NWSB email to former Canucks bench boss Alain Vigneault

So Long Av…So Long

Dear AV,

So it’s over. You outlasted Roberto Luongo, mainly because you couldn’t outlast much else.

You’re the winningest coach in Canucks history, bringing home the division banners, Presidents’ Trophies, and of course 2011.

But lately, the magic was gone. You were leading a team that was ghostwalking through the motions after the stomach punch of 2011, and something had to give.

We’ll miss you and your ways

Giggling at Vern Fiddler or the idea of Kyle Wellwood as a man possessed. Equal times brunt and nonchalant.

Alain Vigneault

You’re the winningest coach in Canucks history

And yet you infuriated us, favouring your Aaron Romes while banishing your Keith Ballards. Sitting on leads and watching them crumble was tough to watch.

Often nights you were playing for the 2-1 win.

And the playoffs. When things went wrong, they really went wrong. As much as Luongo took the brunt of the early criticism, it became clearer that the defensive zone in front of him was something of a mess.

When the powerplay disappeared, the curtain had been pulled back on the entire system.

It was predictable, exploitable and tame. It’s not just the Canucks went out in the first round twice in a row, it’s that they did it in such a whimpered implosion.

It inspired the exact opposite of confidence.

And so it was time to cut ways and try this talent with a new man and a new way in order to figure out that either you indeed were holding this team back or that it’s time to make bigger changes to the core that will for better or worse always be judged against 2011.

Will it it be Dave Tippett?

Guy Boucher?

Will they be better?

You set the bar high and the only way to clear it is with a Stanley Cup.

That’s no small task.

As for you, you’ll bounce back. Look at Boudreau in Anaheim for example. You’re a great coach, but your time was up here.

Happy trails.


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About Richard Hodges

A proud Vancouverite with a lifelong passion for the home teams that some would classify as pointless and disturbing. Now realizes that The Linden Tree is not the play you think it would be.
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