NHL coaches: Wait until the first domino falls
Their general manager is on more solid footing than the coach, ownership is miffed at another spring in which Stanley Cup expectations weren’t met and there’s expected to be a shake-up of some sort in the hockey operations department — whether it involves the bench boss or his assistants.
This is the situation in San Jose. It parallels the uncertainty in Vancouver.
Depending on how the coaching dominoes fall, it’s not a stretch to suggest that Todd McLellan and Alain Vigneault wouldn’t last a day on the open market if they’re not retained by their respective clubs.
The Canucks would covet the offensive-minded McLellan as would the Calgary Flames, just as much as the Montreal Canadiens would welcome Vigneault back for a second crack with the storied NHL franchise.
Doug Wilson received a vote of confidence from ownership Wednesday and said all the right things at the end of the season about his level of admiration for McLellan. But the Sharks GM didn’t extend a vote of confidence to his coach.
Mike Gillis said he has confidence in Vigneault, but also pointed out some of the team’s shortcomings What happens here ultimately depends on how ownership views the shortfall in performance and the loss of lucrative postseason profits. Neither Gillis nor Vigneault have received votes of confidence yet, but you expect the architect to return. And that’s where it gets interesting.