Report: Canucks targeting Sergei Gonchar for a spot on overhauled coaching staff
By Mike Gould8 months ago
We’ve heard a lot of late about Rick Tocchet as a leading candidate to potentially replace Bruce Boudreau as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks at some point down the line.
According to Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman, Tocchet could be joined in Vancouver by one of the men who replaced him as a Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach five years ago: Sergei Gonchar.
Friedman mentioned Gonchar as a contender to join the Canucks’ coaching staff on Monday’s episode of the 32 Thoughts podcast with Jeff Marek and reiterated similar sentiments in conversation with Don Taylor and Rick Dhaliwal later in the day on Donnie & Dhali – The Team.
“It might be at least a week but I think it’s going to be the next week to two weeks, I do think you’re going to see the coaching change, I do think it’s going to be Tocchet,” Friedman said on Donnie & Dhali. “One of the things I think the Canucks wanted, guys, is I don’t think they wanted to fire the coach on the road. Marek made a really good point about that today, the Gerard Gallant situation in Florida, with the pictures of him waiting for the cab, that the Canucks and other teams are wary of that.
“I think the other thing too, guys, is I think they’re trying to figure out who might be coming with him or what it’s all going to look like,” Friedman continued. “I’ve heard Sergei Gonchar is on their radar and I just wonder if they’re waiting to get all of this done.”
Gonchar, 48, has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for Russia’s national hockey team. Before that, he spent five years (2015–16 to 2019–20) with the Pittsburgh Penguins, first as a development coach for the team’s defencemen before being promoted to an assistant coaching position in 2017 when Tocchet departed to take over as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes.
Before embarking upon a coaching career, Gonchar was a star NHL defenceman who spent the majority of his career with the Washington Capitals. The 6’2″, 210-pound lefty scored 220 goals and 811 points in 1,301 career games with Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Dallas, and Montreal, winning the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009.
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