There is a coaching vacancy with the Vancouver Canucks, but given the mountain of problems the next coach there will take the job is far from appealing. The team recently let head coach Alain Vigneault and two assistants go, after the Canucks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for a second straight season. Vigneault won the Jack Adams Award (2007 and led the Canucks to two President’s Trophies during his tenure, while compiling 313 wins to become the winningest coach in franchise history. With the expectations for this team clearly being Stanley Cup championship or bust, it presents a great opportunity for a young up-and-comer but hardly provides the security a veteran coach may be looking for.
The Canucks head into the offseason with little cap space, and are saddled with many long-term, high-price contracts for underperforming veterans. Vigneault took the fall for star players failing to come through in the playoffs, and while this team remains incredibly talented on paper that hasn’t always translate to games. Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and trade deadline acquisition Derek Roy all failed to score even a single goal in the postseason. The next coach needs to find a way to get maximum effort from the Sedins as well as a stronger contribution from David Booth and Jason Garrison.
On top of the other issues, the goaltending situation never got resolved this season, and is now left as a mess for general manager Mike Gillis and the next coach to deal with. There weren’t many teams interested in Roberto Luongo, and goalie of the future Cory Schneider was awful in the playoffs. The Canucks can’t afford to keep both netminders, but may get stuck paying Luongo some money even if they get rid of him. With roster issues, cap constraints and incredibly high expectations, this is less appealing than it could be.