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What We Know So Far - Behind the Bench Watch: April 2017 Edition

Vancouver Canucks v Winnipeg Jets
Even the Shouting is Over
Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Star Date: 2017.04.13

Here’s what we know about who won’t be coaching the Canucks next season:

Ken Hitchcock: Strike him off your list, if you haven’t already. The Stars have aligned in Dallas for their former Cup-winning coach to take the helm (and the timbits) and refocus his message that was lost in the Dallas locker room in 2002. Starry details here.

Gerard Gallant: Some here at NM’s couch coach corner were suggesting we bring in Gerard. These were also the same people who play Uber on the side. But, no, the new glitzy sequined Vegas Swollen Sights have made their bet on Gerard. To hockey history buffs, Gallant will be the first coach in the Vegas Loss Night’s soon to be horrid history. Full book here.

Iron Mike: If the Stars are willing to make retro reunion coaching a thing for for next season, why not us? There’s the little fake fact that Dallas won a Cup with Hitch, whereas Iron Mike and his bestest player eva, Mess, drove the Canucks into some of the worst seasons ever - but that was in a previous century. However, Keenan has already signed on to coach a KHL team in China. So, that’s something to cheer about!

Where’s Willie?

He’s talking to Florida. And also rumoured to be getting tacos in Carolina. More fake news and real innuendo as it happens.

Here’s Willie’s Classy Farewell Presser: (Kudos to Willie for taking the time to say goodbye. He’s a real good guy who took one for the team)

Desjardins even gave kudos to the media, but his voice started to crack when he returned to a conversation he had with Alexandre Burrows after the veteran forward was traded at the end of February.

"When he was going to leave, he goes: ‘I was just really disappointed that I couldn’t win a Cup in this market. I felt I let the market down,"’ said Desjardins, his eyes starting to water. "And that’s what I think. It’s the same thing.

"(Burrows) gave everything he had … I did the same."

Ok, now I feel really horrible. It was unmitigated Ritual Coachicide.

The Top Canucks Coach Candidates:

Travis Green:

He’s like Willie 2.0, but younger and faster. He’s done a great job with the Comets and has zero NHL coaching experience which is important or not important - I forget which is more important where. Rumour has it that the Canucks have been talking to Dave Lowry, the Victoria Royals coach. Speculation is the Lowry could be an assistant to Green, or take over in Utica for Green. Or become the Nucks next coach and I totally didn’t see that coming. Victoria Sports News link.

Marc Crawford:

Now this is a high lonesome retro voice I can get behind (but not in front of - ouch, my ears!) Crow managed to bring us the exciting Pineapple West Coast Express and helped mentor the Sedins into NHL superstars. He could help mentor the Sedins out of the NHL. Or at least the 1st PP unit. Full Circle and Kumbaya. Trev likes Crow too - hope he would after how much he had to eat in the past few years. Would Marc want to leave Ottawa and all those federal hockey team perks? And would we want a less perky Marc?

Kevin Dineen:

Stealing staff from former adversaries has worked so well for us in the past - Iron Mike, Mess, JB, so why not poach the Hawk’s assistant coach? He coached the Jagrless Cats to the playoffs from 2011-2013. Never won a round, but still. Has over a thousand NHL games - within a considerable margin of exaggeration. Kevin has been studying under one of the best, so we could discover that Toews/Kane magic is purely the result of coaching. Or not.

Michel Therrien:

He checks all the winning coach boxes - in both official languages. With 469-340-132 career numbers, he knows how to win. He also knows how to court controversy and that can’t be over looked in our molehill-to-mountain hockey market. However, if he did become the Nucks new coach, pretty much guarantees we never see Jordan Subban on the blueline here.

Darryl Sutter:

11th most winningest NHL coaching record. With another (former) arch-rival. Knows how to score upset Cup victories - question is, does he have another 2012 run in him for 2018-19? He’s a stern dark horse candidate, but while Vancouver is closer to his farm than LA, not sure Daryl wants to coach a hybrid farm/NHL team at its furthest apogee from playoff success.

Speculation for the Rest of Us

That’s it. No, really. Not really. There’s Lindy Ruff, Andy Murray (tennis anyone?), John Stevens, Ron Wilson and Paul MacLean. And more.

Maybe Trev and Jim go fully outside the box and just let the players coach themselves - the Sedins would be ok with that since we all know the best way to learn is by doing. Or even better, as Westy has advocated since taking ownership of the internet, just let the internet behind the bench. Tweet! Tweet! Score!

Personally, I’d like to see NM’s own Neil B at least get an assistant position, if not the head coach gig. He’s good with kids - just ask his. We’d finally have a reasoned voice behind the whiteboard and free season tickets for everyone here!!!

Stay tuned for the coaching cure to all our ailments.