Is this the next coach of the Manitoba Moose? (photo credit: PIERRE OBENDRAUF, THE GAZETTE)
The Vancouver Canucks were forced to watch Scott Arniel leave their organization, as the former Manitoba Moose head coach has taken the role of bench boss in Columbus. The Moose continue their recent history of losing head coaches to join the ranks of the NHL.
By all accounts, Scott Arniel is an excellent head coach, and was due for an NHL head coaching position sooner rather than later. So what were the Canucks going to do to keep him? Frankly nothing. The Canucks are not about to let go of Alain Vigneault to give the job to Arniel. Giving Arniel an assistant coaching job would be a bit of a step back for him.
So who fills the role now?
Bob McKenzie suggested this morning on TEAM 1040 AM that Kirk Muller would be an excellent and likely candidate. Muller and Mike Gillis are known to have a good relationship, and Muller looks ready to take on a head coaching job. I would argue that, if Muller becomes the next Moose head coach, he would then be the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
In the meantime, the Canucks still have to sort out their own coaching situation. I’ve previously said that the assistant coaches are not pulling their weight and need to be changed. I would have liked Arniel to have taken one of the roles, but that’s obviously not going to happen.
One other plan is that either Ryan Walter or Rick Bowness takes the head coaching job in Manitoba, making the way for a new coach or two to work with Vigneault here in Vancouver.
There are many options available to the Canucks. However, they need to address their needs quickly. They need to have their coaching situation sorted before the draft, so that their new players know who their leader will be. I personally like the idea of Muller coming on board, then taking over for Vigneault in the long term. I like Vigneault, but sooner or later, Alain’s time will come to an end and the Canucks better have a viable option at the ready. It seems Kirk Muller would be a great option.