NHL Canadian Corner – May 8, 2012.

Canucks re-signed GM Mike Gillis to new contract, more speculation over possible candidate for vacant Canadiens coaching job, and the latest on the Oilers coaching situation.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The re-signing of Canucks GM Mike Gillis to a new contract indicates he still has the confidence of team owner Francesco Aquilini.

VANCOUVER SUN: Gillis’ re-signing suggests head coach Alain Vigneault, who has a year remaining on his contract, could also receive an extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was believed Gillis wanted to retain Vigneault but it would be dependent upon the blessing of Aquilini. With Gillis now certain to return, I’d expect the same for Vigneault.

YAHOO! SPORTS: Greg Wyshynski noted recent speculation, which generated over the weekend during a “Hotstove” segment on Hockey Night in Canada, suggesting current Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville as a candidate to become the next head coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The premise is based upon the close ties new Habs GM Marc Bergevin, who until last week was assistant GM of the Blackhawks, has with Quenneville.  While “Coach Q” would be a significant hire for the Habs, and a good choice for head coach, there would be concerns over his ability to speak French. To date, there’s been no word out of Chicago regarding Quenneville’s future with the Blackhawks.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes the Oilers won’t make a decision regarding the future of head coach Tom Renney until after the World Hockey Championships are over. Matheson feels Oilers management could be seeking a potential replacement for Renney.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If true, it’s a lousy way to treat Renney. If they want to make a change behind the bench, that’s their prerogative, but they shouldn’t leave him twisting in the wind like this.


  1. Coach Q would be a solid choice for coach. Winning is a universal language and if he came in and put up W’s then he could be Joel Sanchez for what it would matter to Montreal. You have to think that the next coach is going to be able to speak French though. Also, Q is still under contract with the Hawks so all that is moot.
    Kind of dirty to mess with Renney though. Management gives this guy nothing to coach besides a few top draft picks, make it pretty obvious they aren’t keeping him, but keep him dangling waiting for the guillotine to drop. No wonder Edmonton has a hard time bring people in there.

  2. While I am glad to see that Canucks GM Mike Gillis was given a vote of confidence as well as a contract extension by the owners, I am not that happy about the probable retainment of coach Alain Vigneault. I see a future of same old, same old. By that I mean more dumping of the puck out of the zone in close games, predictable dropping of the puck back to the trailing man on the power play as well as few if any players going to the front of the net. The Canucks may well win another Presidents trophy with this style of play but it is not conducive to the banging, crashing and goals being scored from within inches of the net that the Stanley Cup playoffs are all about.
    The Canucks had a decent power play until after the regular season Bruins game and then it went into the dumper. It was beyond anything that Vigneault and his team of assistants ability to repair and cost them a number of games, especially against the Kings in the playoffs, where refereeing changes and penalties are few and far between.
    Unless Vigneault and his band of merry men who he has assisting him can change their philosophy, déjà vu all over again will be the status quo.

    What Edmonton is doing to Renny is catamount to cruel and unusual punishment. Unless Lowe has met with Renny privately and let him know what his future looks like with the Oilers, it is disloyal to an individual who has given his all to the team not to give him a public vote of confidence or say that he won’t be coming back. No one likes to be left twisting in the wind, but sadly that seems to be the life of an NHL coach.

    Montreal needs a bi-lingual coach no matter how many wins a candidate may have. They demoted their unilingual interm coach to assistant coach and they are not going to bring in another one who can’t speak the other “official” language of the French only newspaper reporters.

  3. ‘Q’ can speak French. Most are just unsure if it is 100% fluent or not, but he can speak it.


  5. How are the Oilers leaving Renney twisting in the wind? He still has a job as his contract doesnt run out until July. When other responsible corporations do this its called “due diligence”. I would rather decisions like this be made without the irrelevant influence of emotion and what is “nice” or not.