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5 Canucks Head Coach Candidates

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Canucks’ Head Coach Travis Green is on the hot seatHere are five candidates for the position.

Things have not started off on the right foot for the Vancouver Canucks this season. Currently sitting with a record of 5-9-2, fans haven’t witnessed a start this rocky since the Mark Messier era.

With the way things are going at the moment, one thing is certain – something will have to give. It’s unclear at this point if a change will occur in the front office or on the bench. Speculation from fans and Vancouver media points towards Travis Green being the first man on the chopping block.

Keeping this in mind, I have put together a list of potential replacements. In no particular order, here they are:

5. Claude Julien

If the Canucks management team wants to bring in a well-established coach then Claude Julien may just be the guy. He has coached in the NHL for nearly 20 years and has a Stanley Cup ring on his resume thanks to the Boston Bruins’ victory of the Canucks in 2011. He shares this accolade with current Canucks GM Jim Benning. Their relationship could work in Julien’s favor if Benning decides to oust Green.

Additionally, he also has experience coaching younger, rebuilding teams. This was shown during his most recent gig as the bench boss of the Montreal Canadians. This could work in his best interest if the team continues to struggle and maintains its status as one of the worst teams in the league.

Julien will certainly be on management’s radar if they start a new hiring process.

4. Brad Shaw

The easiest and maybe the most obvious option is Brad Shaw. Shaw is currently employed as Green’s associate coach. If management decides to drop Green abruptly, Shaw will likely come in as an interim head coach until a full-time replacement is chosen.

He stepped into an interim head coaching position briefly, during the 2005-06 season with New York Islanders. He has spent the majority of his coaching career as an assistant, but maybe this will be the chance that Brad Shaw needs to prove that he can right the ship and bring change to the locker room.

3. Bruce Boudreau

Bruce Boudreau is another one of these candidates that has a lot of NHL head coaching experience. He has 14 years of total experience coaching the Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals, and the Anaheim Ducks. Although he has yet to win a Stanley Cup, he has a Jack Adams Award to his name and has amassed an impressive NHL record (567-302-115) thus far.

Fans have been clamoring for the Canucks to find a coach with prior NHL experience. Boudreau certainly checks that box.

2. Rick Tocchet

The Canucks have a pair of elite stars in Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson. Rick Tocchet brings the best out of star his star players, meaning that this could be a match made in heaven. Additionally, he has had Stanley Cup success as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Now… before I get ahead of myself. Tocchet does not have the resume of some of the other coaches on this list, it’s true. He doesn’t have a Stanley Cup or a Jack Adams Award. I mean, he only has 6 total playoff games accredited to him in 6 total seasons as an NHL head coach. In addition to this, one of Vancouver’s newest defencemen, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, experienced the worst run of his career playing under Tocchet with the Arizona Coyotes.

Maybe this wouldn’t be the best fit, but it is an option at the moment.

1. John Torterella

I know what you’re thinking – we’ve seen this before. And it’s true, John Tortorella didn’t work out during his single-season as the Canucks bench-boss. However, it might be relevant to take into consideration that the Canucks have exactly zero of the players left from that 2013-14 squad that he led. That means that they’re a completely different team with a different roster.

Torts has a coaching style that benefits defensive players and forces the team to work hard. Both of these things are undeniably missing from the team at the moment.

Do you think Torts could be a missing piece in this disheartening Canucks puzzle?

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Hockey Writer from Northern British Columbia.