The rumours have been swirling over the last couple of weeks that Alain Vigneault would be staying put in Vancouver. So, it came as no surprise Wednesday when it was revealed that he agreed to terms on an extension with the Canucks.
Reaction to the news has been mixed. Some fans liking and even loving the idea of AV sticking around. Others, not so much. @KMaximick tweeted, “I’m one more Presidents’ Trophy win and playoff loss away from becoming a Ducks’ fan for life.”
Yes, he has made some poor choices over his years on the Coast. Playing Mason Raymond as much as he has, is high on the list. Overall though, it’s hard to argue he isn’t the best fit for the team, right now. Vigneault has helped the team to five 100-point campaigns, two regular season league crowns, and an appearance in the Cup Final. You’re right, there is no ring to show off, but tell me what better options were available to Mike Gillis? I’ve heard Marc Crawford’s name being thrown around. I’m going to play dream crusher for just a second, though. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Crawford is a potential candidate for the Habs’ vacant head coaching position. Plus, he’s been there done that, and it didn’t work. So, forget it.
Craig MacTavish has also been mentioned. I think he is a smart hockey man, and a great coach. He is behind the bench for the Canucks’ farm team right now, so it’s not completely out of left field. MacTavish may have been perfect for the job, but again, his track record is not as good as Vigneault’s.
I don’t buy that the team has stopped playing for him. I do buy that they need a couple more solid dmen, their power play is abysmal and needs major work. Also, Gillis needs to give Ryan Kesler the right wingers. Especially if they plan on doing anything worth talking about in the post-season next year.
I think the Canucks disappointing finish to the 2011-2012 season wasn’t because of bad coaching, and that Vigneault’s numbers are hard to disagree with.
In my mind, it’s not broken. So, it doesn’t need to be fixed.