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|June 15th, 2007, 08:34 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: █♣█ Vancouver
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Alain Vigneault is NHL coach of year | News
By Jason Botchford, The Province
Published: Thursday, June 14, 2007
TORONTO - If Michel Therrien had his way, Alain Vigneault never would have been in a position to beat him out for the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year Thursday.
If Therrien had his way, Vigneault would have joined his Pittsburgh Penguins staff in 2005 as one of his assistants.
But Vigneault remained the head coach of the AHL's Manitoba Moose, which landed him in Vancouver and the rest is now coach-of-the-year history.
"I am so glad for him," Therrien said. "But we tried to get him in Pittsburgh. And if he wasn't hired by Vancouver, [there's] a good chance we would have brought him in. We talked about it. He's such a good hockey mind. He knows so much about the game and the season he had proves that."
Vigneault, 46, beat out Therrien and Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff to win his first Jack Adams Award in what was the surprise of the night.
He took the stage to take the award and in a personal moment thanked his two daughters, Andreane and Janie, who were his dates for the awards show.
The divorced father, whose daughters live in Quebec, made a point to say how difficult it can be to balance a family with life as an NHL coach. It was one of the nicest moments of the evening.
Many were convinced Therrien would win the Jack Adams thanks to a 47-point turnaround in Pittsburgh. But he finished third. Vigneault finished with 134 points (18 first-place votes), Ruff 126 (11 first-place votes) and Therrien 91 (11 first-place votes).
Vigneault said he was taken off guard when he was announced the winner for his formidable role in boldly turning around a sagging Canucks team.
He returned forcefully to the NHL last season for the first time since 2000. He leaped onto the Vancouver scene. He played no favourites. He benched starters right off the hop. He made his players earn their playing time.
And in so doing, he got a team to buy in to a cultural sea change that showed he had learned plenty since being fired from the Montreal Canadiens.
"It's not easy to get here and it's not easy to stay and it's not easy to come back," Vigneault said. "It was a long journey back. But I've done my best everywhere I've been. I've tried my hardest to get back to the NHL."
Therrien, who was hired by Montreal on Vigneault's recommendation, replaced Vigneault when he was fired by the Canadiens.
"We both got our first opportunity in Montreal and we are both very passionate about the game," Vigneault said. "You know, Montreal was a great time and a great experience. The reason I [won] this award is because of the experience I learned in Montreal."
Vigneault made it clear he doesn't think the award should be viewed as an individual one.
"It's not an honour for myself, but the whole organization," Vigneault said. "It means I had a lot of good people working with me.
"It's just using this individual award to say the team is on the right track."
Vigneault heaped praise on his coaching staff, including Rick Bowness, Mike Kelly, Barry Smith and Ian Clark. He said he was allowed to hand pick his staff. He wanted strong personalities. He didn't want coaches who would just be puck pushers.
"I had worked with Rick before, I knew him, and I worked with Mike before, so I knew what he could bring to the table," Vigneault said. "One of the best decisions I made was to keep Barry Smith. And Ian is one of the best goaltender coaches I've seen in a long time.
"They all share their opinion with me and usually we talk it out."
he deserves it...
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|July 8th, 2007, 08:49 AM||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Look, maybe this is a hockey thing, but I found it really out of line that Vigneault was going public all the time ragging on his players in the media and saying things that should have been kept private.
Not only is that poor sportsmanship, but I can't help but see it as counterproductive.
Going on TV blaming the players for not following his system or doing their jobs to me is tantamount to a closer who just blew a save publicly blaming his team for not giving him run support: it might be true, but it is just not gentlemanly to make it public. It plays even worse in the room with your teammates.
Who wants to play for a bully like Vigneault? Especially one who isn't interested in taking responsibility for his part in the Canucks' failures last season? He is the one who's supposed to be in charge, after all.
Dimmi: tu lo sai cosa c'č in fondo alla strada maestra? La mediocritā.
[Do you know what lies at the bottom of the mainstream? Mediocrity.]
Luchino Visconti and Nicola Badalucco, Morte a Venezia
Last edited by Yank in exile; July 8th, 2007 at 09:11 AM.
|July 8th, 2007, 09:10 AM||#3|
Join Date: Nov 2005
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I am not a big fan of his. I don't like his style of coaching at all. The canucks need way more offence.