With the 2019 Women’s World Championship on the horizon in Espoo, Finland, Hockey Canada became active on Thursday, getting set for the men’s world championship in Slovakia in May.
In the later hours of Thursday evening, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported that Team Canada was getting closer to naming its head coach for the IIHF World Championship. Dreger would then add to this in noting that Alain Vigneault was believed to be a top candidate for the position.
On Friday morning, Darren Dreger would confirm that Alain Vigneault will be head coach for the international tournament, meanwhile, noting that expectations are that Hockey Canada will announce its full World Championship coaching staff early next week. Dreger would then close in saying that assistant coaches are to be determined.
According to Josh Wegman of TheScore.com, Jason Botterill, Ron Francis and Ron Hextall have already been tasked with selecting the team’s roster.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic Toronto was next to jump in with further details, mentioning that Vigneault has one year remaining on his contract paying him $4.1 million with the New York Rangers.
Vigneault has been out of a job since the Rangers fell out of the playoffs two years ago, the last of the five seasons he spent behind the bench as coach of the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Prior to his tenure with the New York Rangers in the Big Apple, Vigneault spent time as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 2006-2013. This time for the team was known as the club’s most successful era in the National Hockey League.
In taking a look at Vigneault’s accomplishments, the 57-year-old native of Quebec City, Quebec has won five straight division titles and received the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year while with Vancouver in 2006-07.
Vigneault, who coached the Montreal Canadiens from 1997-2001, also brought the Canucks to within one game of winning the Stanley Cup Championship in 2011.
The two-week long tournament is set to get going on Friday May 10th, meanwhile, it will come to a conclusion on Sunday May 26th in Bratislava, Slovakia.
It is entirely possible that Alain Vigneault could be handed a power-loaded roster for the international competition, potentially stacked with some of Canada’s brightest stars including Connor McDavid, Bo Horvat and Drew Doughty.
Others who could be involved include Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers, Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks and Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers. All could be taking part while missing time in the NHL playoffs.
This all in mind, Alain Vigneault could very well find himself with an NHL coaching gig at the start of next season while he could very well be up for discussions with a number of clubs over the course of the summer.
At this time, the former NHL’er remains a free agent on the league’s coaching market, however, it goes without saying that the veteran bench coach is more than qualified and well within range of landing a new coaching gig for the upcoming season.
Until the men’s World Championship kicks off in Bratislava, Slovakia on the 10th of May, the women’s World Championship gets underway on Thursday April 4th in Espoo, Finland and can be seen across TSN while it can be streamed on TSN GO.