Various sources today report the Vancouver Canucks are set to fire their coaching staff, including head coach Alain Vigneault.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No official confirmation yet from the Canucks, but these reports are coming from reliable sources throughout the Canadian media. There’s also no word as to who will be replacing Vigneault and his staff. I doubt anyone’s surprised, though the timing of it is a bit odd, as the Canucks were swept from the opening round of the 2013 NHL playoffs by the San Jose Sharks over two weeks ago.
Vigneault was the Canucks coach for seven years, with a 313-170-57 record. He won the Jack Adams trophy in 2007, and coached the Canucks to two President’s Trophies, the Western Conference title in 2011 and a memorable appearance in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Still, Vigneault’s coaching was questioned in the wake of the Canucks failure to win the Cup in 2011, and the criticism grew over the past two seasons as the club bowed out of the playoffs in the first round.
The feeling among Vancouver fans and pundits is the Canucks needed a new bench boss, as the players appeared puzzled by some of his decisions and failing to respond to his direction. That seems a bit unfair, as Vigneault couldn’t be faulted for the poor decisions by management and its failure to bolster the Canucks depth, nor could he be faulted for the injuries to key players this season.
Still, when things aren’t going well for a team, it’s usually the coach who gets the ax. Given Vigneault’s credentials, I doubt he’ll be unemployed for long.