VANCOUVER - Back before we discovered Alain Vigneault was a fraud who had fluked his way to 313 wins and six division titles, a couple of Presidents' Trophies and that coach-of-year thingy the National Hockey League gives out, the Vancouver Canucks' former coach established a leadership committee.
It was motivated partly by the maturation of players like Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa, but also by Vigneault's shrewd belief that, after several years in charge, his coaching message would be tuned out by players unless he granted them more latitude in the dressing room.
So he empowered his committee to establish standards for the team, and maintain them through example and peer pressure. The committee was consulted by coaches on issues.
Manny Malhotra became part of the group, as did Dan Hamhuis. Roberto Luongo was always a strong leader. A lot of players had never seen anything like this utopian model.
It was difficult to quantify the committee's value...