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Greatest Canucks coach of all time?

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And by all-time I don't mean like, all of eternity, or human history or anything. I'm just sayin since the Canucks have been in the NHL.


Here's a list to choose from:




I'm going to include them all in the poll, but here is a quick summary of some of them and their accomplishments in Vancouver:


Starting with the bench boss that gets my vote for best all-time,


Alain Vigneault



Tenure: 2006-2007 season to 2012-2013 season


Our coach for the Cup run in 2011, Vigneault had a defense-first philosophy. He coached the Sedins for a large part of their career, and I believe it had a heavy influence over how they played the game. Prior to coaching the Canucks, he was the coach of their farm team, the Manitoba Moose. The Canucks only missed the playoffs once in 7 seasons with Alain Vigneault coaching, and they won the Northwest Division title 6 times including 5 times in a row from 2008-2009 to 2012-2013. They also won the President's trophy in 2011 but failed to secure the Canucks' first Stanley Cup. Following the Cup Final, the next two years showed regular season success, but the Canucks were eliminated in 5 games vs LA in 2012 and then in 4 games by the Sharks in the lockout shortened 2012-2013 season. It is likely largely due to these playoff failures that Vigneault was fired.


And in no particular order other than chronological:


(Honorable mention to Harry Neale, Roger Neilson, Orland Kurtenbach, who I have heard about but never seen in action as I was not born yet - I'll leave the discussion on these guys to someone else. I know Nielson was the towel power guy and Orland Kurtenbach was a famous popcorn tycoon)


(Bonus points to you if you just got that Orville Redenbacher joke)


-Pat Quinn

Highlights include obviously the legendary run of 1994 to the Stanley Cup, but on top of that, Pat Quinn was heavily involved in coaching on the International level for Team Canada. Truly one of the best coaches of his generation, it's just too bad he had to get himself involved with the Maple Laffs. In all seriousness, he and his 1994 team were one of the biggest reasons why I became a hockey-crazed adult, thanks and RIP Pat Quinn.


-Rick Ley

For some reason, my mind seems to have blocked out any memory of this guy? Apparently he once coached a team called the "Muskogan Lumberjacks"?


-Tom Renney

He had a cup of coffee in Vancouver in 1996-1997 and was fired 19 games into the 1997-1998 season to be replaced by Iron Mike Keenan. Don't remember him much either :D


-Mike Keenan

Well wasn't that a WOW moment when the coach of the 1994 Rangers (who stole our precious cup) was hired in Van. A bit of a hothead, and all about that tough love, apparently he didn't get along with people or something - this is an interesting read on the "controversy" from the scholarly website known as Wikipedia:



Despite Keenan's coaching record, his inability to maintain working relationships with players and team organizations has resulted in a lack of long term coaching positions.

His coaching resume includes abrupt terminations or resignations from coaching or general manager positions, sometimes at bafflingly inopportune, or peak, moments of his career.


Keenan was dismissed from the Philadelphia Flyers a year after leading them to the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals. After taking the Chicago Blackhawks to the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals, Keenan was forced to focus solely on his GM duties when longtime Blackhawk player and assistant coach, Darryl Sutter, was being courted by other teams to be their head coach. Owner Bill Wirtz did not want to lose Sutter, especially since Keenan had stated, in July, 1992, that he wished to focus solely on his duties as general manager after the 92–93 season. Keenan lost a power struggle with Senior V.P. Bob Pulford after the 1992–93 season, resigned his position, and was soon hired by the New York Rangers. Keenan managed to coach the Rangers to the Stanley Cup in his first and only year as head coach, but was unable to coexist long enough with general manager Neil Smith and resigned weeks later, citing a violation of his contract by the Rangers.


Stops in St. Louis and Vancouver saw conflict with team stars; both Brett Hull and Trevor Linden had major personality conflicts with Keenan. In one instance while the Blues were playing the Buffalo Sabres at The Aud, Dale Hawerchuk's dying grandmother, who lived in nearby Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, came to see him play one last time while she was alive. Keenan deliberately benched Hawerchuk for the game, and an unhappy captain Brett Hull screamed at Keenan, who then responded by stripping Hull's captaincy.


In September 2006, Keenan again attracted headlines when he abruptly resigned as general manager of the Florida Panthers. Keenan's resignation came shortly after he dealt Florida Panthers' franchise goaltender Roberto Luongo along with defenceman Lukas Krajicek and Florida's 2006 sixth-round draft pick (Sergei Shirokov) to the Vancouver Canucks for struggling forward Todd Bertuzzi, goaltender Alex Auld, and defenceman Bryan Allen. It was speculated that Keenan had lost a power struggle with head coach and longtime friend, Jacques Martin, over personnel decisions. Martin succeeded him as general manager upon his resignation.


Keenan was also notorious for pulling or switching his goaltenders, sometimes multiple times in a period. In game 4 of the first round of the 1987 playoffs, Keenan pulled goaltenders, Ron Hextall and Glenn Resch, a total of five times in a single game (the fifth time to gain a man-advantage in the last minute of play).


Goaltender Roberto Luongo said the following regarding Keenan's penchant for pulling his goaltenders while a member of the Florida Panthers in 2002:


"Not a big deal. [Keenan] does it so much that we expect it. If he's your coach and you're an NHL goalie on the bench, you have to be ready, just in case."



-Marc Crawford

The man known as "Crow", he was the first coach the Sedins had in the NHL. He was pretty cool. But we didn't have much (or any, really) post-season success with him. Oh yeah, and he won the Cup with Colorado in 1996 after the Nordiques were relocated and became the Avalanche.



The guy was a sideshow attraction and he tried to fight Calgary's coach and got suspended. The season he coached for us was a disaster and he played Lack instead of Luongo in the outdoor game, causing Luongo to pack his bags and head back to Florida. He's got rage issues and he's been hilarious with his abusing reporters gimmick and his snarky attitude. Despite his horrible performance in Vancouver, he had some good runs with Tampa, NY and most recently (and currently) is working in Columbus. 10/10 would hire again!


-Willie Desjardins


He was real good


-Travis Green

The current head coach and leader of the young bucks of today's Canuck line-up, Green had been thought of as a possible transitional coach by some, but it seems that he is sticking around at least for this season and will be given a chance to mold our young stars into the first Stanley Cup Champions this year (or maybe next who knows). He has a fiery temper at times which is hilarious to watch, but isn't totally insane like Tortorella. Of course he is quite GREEN as far as NHL coaching experience goes, which will leave him behind in the voting for best Canucks coach of all time, but if (or when?) he manages to coach us to our first championship, he'd probably get a big boost in votes if (when) that day comes!




Thanks for reading and thanks for voting, thought we could have a good old nostalgic coach thread here in our 50th season - take it easy and believe in blue and we are all Canucks (except Mark Messier he can fork off)


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I remember a thread like this like 10 games into the 2013/14 season. We were off to a great start and everyone was saying that Tortorella was the best ever. I remember someone saying "AV is the winningest coach in franchise history, and Tortorella is better than him so therefore Torts is the best ever."

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4 hours ago, The Game said:

I remember a thread like this like 10 games into the 2013/14 season. We were off to a great start and everyone was saying that Tortorella was the best ever. I remember someone saying "AV is the winningest coach in franchise history, and Tortorella is better than him so therefore Torts is the best ever."

Well Torts DID win not one but two Jack Adams trophies.  Just not with the Canucks.

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8 hours ago, HerrDrFunk said:

WTF, this is actually an earnest thread asking for opinions backed up by facts and stats. Are you okay @BrockBoester?

I figured I'd change it up a bit ;)


10 hours ago, The Game said:

I remember a thread like this like 10 games into the 2013/14 season. We were off to a great start and everyone was saying that Tortorella was the best ever. I remember someone saying "AV is the winningest coach in franchise history, and Tortorella is better than him so therefore Torts is the best ever."

Tortorella has had success as a coach, just not with us, lol


6 hours ago, DalesArmy said:

The coach that brings us Lord Stanley's Cup!



6 hours ago, janisahockeynut said:

This is should not even going to be close! Loved Pat






5 hours ago, -AJ- said:

I have Quinn followed very closely by Vigneault.

Yeah unsurprisingly lots of love for Patty Quinn - kind of a two horse race so far!


Thanks guys and keep voting!


(Also lol @ the vote for Tortorella)

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If we're talking about wins with Canucks..


AV - 313

Crawford - 246

Quinn - 138


Vigneault won more than twice as many games than Quinn for the Canucks. Quinn has more wins overall but they're nearly tied in terms of career wins and AV is still racking them up.


Crawford was heavily underrated. He won 100 games more than Quinn for the Canucks. He was able to make a mediocre squad into one of the most exciting teams in the early 2000s. If Cloutier didn't choke in the playoffs, I believe we would have made the SC Finals at least once.


If we're talking about overall wins..


Quinn - 684

AV - 648

Crawford - 556


If we're talking about impact on the fan base..






If we're talking for me personally..






You can't go wrong with any of these 3 legendary coaches.

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