Vancouver Canucks: Coaching Change Conundrum?
If you take a look at the boards on CDC, it doesn’t take long to find a thread or two (by two I mean 100) about the Canucks making a coaching change. Log on and you’ll find every reason there is to can Alain Vigneault and find someone new.
“He changes the lines too much."
“He isn’t willing to take risks with the line-up”
“He doesn’t start Schneider enough”
“He chews too much gum…..”
Whatever the reason may be, people seem to have a hate on for Alain Vigneault. Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I love every single decision Alain Vigneault has ever made with regards to this team. But I’m also not going to tell you that I hate the guy’s guts because his suits don’t always look good. I have a lot of respect for him as a National Hockey League coach and I don’t think that’s too much of a stretch.
Take a look at Canuck history and you will only find one coach with more wins than Alain Vigneault (in Canuck colors). That man would be Marc Crawford.
Alain Vigneault is the coach that turned Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows into dominant 30+ goal scorers. This is the coach that oversaw the maturing of the Sedins into Art Ross and Hart/Ted Lindsay winners. To me, Alain Vigneault has a pretty good resume as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
Some people will say that it is always good to have change when things aren’t necessarily going well. They’ll say that the players have lost touch with the coach or something along those lines. I don’t buy it. This team doesn’t go from 1 game away from the Stanley Cup to Western Conference dweller because of the coach. Don’t kid yourself for one second if you believe that Alain Vigneault is the major reason for the team’s slow start. It just isn’t the case.
I’m going to bring up something Brian Burke often says and draw a comparison with the Canucks. When faced with questions of why Ron Wilson hasn’t been extended or fired, Burke will often say something along the lines of:
“If we fire Ron Wilson, I have to have a belief that there is a better coach out there. I don’t believe there is.”
I think that this could really be said about the Canucks too.
Back in the summer, much was made about the Canucks hiring Craig MacTavish to coach the Chicago Wolves. I was never a believer that he brought in strictly in case AV didn’t have a good start to the season. MacT is a good coach who should be able to help develop some of the younger guys in the Canucks system. I saw the move as nothing more than that. If the need for a new coach truly arises due to player concerns, then sure, MacT will be looked at.
So where does this leave the Canucks? In my mind, right now, it leaves the struggling Canucks with one of the best coaches in the league. He is level-headed, smart and really gifted at developing players. Why would the Canucks let this guy go? It seems crazy to me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Please comment below and let me know whether or not you think it’s time for the Vancouver Canucks to let go of Alain Vigneault.
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