Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks - Game One

Canucks coach Vigneault gets contract extension


The Vancouver Canucks have signed head coach Alain Vigneault to a contract extension, the club announced today. (Update: It’s a two-year extension.)

“Alain has established himself as one of the premiere coaches in the National Hockey League,” said Canucks general manager Mike Gillis in a release. “He has demonstrated a commitment to winning that has led to back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies and we are confident his dedication and hard work will continue to yield positive results. Alain has built a foundation of winning with this franchise and I feel he can continue to build on that foundation to achieve our ultimate goal.”

Said Vigneault: “I am pleased to be signing this extension to continue as the head coach of such an outstanding organization. I look forward to taking the next step with this franchise in bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver. I feel fortunate to be able to work with such a dedicated group of management, coaches and players in this great city I love.”

Vigneault had one year remaining on his contract prior to the extension, and after the Canucks won their second straight Presidents’ Trophy but lasted just five games in the playoffs, there was speculation (lots of it by us!) a move could be made behind the bench. But much to the dismay of The Province’s Tony Gallagher, no move was forthcoming.

Vigneault is 287-155-50 with the Canucks and boasts the most wins and highest winning percentage of any coach in franchise history (.634).

Following the 2006-07 season, he was named the NHL’s coach of the year.

Last season, he guided the Canucks to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

He also enjoys a good Kevin Bieksa angry face impression.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.