Reacting to Canucks coaching changes and Ian Cole hitting free agency: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
9 days ago
On yesterday’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal discussed some news from the Canucks regarding a promotion in the coaching staff and Ian Cole reportedly set to hit free agency.
Vancouver announced earlier today that Yogi Švejkovský has been promoted to assistant coach of the Canucks after spending two years as the team’s skills coach. The Sedins are set to have an expanded role within the coaching staff as well. 
“I like this promotion for Yogi and from the Canucks’ perspective,” said Harm. “He was an assistant coach for eight years with the Vancouver Giants before hopping around the Lower Mainland and then joined Abbotsford, now starting with the main team here in Vancouver. He’s exceptionally regarded on the skills side. His understanding and knowledge of the technical side of the game are legitimately mind-blowing. Little things like body positioning, winning battles, wall work, recovering pucks, net front, and of course, possession skills. I remember watching a ton of tape on Carson Soucy when he was in Seattle. My main takeaway was that he needed to level up his puck skills by 10-15% to be able to actually thrive in a top-four role. He did a ton of work with Yogi, and throughout this entire season, we were gushing about how much better Soucy looked moving the puck. A lot of that is because of Yogi.”
“I have a lot of confidence that he’s going to excel in this role,” Harm continued. “Could there be a bit of a learning curve in the sense of promoting from skills coach to assistant coach? Maybe, but he’s got such a strong knowledge and understanding of the game. The big thing for me is, with Rick Tocchet or Adam Foote, for example, they don’t have to worry too much about their words not carrying weight because their NHL resume speaks for itself. The first thing you ask when you have an assistant who didn’t have the most illustrious NHL track record as a player is, are they going to command respect from the players? The experience Yogi has working with these players, the relationships he’s built, and how much he’s helped them improve on the skill side; everyone knows how much of a genius he is on the technical things. He’s going to already get that respect and buy-in, which is massive for the transition from skills coach to assistant coach.”
The guys were joined by RinkWide’s Jeff Paterson for his thoughts on the news.
“I’m delighted for Yogi that he gets an opportunity, but in the same breath, I wonder if it’s a missed opportunity,” JPat said. “There are so many quality head-coaching candidates that were out of work, and it might’ve been an opportunity to go outside the organization and bring in someone with fresh views and broad experience. Maybe Yogi turns out to be the right man for the job, but I’m curious how wide a search they conducted. I’m always leery when they have an internal candidate. This isn’t on Yogi, but he was here and on the ice every day, Daniel and Henrik were there; these were voices who had a seat at the table. How come none of them could figure out the power play in the second half and down the stretch? Now you’re going to turn to one or all of them and think they’re the answers for this power play? It’s a great day for Yogi getting a promotion, but I do wonder if it was a missed opportunity to find a power-play specialist. We’ll see how it all works out.”
JPat gave his take on the reports that defenseman Ian Cole will test free agency as the Canucks look to move on. Cole was apparently injured in Game 2 of Vancouver’s second-round playoff matchup against the Oilers, which would help explain the drop in his performance after a strong first round vs. Nashville.
“I’m not surprised, he’ll be 36 next February; he had a nice season and played a role for the Canucks,” he stated. “I still thought they could’ve managed his workload more down the stretch. He was really good in the Nashville series, and I don’t want what happened to him in Edmonton to overshadow that. The Canucks’ penalty kill gave up two goals against the Predators; Ian Cole logged six more shorthanded minutes than anyone else. That’s a significant amount, and he was an absolute rock. Then he gets hurt in Game 2 against the Oilers, and his play dropped, there’s no question. Poor decisions, unable to clear pucks, bad bounces. From one series to the other, a noticeable difference. The deeper they went in the playoffs, the tougher it was going to be for a player at that age. It’s a young man’s league and getting faster by the day. If they’re going to bring Myers back, he’s going on 35, and you have to be wary of having too many veterans in this league. They can’t bring them all back, we know that, so I’m not surprised to hear it.”
You can watch the full replay of the show below:

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