Alain Vigneault thinks of how mad people are right now.
It’s official: Alain Vigneault will will be back behind the Canucks bench for a seventh season. As was expected from the moment Mike Gillis inked a deal to continue on as the Canucks’ General Manager, the team announced an extension with head coach Vigneault Wednesday afternoon. From the Canucks:
“Alain has established himself as one of the premiere coaches in the National Hockey League,” said Gillis. “He has demonstrated a commitment to winning that has led to back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies and we are confident his dedication and hard work will continue to yield positive results. Alain has built a foundation of winning with this franchise and I feel he can continue to build on that foundation to achieve our ultimate goal.”
“I am pleased to be signing this extension to continue as the Head Coach of such an outstanding organization,” said Vigneault. “I look forward to taking the next step with this franchise in bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver. I feel fortunate to be able to work with such a dedicated group of management, coaches and players in this great city I love.”
This deal makes all the sense in the world. Vigneault is the winningest coach in Vancouver Canucks’ history. He’s developed a team that will contend for the Stanley Cup. He’s coached the team to two consecutive Presidents’ trophies and a 2011 Cup Final appearance. He’s been nominated for two Jack Adams awards and won one. His track record as the coach of this team should speak for itself.
And yet, it seems as though the overwhelming reaction to his extension is negative. Why? Because, for all his success, Vigneault has yet to lead the Canucks to a championship. Meanwhile, Supercoach J. Instantcup is just sitting around, waiting to replace him and do what he does.
I mean, sure, Vigneault has won two consecutive regular season titles, but the Presidents’ Trophy means nothing. It’s super easy to get and is in no way indicative of a team being excellent, which is why the Canucks won so many of them in their first 40 years.
The irony is that the people claiming the Presidents’ Trophy is meaningless are the ones whose reason is blinded by their intense desire to see the team win. Little do they know that Presidents’ Trophy is awarded to teams that win with a standout measure of frequency. Someone should tell them.
Here’s the thing: the Canucks’ regression this past season was cause for concern, as was their slow start in the Conference quarterfinals, but it was hardly cause for firing the best coach the team has ever had, a coach that is still coaching at an elite level, having led his team to the best record in the league, is regarded around the league as one of the best, and has already proven his ability to get this team to the Stanley Cup Final.
If the team regresses further next season, then maybe you consider making a change. But for right now, Vigneault remains the right choice to run the Canucks, which is why he will continue to do so.