Canucks and Beyond

Renewing the Vows in Vegas

05/16/2008 at 1:42pm EDT

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.

But while it’s easy to understand how a GM can be a “lame duck”, I’ve never bought the theory at the coaching level and I don’t see any reason Gillis should feel compelled to give Vigneault an extension. It’s probably good politics to let him ride his current contract into next season and see what happens.

The only addendum I’d make to this theory is regarding one issue: how difficult Gillis might perceive it to be to sign or re-sign offensive-style free agents this summer if he keeps Vigneault.

Odds are, if you’re an NHL player whose game is in the offensive end, you’re going to be wary of a plummet in your stats if you’re expected to play Vigneault’s set-style of the past season.

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