Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Michael D. Gillis announced today that Alain Vigneault has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. Associate Coach Rick Bowness and Assistant Coach Newell Brown were also relieved of their duties today.
When the Canucks blew a 2-0 series lead in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final to the Boston Bruins and lost in seven games, the pressure on Vigneault to help the team capture its first championship increased dramatically.
Instead of improving, Vancouver followed its Stanley Cup Final appearance with two consecutive first-round playoff exits, which included eight losses in the team's last nine playoff games. Vigneault spent seven seasons as the team's head coach, but the Canucks advanced past the second round of the playoffs just once in that time.
With the Canucks' championship window rapidly closing, making a coaching change to help this team reach the "next level" was the right decision for the future of this franchise.
Let's look at the five best coaching candidates who should be considered as potential replacements for Vigneault in Vancouver.