Once again, an NHL General Manager has taken the easy way out. The Vancouver Cancuks have fired head coach Alain Vigneault, as well as assistants Rick Bowness and Newell Brown. While the move does not come as a complete shock, the fact that Gillis is still around to do the firing is somewhat surprising.
Vigneault didn’t mess up the Roberto Luongo fiasco for almost a full calendar year, Gillis did.
Vigneault didn’t put the Canucks in a cap situation that demands a lot of lineup shuffling before next season, Gillis did.
Gillis took the chicken way out. The Canucks are going to look vastly different next season, and probably will not be for the better. According to Capgeek.com, the Canucks are already at the salary cap for next year with only 17 players counting in that total. Vigneault didn’t handcuff the entire organization with silly contracts to the likes of David Booth, Keith Ballard and Alex Edler. The Canucks have 12 players signed to contracts of $4M or more heading into next season. The salary cap is $64.3. It doesn’t take Stephen Hawking to realize there is a problem in VanCity.
The Canucks are likely going to have to use both of their buyouts this summer or trade contracts for pittances. They are up the creek and every other team in the league knows it.
Alain Vigneault didn’t build the circus, he was merely the ringmaster doing the best he could with the acts that he was given. Whether or not he should have paid the price with his job is debatable, I could argue either way. But Gillis still having his while Vigneault is now looking for work (although he probably won’t be unemployed for long) is laughable.