After being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs two years in a row the Vancouver Canucks decided it was time for a change. Today they announced that Alain Vigneault has been relieved of his duties as head coach. Assistant coaches Rick Bowness and Newell Brown have also been fired. Vigneault was the most successful coach in Canucks history, which made this a hard decision for General Manager Mike Gillis:
“I have a very strong relationship with all of them. I like them all personally,” he told a news conference shortly after the firings were announced. “We’re in a results-oriented business, and if you look at the last two playoffs, we were the higher-seeded team and we lost the first two games at home. We’ve lost consecutive games in the last two playoff years, and there comes a point in time where the message has to change and we have to be better.
“We simply didn’t get the result we expected, and in this business you have to get results.”
Vigneault made a statement after the firing via the Canucks website:
“I am proud of many of the things we accomplished as a group these past seven seasons in Vancouver and only wish we were able to win the Canucks’ first Stanley Cup. I am a career coach and it is what I love to do. I hope to coach again in this League and will always have good memories of my time and the fans in Vancouver.”
With the firing of Vigneault has created much speculation about who will get his job. Darren Dreger tweeted his list of possible candidates.
In no specific order, here’s a list of possible Canucks coaching options: Tippett, Ruff, Renney, Boucher, Maurice, Arniel, Eakins, Martin.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 22, 2013
The timing makes me believe that Dallas Eakins is top of the list since he is allowed to entertain NHL job offers as of the Toronto Marlies elimination from the Calder Cup Playoffs yesterday. Who do you think will take the opening? Where do you think Vigneault will end up? Share your thoughts in the comment box below, on facebook, on twitter (@kcapp22 or @TMMotS), or by email ([email protected]).