I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m lukewarm on Alain Vigneault as Canucks coach. Maybe it’s because I don’t quite understand his decision-making process – and we all know he’s made some horrible decisions *cough* sitting on a one-goal lead in the playoffs *cough* – or maybe it’s because I don’t like the constant line-juggling. Needless to say, when reports came out yesterday that the Canucks are on the verge of giving him a three-year contract extension, I wasn’t jumping up and down for joy.
To be fair, Vigneault’s stats as Canucks coach are impressive. In only three seasons behind the Canucks’ bench, he has 133 wins, which makes him the 4th winningest coach in franchise history; his 10th win this regular season will make him the 2nd winningest coach behind only Marc Crawford’s 246 wins. He’s also one playoff win behind Crawford’s and Roger Neilson’s 12 playoff wins for 2nd all-time in Canucks history.
A couple of weeks ago, I wondered if Gillis was waiting to see first how Vigneault can be as effective with more offensive players; a three-year contract extension tells me Gillis is convinced he can be. And if he’s right and Vigneault guides this team to the Stanley Cup, I’ll gladly – ecstatically – eat my words.