NHL Canadian Corner – May 3, 2012.

Canadiens introduce new GM Marc Bergevin to the Montreal media, Ryan Kesler could become Canucks “new pariah” while there’s still no decision on coach Alain Vigneault’s future with the club, and the Flames search for a new head coach begins as they sign the KHL’s leading scorer.

Canadiens introduce Bergevin as their new GM.

LA PRESSE: The Montreal Canadiens introduced their new general manager Marc Bergevin to the public yesterday. Bergevin has yet to begin his search for a new head coach for the club, but indicated it was necessary to hire one who speaks French. I’ll post my take on the Bergevin hire later today in my “Soapbox”.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma suggests Ryan Kesler could become the new whipping boy of Canucks fans once Roberto Luongo is dealt away, while Jason Botchford believes the Canucks are right to take their time deciding the future of head coach Alain Vigneault.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Folks, I realize Vigneault deserves his fair share of criticism for the disappointing end to the Canucks season, but the guy is only a year removed from coaching this team to the Stanley Cup Final. I think he’s earned a contract extension, but failing that, he should at least be allowed to return for the final year of his current contract, and then he and management can determine his future after that. Some Canucks critics are, in my opinion, being too harsh in their assessment of this team. Yes, I get it, you’re disappointed over the club falling short the past couple of years, and impatient for a championship, but that’s no reason to start ripping this team apart.

CALGARY HERALD/CALGARY SUN:  Flames GM Jay Feaster denied rumors he’ll announce the hiring of a new coach this week, suggesting the search for a new bench boss has only just begun. Feaster also made news yesterday by signing KHL star center Roman Cervenka to a one-year, entry-level, bonus-laden contract  which could be worth $3.755 million if he achieves all those bonuses.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve been asked if this move indicates Olli Jokinen could be a goner. Possibly, but I think this was done to provide more depth at center, rather than replacing Jokinen.


  1. Good signing for the Flames. He looks a quality offensive centre. Centres for the top 2 lines appear to be in very short supply in the NHL, if you have 2, you are in business.

  2. I hate to disagree with Mr. Spector on the Canucks but I believe I must. While Alain Vigneault is not the main problem with the team he is one of them. While I understand that he took the team to within one game of the cherished silver chalice, I don’t believe it was because of his amazing coaching ability but rather more about the number of very good players he had as well as great goaltending, on fact too good of goaltending. The Canucks success was more about the goalies keeping them in and winning games than it was about the forwards and defense beating the other team. It is quite possible that Luongo and Schneider’s abilities kept the team from sinking to their real level and necessitating a change.
    The years previous when Chicago showed the Canucks their weak spots and how inept they were at going to the net the coach continued doing exactly the same things and failed to get the players to go to the net. The GM gave the coach bigger bodies to use at the trading deadline but Vigneault refused to use them to their and the teams advantage.
    The trade of Hodgson for Kassian is a prime example. Kassian never had a defined role to play and in fact looked lost at times. He was even sat out of the LA series. After Byron Bitz got back from his suspension he was not used again either.
    While last year the team got to within one game of the cup but Boston actually did the Canucks a favour and really exposed the teams weaknesses and how they could actually be pushed around, especially in front of the net, but nothing changed and this year LA made them look like the team they really were. Poor scoring ability but great goaltending. I believe you need to learn from your mistakes and Vigneault looks as though he has not. He keeps doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
    Personally, while I respect the man, I would like to see him gone and someone with a different, more aggressive style come in and change how the team plays.

  3. I’m curious to know what the base of Roman Cervenka contract is, and what goals he must achieve to reach the full value of it. My guess is roughly 2 million base, but until it”s released we’ll just have to wait and see.

    As for the hunt for a new coach goes, I really dont have anyone in particular who I would prefer to be coach. I’m not against Troy Ward being promoted to NHL status but i dont think it would be a wise move for the Flames as this time. Especially since he is doing a great job preparing young players for NHL duty, and on a nice recent tear of 11 straight games.

    Aside from that I have heard Bob Hartley, Marc Crawford, and even Craig Mactavish being mentioned. Although Im curious if Ron Wilson is being considered or vice versa. He loves to golf so thats probably all he’s worried about for the moment.