Unemployed Trotz, still employed McLellan the odds-on favourites for Canucks coaching job

It’s probably a good thing that the Sharks are planning on keeping Todd McLellan, as it appears his voice puts the Canucks to sleep.

John Tortorella was fired on Thursday, because the Canucks were bad and he was the head coach while they were bad and Trevor Linden had no confidence that he would help make them less bad in the future. I think that sums it up pretty succinctly.

Unsurprisingly, with Tortorella not even metaphorically cold in his metaphorical grave, the speculation over who the Canucks might hire as their next coach began immediately. Never mind that Trevor Linden hasn’t even begun interviewing General Manager candidates: Canucks fans want immediate action on the coaching front.

The battle lines were quickly drawn, with some hoping the recently fired Barry Trotz would find his way to the Pacific Northwest, while others were rooting for the San Jose Sharks to lose in spectacular fashion so that Todd McLellan would get fired and thus be available for the position. Still others cried out for literally anyone but either of these two.

Why, Canucks fans are so passionate about the subject that they might, hypothetically, be willing to put money on the line. Bodog is figuratively betting on people literally betting on it.

Yes, the betting website has posted odds for who the Canucks will hire as their new head coach, with Trotz and McLellan the 11/4 favourites, followed by John Stevens, Kevin Dineen, Marc Crawford — yes, Marc Crawford — Brad Shaw, and Guy Boucher.

Since these things have a tendency to disappear from Bodog’s site without warning, here’s a screenshot:

It’s important to note that Todd McLellan hasn’t actually been fired by the Sharks as of yet, despite giving up a 3-0 lead in their series against the Kings. That’s because Doug Wilson, the general manager of the Sharks, is a fairly intelligent guy who isn’t going to make an emotional decision based on one of the closest playoff series in years.


This essentially means that if ownership disagrees and wants to see a coaching change, then Doug Wilson’s likely out as GM as well. That would be a remarkable turn of events, given how the hockey world has praised the Sharks for retooling on the fly with solid drafting, trading away past-their-prime veterans, and creating enough organizational depth to withstand turnover.

On the plus side, if the Sharks fired both Wilson and McLellan, it would give Linden a tantalizing one-stop-shop to solve both his need for a GM and a new head coach.

The fact that McLellan still has a job as an NHL head coach would bump him a little way down the list in my books, though. But then, I’m not a professional bookmaker.

The rest of the list is a fairly standard collection of former head coaches and current assistant coaches, all of whom would be likely candidates for any job opening league-wide. Stevens is an assistant with the highly-successful Kings and was the head coach for the Flyers prior to that. Dineen was the head coach of the Panthers and currently coaches Canada’s women’s team.

Shaw is an assistant with the Blues and Boucher had a very up-and-down stint as head coach of the Lightning. Personally, I’m all for Boucher and there’s some decent value in that bet. I’m disappointed, however, that you can’t bet the field.

The one name that really stands out for Canucks fans is, of course, Crawford. Can anyone actually see Crawford returning to the Canucks? Just how good do they think Crawford’s relationship was with Linden in the three seasons he coached him?

I mean, I wouldn’t rule it out, but Crawford hasn’t coached in the NHL since 2011 and hasn’t coached a team to the NHL playoffs since the 2003-04 Canucks. Count me as a skeptic.

But seriously, please don’t bet on who the Canucks’ next head coach will be. If you do, you might have a problem. Not a gambling problem; a Canucks fandom problem. Just be patient and let Linden hire a GM first.


  1. EllynBleu
    May 2, 2014

    But seriously, please don’t bet on who the Canucks’ next head coach will be. …. Not a gambling problem; a Canucks fandom problem. Just be patient and let Linden hire a GM first.

    Enough said. That last paragraph says it all….

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  2. ikillchicken
    May 2, 2014

    Boucher was actually my preferred candidate last summer. He did great things in Tampa whenever he had ANY goaltending whatsoever. Although that said, I think I’d take Trotz or possibly Mclellan instead now that they’re options (or at least the former is).

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  3. akidd
    May 2, 2014

    it’s pretty funny that mclellan enjoys top odds while he’s the coach of of the sharks. what a crazy market. it’s the same old game. someone puts out a name we like, like shea weber or someone, and right into the bug-zapper we fly.

    zap. i’m convinced. mclellan, sure. pretty hockey, smart guy, sign him up. might have to teach him a thing or two about slaying the dragon but after that i’m sure he’ll be fine:)

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  4. bhglennie
    May 3, 2014

    Presently employed Glen Gulutzan is also in the mix for head coach

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  5. Naturalmystic
    May 3, 2014

    Dallas Eakins might be available. He would be a great coach for Vancouver.

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  6. shoes
    May 6, 2014

    mystic….Any coach that has been taught and seasoned by one K. Lowe and performed his craft in front of 15,000 uniformly coiffed mullets…….is a keeper….so Eakins will not be available. Besides I hear he is writing a book called “we are gonna be scary next year”

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