The Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday fired coach Alain Vigneault, along with assistant coaches Rick Bowness and Newell Brown.
“We have made the very difficult decision to relieve Alain Vigneault, Rick Bowness and Newell Brown of their coaching duties today,” Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis said in a release issued by the team. “Alain, Rick and Newell worked tirelessly to lead this team to great on-ice success. I am personally grateful to each of them and their families for their commitment to the Canucks and the city of Vancouver and wish them continued success in future.”
Vigneault, just two years removed from a run to the Stanley Cup Final, led the team to the Northwest Division title in 2012-13 for the fifth straight season and sixth time in his seven seasons with the Canucks. However, the team was swept by the sixth-seeded San Jose Sharks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It’s the second straight season the Canucks have been knocked out in the first round, and the club hasn’t won a playoff series since the 2011 Western Conference Finals.
Vigneault was hired June 20, 2006, and in seven seasons he compiled a 313-170-57 record. The Canucks made the playoffs in six of the seven seasons, won six division titles, two Presidents’ trophies and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. His 313 wins are the most in franchise history, and the club set franchise records with 54 wins and 117 points in the 2010-11 season.
The Denver Post is reporting that the brother of Patrick Roy said that Roy will be named the new head coach of the Colorado Avalanche.
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews were announced Monday as this year’s finalists for the 2012-13 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone.
First awarded following the 2006-07 season, the honor is given to “the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season.” Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel as well as NHL fans in compiling a list of potential candidates before personally selecting the three finalists and ultimately the winner.
Alfredsson, the NHL’s longest-serving active captain, is the Senators’ all-time leader in numerous categories, including games played, goals, assists and points. He has taken a leadership role off the ice as well, working with the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, and the Sens Foundation.
Brown has spent his entire eight-season NHL career with the Kings, serving as their captain for the past five seasons. He was selected as the Kings’ Most Popular Player this season and is known for his physical playing style, which consistently places him among the League leaders in hits.
Toews volunteers to grant wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and visits with patients at the local children’s hospital and the Misericordia Home in Chicago. Last fall, he returned home to join the Winnipeg Patrolmen Hockey Club and other NHL players for the “Goals for Dreams Hockey Challenge,” which helped raise $80,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Dream Factory, a charity that grants dreams for critically and chronically ill children.
Listed at 6-foot-8 and 270 pounds, Scott had no points and 69 penalty minutes in 34 games last season. The Sabres acquired Scott by signing him to a one-year contract in free agency last summer to add size and grit to their roster.
He split the 2011-12 season with Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers. He broke into the NHL in 2008-09, and played his first two seasons with the Minnesota.
Over five seasons, Scott has a goal and four assists and 305 penalty minutes in 180 career games.
Joel Quenneville, Bruce Boudreau and Paul MacLean are finalists for the Jack Adams Award, given to the head coach who has contributed most to his team’s success.
The NHL announced the nominees on Friday. The winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup final.
Quenneville led the Chicago Blackhawks to a league-best 36-7-5 mark after opening the season by earning a point in each of its first 24 games, setting an NHL record. Quenneville previously won the award in 2000 with St. Louis.
“We’re pretty happy with where we’re at as a coaching staff but all the credit is deserved for the players and what they have accomplished this year,” Quenneville said. “You’ve got to commend them from the start of the season, the way they prepared themselves, the consistency, the way they competed, the predictability in their game, it was fun being a part of it.”
“Bergevin doesn’t have the cap space for a major renovation and said he doesn’t believe free agency is the answer. The key, he said, is to build through the draft … With six picks in the first three rounds of next month’s draft, it might be a good idea for the Canadiens to shelve the philosophy of picking the best player available in favour of picking the best big player available.”
As far as larger forward prospects are concerned, winger Jacob de la Rose (SWE) or center Frederik Gauthier (QMJHL) could be available as a first-round selection for the Canadiens. Or maybe even 6-foot-4 Anthony Mantha (QMJHL), who ESPN Insider/NHL Scout Grant Sonier has ranked 14th overall.
That would seem to put former Avs legend and current Quebec junior league bench boss Patrick Roy firmly back in contention for Joe Sacco’s old job.
“Indications from the Avs now are that a junior coach IS possible. I would still say Sakic would prefer an experienced guy, one who already has had an NHL head coaching job. But it’s now possible that it could indeed be someone from junior, say a Patrick Roy or maybe even an AHL guy like Dallas Eakins or someone else. ” Dater said.
Nothing is imminent, however. The team will do its “due diligence” finding the right guy
San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres has been suspended for the remainder of the Western Conference Semifinals for an illegal hit to the head of Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll during Game 1 of the series in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 14, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 19:02 of the second period. Torres was assessed a minor penalty for charging. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Torres is considered a repeat offender.
Sportsnet’s John Shannon points out, the decision by the NBA to reject the bid to relocate the Sacramento Kings also hurts the Seattle’s shot at getting an NHL franchise. No new SuperSonics means no rush to build a new arena.
“Lost in the NBA decision not to leave Sacramento for Seattle, is the new arena won’t be built imminently … and the NHL won’t have an Northwest option right now.”
The NBA is reportedly open to Seattle getting a new franchise through expansion just not within this situation.
“We are very pleased to sign Rob to a multi-year contract,” said Maloney. “Rob is an excellent skater and hard-working forward who has earned a spot on our roster with his strong play last season. We look forward to having him on our team next year.”
The 6-foot-3, 214-pound Klinkhammer appeared in a career-high 22 games with the Coyotes this season recording 5-6-11 and 10 penalty minutes (PIM). He ranked second on the team with a plus-7 rating and established a career-high five-game point streak from March 25 to April 2.
The 26-year-old native of Lethbridge, Alberta has posted 5-8-13 and12 PIM in 38 career NHL games. Klinkhammer originally signed with the Coyotes as a free agent on July 13, 2012.