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10 Fictional Coaches Who Could Lead The Canucks To A Stanley Cup


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It’s been a nearly a week since the Canucks told (former) head coach Alain Vigneault that he should “get to steppin”, and I’m still incredibly excited the team decided to go in another direction.

But now that we are well past the “celebratory milkshake drinking” period, all the talk in this town has been focused on two things:

1. Who will replace him?

2. What a disaster a Blackhawks/Bruins Stanley Cup final would be.

I might be the only one talking about that second one, but with Chicago forcing game 7 against Detroit and Boston advancing to the Eastern Conference finals, it very well could happen. A disaster like that would surely go down in history as “The Day Vancouver Stopped Believing in Justice”.

So with the majority of reports already writing about which coaches have a legitimate chance landing the Canucks job (Check out Thomas Drance breaking it down HERE at Canucks Army), I decided to retreat into the wonderful world of fiction to find the right bench boss for Vancouver.

The criteria are simple: they must have coached something or someone to victory, they must be fictional and they must be awesome. These are the rules. Also, only one Gene Hackman coaching role will be eligible.

So let’s all waste a little bit of our day fantasizing what it would be like to have the following people calling the shots for the Canucks:

1. Coach Eric Taylor (TV’s “Friday Night Lights”)


Who is he? Dillon, Texas high school football coach who molds young boys into men (not in a weird way). Through tough love, compassion and the occasional “throwing a tantrum-fueled backup QB in the shower to teach him a lesson”, became one of the best examples of coaching in television history.

Biggest achievement: See that hair? He has never had even one strand out of place.

Why would he win? He could just recite this same speech word for word every game and the players would still respond to it. Preseason, Superskills, it doesn’t matter when he would drop this speech, the Canucks would be physically unable to lose.

2. Jimmy Dugan (“A League of Their Own”)


Who is he? Coached women’s baseball during World War II, and

Biggest achievement: Establishing the rule that there is to be absolutely NO crying in baseball. This would carry over to hockey, if it wasn’t already common knowledge that crying is a 4 minute double minor penalty.

Why would he win? So strong in his belief that the Canucks could win, this is how he would deal with negativity and naysayers. Pretty damn inspiring if you ask me.

3. Gordon Bombay (“The Mighty Ducks”)


Who is he? Former child hockey prodigy who choked once and decided to quit and become a lawyer/drunk driver. Because of the latter, had to coach the worst hockey team in the league (instead of going to prison) and managed to successfully seduce one of the kids’ moms. Oh, and the team won the championship too.

Biggest achievement: Getting that mom to see past the potential vehicular manslaughter. That takes finesse.

Why would he win? Clearly he knows how to win championships in the NHL…

4. Hayden Fox (TV’s “Coach”)


Who is he? Leader of the Minnesota Screaming Eagles NCAA football team, the Orlando Breakers NFL team and bears a striking resemblance to walking “awesome factory” Craig T. Nelson (the T stands for “Coach”).

Biggest achievement: Being the only man with the distinction of being known as “Coach” from “TV’s Coach”. The same can’t be said about anyone on this list. Not even Eric Taylor.

Why would he win? They made a TV show called “Coach”, and he was the best man for the job. That’s good enough for me. On another note, check out Alain Vigneault’s new TV series airing this fall: “Canucks Got Talent… Which I Refuse to Play”

5. Apollo Creed (“Rocky III”)


Who is he? Former heavyweight champion of the world who thought it would be a good idea to give an unknown 5’4 Italian guy a shot at his belt…twice. After Mr. T murdered Rocky Balboa’s current coach in Rocky III, Apollo stepped in and helped Rocky avenge the death of his manager, the loss of his title and ridiculous claims that montages were lame.

Biggest achievement: Either fitting his tree trunk legs into those short shorts or having the GREATEST ENTRANCE IN MOVIE HISTORY!

Why would he win? Let’s face it, if not for Apollo’s training, Mr. T would’ve killed Rocky, Adrian, Paulie and that stupid robot. Apollo gets results and that is what Vancouver needs! Just picture him celebrating a Stanley Cup win with a nice frolic in English Bay:


6. Jimmy McGinty (“The Replacements”)


Who is he? Not even gonna play the “fictional” card here, he is Gene friggin’ Hackman and that is all you need to know.

Biggest achievement: Wearing the hell out of that hat.

Why would he win? Benched his prima donna star quarterback because he didn’t have the fire and passion Keanu Reeves did. Yes, he was able to recognize something other than “monotonous malaise” from Keanu, so clearly he is able to look deep (DEEP) within a player and find some potential.

7. Danny O’Shea (“Little Giants”)


Who is he? Wimpy little brother of hometown football hero (who may or may not be Al Bundy in witness protection).

Biggest achievement: Beat his brother in a bike race down Cherry Hill once. Oh, also raised a pre-teen daughter who turned into a gridiron war machine.

Why would he win? Well even if he doesn’t have the best “pump up” speeches, with him we could always count on the Canucks going at least 1-81 during the regular season. Maybe not the best Stanley Cup contender…

8. Bud Kilmer (“Varsity Blues”)


Who is he? Texas high school football coach (like Eric Taylor) who yells and screams and bullies and manipulates his players as he rules over the team with an iron, leathery fist (… not like Eric Taylor).

Biggest achievement: Winner of 22 divisions titles as well as the prestigious “Man who most resembles a snake” award.

Why would he win? Because he is a borderline psychopath who doesn’t care about his players at all and will sacrifice their health and well-being if it means winning another championship. If Mike Keenan can win a Stanley Cup, so can Bud Kilmer!

9. Chester Lee (“Ladybugs”)


Who is he? Schlub who decides to coach his boss’ daughter’s soccer team because working hard to climb the corporate ladder is for chumps.

Biggest achievement: Got respect once.

Why would he win? Willing to think radically and outside the box. Coaching girls soccer team? Boom! Step-son in drag. This proves he could even convince Alex Edler to dress up as a reliable defenseman.

10. Eddie Franklin (“Eddie”)


Who is she? Loudmouth know-it-all fan who became coach of the New York Knicks after winning a contest.

Biggest achievement: Gave hope to sports fans everywhere that maybe, someday a contest like that will really exist and we’ll FINALLY get to show how awesome we’d be at running a pro sports team.

Why would she win? I… honestly don’t have an answer for that, I just really hope Mike Gillis watches this movie before making any rash decisions like, I dunno… NOT hiring a fan to coach the Canucks.

I think I would be pretty okay at it.



So there you have it. Although technically none of the people featured above are viable options (due to their crippling handicap of not existing) that shouldn’t reflect on their ability to lead the Canucks to glory. Besides, they are all way more qualified than one rumoured applicant named “Alan Vinny-O” who claims to be from New Jersey.


You can follow j.Bowman on twitter (@jBowmancouver). In case you were wondering why Mr. Miyagi from “The Karate Kid” didn’t make the cut, it’s because I believe his real goal was getting his car waxed.


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I would personally love to have either Jackie Moon (Semi-Pro) or Phil Weston (Kicking & Screaming) as our coach.

Jackie Moon was a great entertainer and owner, his coaching skills were lacking but Ed Monix helped him out and together they won the Flint Michigan Megabowl.

Phil Weston started off as just a pharmacist and his team sucked when he started, but then came Mike Ditka and helped Phil lead his sons soccer team to victory. Although, there were some tough times along the way with Phil's coffee addiction and what not.

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