Vancouver Canucks Set to Name Craig MacTavish as Head Coach of Chicago Wolves

Kevin WContributor IIJuly 18, 2011

It appears the Vancouver Canucks are "likely" to announce former NHL head coach Craig MacTavish as new head coach of the Chicago Wolves, according to St. Louis-based reporter Andy Strickland.

The Canucks began a search for a new minor league head coach when Claude Noel left the organization to become the head coach of the reincarnated Winnipeg Jets.

MacTavish, 52, previously served as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers before being fired by new general manager Steve Tambellini in April 2009.

In his eight seasons with the Oilers, his team has missed in the playoffs or lost in the first round all but once. The only exception being the Oilers' Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006.

Since being fired, MacTavish had been acting as an in-studio analyst with TSN in Canada.

This move puts immense pressure onto the shoulders of Alain Vigneault and likely indicates he will be on a short leash.

Any slow starts or prolonged slumps will not be tolerated, as the Canucks now have a coach who can easily slip right in without a hitch.

Makes you wonder if the Canucks are setting up for a run like the Pittsburgh of 2008-09.

After losing in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 to the Detroit Red Wings, the Penguins struggled the following season, compiling a record of 27-25-5 and were five points out of a playoff spot prior to head coach Michel Therrien being fired.

The team then promoted Dan Bylsma from their minor league affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Bylsma compiled a 18-3-4 to finish off the regular season and captured the Stanley Cup as a rookie head coach.

The Canucks have that option, remains to be seen if they exercise it.

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