:35am PT: A bit more on Mellanby, plus comments from Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison…

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, francesco+aquilini, mike+gillis

Gambling with the Canucks

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?

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, coaching, las+vegas, mike+gillis

I’m Starting to Like Mike Gillis…

In today’s Vancouver Province, news which warms my cold, blackened, disappointed Canucks-fan heart:

For a week now, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault has spent his days at GM Place on the hot seat. 

For a couple hours, sometimes more, each day, he’s been brought in to informally defend, dissect and rehash a season most are trying to forget. He’s not done yet.

“It’s still ongoing, it’s going to take even more time,” Canucks GM Mike Gillis said.

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

Canucks Golf Season Updates

Just a few stories mildly related to Canuckish-type things:

  • Dave Nonis is being summoned for an interview in hell

  • Alex Edler made a not-so-endearing contribution to one very embarrassing Swedish team loss at the World Championships - a 10 minute game misconduct penalty

  • A company called Coleman Analytics has five NHL teams (and they’re looking to add Vancouver to their list of clients) that are paying them up to $100K a year for “basic” analytics services. Honestly, I bet plenty of obsessive & mathematically-inclined hockey fans would gladly kick those numbers out for free, or maybe a bit of swag. (I know, I know. I’m over-simplifying… but at least let The Forechecker bid for the job.)

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, alex+edler, media, roberto+luongo, statistics

On those ‘Demitra to Vancouver’ Rumors

Some thoughts from Minnesota, à la Michael Russo at the Star Tribune:

Oh, and lastly, this is unconfirmed by me but being told to me by a Vancouver reporter, but apparently Pavol Demitra was in Vancouver over the weekend being given a tour of the area by Canucks captain Markus Naslund.

As I’ve intimated here, the chances of the Wild even attempting to bring Demitra back is slim to none, and there’s a question whether he’d even want to return.

Demitra signing with Vancouver makes sense. His agent — or now, I guess, former agent — is Mike Gillis, the now-GM of the Canucks. Naslund is also now a former client of Gillis. 

Both are unrestricted free agents, and you can bet Gillis may very well take care of his former clients. In fact, maybe Pavel Bure comes out of retirement and returns to Vancouver.

[updated below - Demitra did indeed spend time in Vancouver in recent days.]

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Filed in: manitoba moose, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, brad+moran, markus+naslund, mike+gillis, pavol+demitra

Happy Thoughts from Spector

From Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News, a rundown of the rumors and conundrums surrounding the Canucks this offseason, including:

Behind the bench, coach Alain Vigneault and his staff remain in limbo as Gillis evaluates their future with the club. Vigneault won the Jack Adams Trophy in 2007 as the NHL’s coach of the year, but Gillis could be mulling a change in the Canucks’ style of play from their defensive system to a more offensive style, which could result in replacing Vigneault.

From your mouth to God’s ears, Lyle… 

Read the rest of his article for a roundup of other Canucks topics.

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

Naslund Recovering from Elbow Surgery

From The Province:

Markus Naslund is recovering after elbow surgery to remove loose bone chips Thursday. It’s unclear how long the problem had been bothering the pending unrestricted free agent.

One report has suggested Naslund won’t return to Vancouver if coach Alain Vigneault comes back.

The first bit of a news is a surprise; I hope the surgery went well.  But the “report” of Naslund refusing to re-sign if Vigneault stays with the Canucks is probably just a matter of stating-the-obvious.  Those two go together like oil-and-water, and if I had to pick one man to be associated with this team I’d pick a price-reduced Naslund in a heart beat. Scoring woes or not.

But I expect my opinion isn’t the popular one—here’s a poll to find out.

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, markus+naslund, surgery

Vigneault Underestimated Luongo’s Mental State

From Ben Kuzma at The Province:

“If I could do it over again, yeah, I would probably do things differently,” Vigneault said Monday. “That being said, we’re in a playoff push where every game is huge and I don’t know how I can’t play our best player.”

Vigneault had often repeated that his workhorse could handle the workload of appearing in 73 games. In the end, Luongo looked agitated with it all.

“Obviously, I underestimated not the physical demands of the schedule and the amount of games we play, but I underestimated his mental situation about everything that was happening in his life,” added Vigneault.

more…

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, roberto+luongo

Blame the Players

For what it’s worth, Darren Dreger at TSN has a theory:

On a decent night, the Vancouver Canucks generate 15 scoring chances.  On home-ice Thursday night the Canucks charted 24 scoring opportunities, were awarded almost 17 minutes in power play time and became a non-playoff team, partly, by not being able to score more than one goal against the Edmonton Oilers in the biggest game of the year.

There’s no question injuries factored in to Vancouver’s demise, but key players failed to deliver when this team needed them most.

Down the stretch, Roberto Luongo wasn’t good enough. Down the stretch, the Sedins were not good enough.

The list goes on.

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin, roberto+luongo

A Reprieve From the Edge

Having been out of touch with the hockey news since late Thursday night, I hauled a copy of the Vancouver Sun into a breakfast diner off Granville this morning, ready to enjoy the whiplash effect of excessive optimism that the 6-2 win over Nashville last game was surely having on Vancouver fans and writers (lose a game? armageddon. win a game? salvation…).

But the hockey news isn’t always utterly predictable in Vancouver, and they turned the tables on me.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, defense+injuries, kevin+bieksa, mattias+ohlund, ryan+kesler, st+louis+blues, vancouver+canucks

Ohlund Out, Bourdon in &  Stupid Canucks Promos

From the Vancouver Sun:

The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, down another defenceman with a knee injury to veteran Mattias Ohlund, have called up blueliner Luc Bourdon from the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.

Ohlund was hurt during Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the host Colorado Avalanche. He went for an MRI on the knee today, and results may be available tomorrow.

Aside from that fine news, I thought I’d throw in a screenshot of a Canucks contest being run lately.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, brendan+morrison, daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin, roberto+luongo, stupid+nhl+contests.+alain+vigneault

Curing the Blues, Praying for Goaltending

The St. Louis Blues are currently suffering a bad streak, which prompted a friend to comment to me this morning:

...the Blues are winless in five… well, that’s why God in her wisdom created the Vancouver Canucks.

Ain’t that the truth. The Canucks are so very generous at making teams on a skid feel better about themselves. Just ask the LA Kings.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, roberto+luongo, st+louis+blues, vancouver+canucks

Swedes, Whiskey and the Blues

Elliott Pap at the Vancouver Sun gets an interview with Mattias Ohlund. And, given the opportunity to explore the complex issues of Ohlund’s 4-game suspension, Pap goes for a truly hard-hitting approach right from the top:

Q.The Canucks are on the road this week but you’ve been at home serving your suspension for whacking Mikko Koivu. Are your kids wondering what Daddy has done?
A. I think Viktor and Hannah are just happy that Daddy is home.

Well, as long as they’re happy, that deals with the big question of the day.  So now for some trivialities—like Markus Naslund’s recent performance.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, booze, markus+naslund, mattias+ohlund, vancouver+canucks

Canucks-Related Transactions

[note: transactions updated 4:25pm PT at bottom of post]

For once, the NHL’s disciplinary committee hit fast and (I think) pretty hard:

Philadelphia forward Jesse Boulerice was suspended 25 games by the NHL on Friday for cross-checking Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler across the face, matching the largest suspension in league history.

For a comparison to other major suspensions, check here.

Personally, I have no problem with the length of this, but I fully expect there will be plenty of impassioned opinions—that it’s either: (a) not enough, or (b) too much.

 

 

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Filed in: manitoba moose, nhl general, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, jesse+boulerice, manitoba+moose, rick+rypien, ryan+kesler, ryan+shannon, the+crazy+canucks, vancouver+canucks

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