It’s plausible that Alain Vigneault burnt some bridges or at least left some hard feelings behind during his times in Vancouver, yet at least one Canucks player seems to be on his side. Kevin Bieksa told the Canadian Press that he’s pulling for the ex-Canucks coach as he sits two wins from a Stanley Cup Final appearance with the New York Rangers.
“For Alain, I’m happy for him that he got back there so quickly,” Bieksa said. “He’s a good coach and he’s obviously been there before and he took us there. We had a lot of really good years together. Absolutely we’re cheering for him and hope they do well.”
“We” could mean any number of Canucks, as Jason Garrison said, “If anything, we’re jealous.”
(Bieksa denied his own feelings of jealousy, if nothing else.)
Whatever the case may be, it does at least imply yet another contrast with Rangers-turned-Canucks coach John Tortorella.* From Brad Richards to Brandon Dubinsky, it seemed as if Torts experienced strained relationships with a notable number of players in New York.
Sometimes that’s just about people going on the record to slam or praise someone while that doesn’t represent the entire locker room, but if nothing else, it sounds like Bieksa still has plenty of respect for his former coach.
* – Whether it makes you cringe or not, the fact that they basically traded jobs last season means they’ll probably be compared for years. Even if Tortorella might not have the same chance to prove his side of the argument.