Fire the coach. Get rid of the GM. Trade Luongo! Move Schneider. Replace the Sedins with players who can, like, score in the playoffs. Why do the Canucks take such stupid penalties? Complain about the......
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Vancouver may have lost some of its love for Dan Cloutier but the feeling was never mutual.
Being forever linked to the Nicklas Lidstrom goal, and mercilessly turned into a punchline, has not been able to erode his adoration for the Canucks or dim his fond memories. Surprisingly, or not, Cloutier relishes every moment he played goal for Vancouver.
OK, maybe not every moment. But that could be a reason why he has the tools to carve out a career as a goalie coach. The Canucks are banking on it. They hired Cloutier earlier this summer, at their prospects camp, and he’s set to help develop their amateur goalies.
You can understand why. It’s not just because he’s affable, thoughtful or the fact he’s only 36, and young enough to connect with 19-year-old prospects. It’s because the guy has been through just about everything.
And if you’re a young netminder wondering what life is like in the so-called goalie graveyard, there can’t...
Marc Crawford was hoping to land head-coaching gigs in Montreal, Washington and Edmonton. He considered being an assistant in the NHL and AHL and even explored the junior ranks, but never considered stepping away from the game. That's why the former Vancouver Canucks bench boss has stepped up to accept a two-year offer to coach defending champion Zurich Lions of the Swiss national league.
"I started looking at it a couple of weeks ago and I was still in the running for Washington," Crawford said of replacing Bob Hartley who will coach the Calgary Flames. "I went over and took a look at the situation and thought this might be an option. This was the best opportunity and a new experience that I wanted to try. New country. New culture.
"I like the idea of something new and forcing you to be better."
With seven national-team members and former Canuck forwards Jeff Tambellini and Ryan Shannon part of the four-import...
According to a report in the Winnipeg Free Press, Scott Arniel is close to signing on as the Canucks head coach for their AHL affiliate in Chicago.
Arniel was the Canucks minor league head coach in Winnipeg with the Manitoba Moose three seasons ago, but left to take on the head coaching job for the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets. He was fired midway through last season but did some pro scouting for the Canucks.
It's believed Arniel was also talking to San Jose about an assistant coaching job there, but prefers to showcase his abilities in a head coaching role.
The Canucks have been in need of a head coach in Chicago after Craig MacTavish left the position to take a management job with the Oilers.
Arniel didn't return a call to his cell phone Friday morning.
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks and Scott Arniel could be renewing their relationship on the farm.
Arniel is seeking work and the Canucks are seeking someone to coach their American Hockey League affiliate in Chicago after Craig MacTavish stepped down Monday. MacTavish, who spent one season with the Wolves, departed for a front-office job with the Edmonton Oilers, specifically senior vice-president of hockey operations.
Canucks assistant GM Lorne Henning didn't attempt to conceal his team's interest in having Arniel replace MacTavish.
“Scotty would be on our list, for sure,” said Henning. “There will probably be five or six guys and Scotty will be one.”
The 49-year-old Arniel coached the Canucks farmhands from 2006 to 2010 when they were based in Manitoba. He then moved on to the Columbus Blue Jackets' head coaching position but was fired on Jan. 9, 2012 with the Jackets a wretched 11-25-5, bad enough for last place overall. He was 45-60-18 in his 123-game stint in Columbus.
It's Craig MacTavish 2.0 in the front office of the Edmonton Oilers as he has become senior vice-president of hockey operations of the NHL club. And it could be Scott Arniel 2.0 in the coaching mix for the Vancouver Canucks, if he replaces MacTavish as bench boss of the AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves.
With MacTavish stepping down as coach to take a management post with the Oilers, the Canucks have a void in Chicago. But not for long. Not only did Arniel guide the Manitoba Moose for four seasons before becoming head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets two years ago, his firing on Jan. 9 was followed by a stint scouting for the Canucks.
General manager Mike Gillis sounded Monday like Arniel was a serious candidate to return to the Canucks' fold. Arniel went one better. He sounded like it's a position he would more than consider. Covet would be a better summation.
"It is an interesting position and...
It was suggested to Alex Friesen that the gritty centre should deliver a couple of cases from the family's Ontario winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake to Alain Vigneault. What better way to get on the good side of the Vancouver Canucks coach when a development camp is staged later this month. Vigneault likes a good glass of grape as much as a good shift by his players.
The suggestion was met with nervous laughter because there's nothing funny about trying to take the next career step as a first-year professional. After signing a three-year, entry-level contract last week to beat the June 1 deadline to come to terms with 2010 draft picks, the sixth-round selection gets to the serious business after five OHL seasons. Friesen had 26 goals and 71 points in the regular season plus eight goals and 22 points in 20 playoff games to lead the Niagara Ice Dogs to the league final. But now the 21-year-old must prove...
Marc Crawford knows how it works because this isn’t your normal job search.
At the NHL level, the body or work normally does the talking, but a connection with a regime at some level isn’t lost on anyone seeking a head-coaching position.
Dots are connected on an annual basis and the hiring of Bob Hartley in Calgary had as much to do with his 1997 AHL Calder Cup championship link to Flames general manager Jay Feaster as an ability to get the Northwest Division club back to the playoffs. Hartley also won a Stanley Cup in Colorado in 2001, a Swiss League title this season with Zurich and is godfather to Feaster’s second-youngest son.
“The most important thing in any job is that the general manager and coach are on the same page,” stressed Crawford, who is pursuing bench-boss openings in Montreal, Edmonton and Washington.
“That’s been my experience.”
Hartley had an out-clause in case Montreal or Calgary came calling, and in case...
NEWARK, N.J. — Peter DeBoer’s hackles come up whenever the old saw about “your best players have to be your best players” is sharpened and pointed at Ilya Kovalchuk.
The New Jersey Devils scored only once in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final — a 2-1 overtime loss to the L.A. Kings — and even that bounced in off Kings defenceman Slava Voynov.
Ergo, Kovalchuk, the big, luxuriantly-bearded Russian forward who had but one shot on goal, must have let the side down. Oh, and he’s on a $100-million contract. So there’s that, too.
“Our identity is a four-line team,” DeBoer said Friday, with an edge to his voice. “Kovy is a piece of that, but he’s not the team. We’re capable of surviving nights when he doesn’t score or isn’t at the top of his game, just like we’re capable of surviving nights when [Patrik] Elias or [Zach] Parise or other guys aren’t.”
Capable of surviving, yes. Less likely to, though.
There are riddles in the middle but sixth-round draft pick Alex Friesen may be one solution to future concerns for the Vancouver Canucks.
Following a strong regular season and then elevating his two-way game as the Niagara Ice Dogs reached the OHL final, the 21-year-old centre signed an NHL entry-level contract Wednesday as the Canucks beat the Friday deadline to come to terms with 2010 draft picks or lose them to free agency.
The Canucks have to also make contract calls on Finnish goaltender Jonathan Iilahti and QMJHL defencemen Sawyer Hannay, who were selected 175th and 205th, respectively, two years ago.
In collecting 26 goals and 71 points in the regular season, and 22 points (8-14) in 20 demanding playoff games, Friesen showed the kind of career consistency and improvement that sealed the Canucks deal.
Named the best faceoff performer, defensive forward, penalty killer and third-hardest worker in a poll of OHL coaches, the Canucks may have found their third-line centre of...
During Wednesday’s conference call with Canuck head coach Alain Vigneault, the news of his recent contract extension was likely the least revealing tidbit for the ravenous media.
With Mike Gillis’ contract extension already confirmed, the supposed debate about Alain Vigneault’s future in Vancouver was long over. All that was left to discover was the length of his stay.
Alain Vigneault, in his tenure in Vancouver, has been most readily approachable to the media swarms, though his responses are most always cagily guarded so much so that one local media personality has claimed that AV is instead short for Always Vanilla.
And you can’t really blame Vigneault, given the tendency of the media to over analyze every word that comes out of his month. But let’s play along and take a closer look at some of his disclosures...
VANCOUVER — Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler was letting his agent Kurt Overhardt do the talking for him Thursday and, according to Overhardt, Kesler is miffed with remarks that head coach Alain Vigneault made about his performance.
“My client won't comment on it but I can tell you he's obviously frustrated by it because he's trying to do the best thing for the club,” the Denver-based agent said. “It's just disappointing. I don't think anyone questions how committed Ryan is to being the best he can be. I just think all the coach is doing is adding fuel to a fire that he not necessarily needed to spark up because Ryan is an accountable guy.
“No coach in the National Hockey League is a medical doctor and no agent is a doctor,” Overhardt continued. “I don't think we should second-guess someone's performance and try to say that an injury doesn't impact it. Of course, it impacted Ryan Kesler's ability to...
Kurt Overhardt, the agent for Ryan Kesler clearly wasn't impressed by the comments of Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault regarding his client.
Vigneault, in a conference call on Wednesday after the Canucks announced a two-year extension for the coach, said Kesler's Feb. 9 shoulder labrum injury didn't affect his play.
“Obviously, Ryan had a shoulder issue and the decision was made at the end of the season to operate on that shoulder,” said Vigneault. “That being said, though, that was not, in our mind, the reason for his diminished production.
“I'm sure if you were to ask him, the injury wasn't the reason his production fell. His rehab and the way he stayed on top of that permitted him to play at the pace he was used to playing but for whatever reason, his performance slipped this year. We've got to get on top of that and we've got to get him back to where he was before that.”
Overhardt told The...
No one has to draw a flow chart for Jordan Schroeder to show him how his stock has risen in the Canucks organization the last few months.
Yes, he’s coming off a very solid season with the AHL Chicago Wolves, but the trade of third-line centre Cody Hodgson at the deadline in late February, along with this week’s news that second-line pivot Ryan Kesler will be out until at least November after shoulder surgery, have Schroeder rocketing up the depth chart.
Sure, a lot can happen between now and training camp, but Schroeder — a small (5-foot-8) but NHL-quick centre the Canucks took 22nd overall in the 2009 NHL entry draft — is determined to make sure he takes full advantage of his opportunity.
“I do [see the opportunity], but I’m not going to look at it as Kesler’s injury was the only way that I made the team,” said Schroeder, 21, from his family’s cabin on Lake Vermilion in northern...