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Alain Vigneault Discussion - Part 3

View Poll Results: Do you want AV fired?
Yes, get rid of him now. 70 46.36%
Yes, but only if we get knocked out of the 1st/2nd round of the playoffs. 46 30.46%
No. 35 23.18%
Voters: 151. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
02-04-2013, 12:51 PM
  #26
Lonny Bohonos
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Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
That's not true. Off the top of my head I know that Al Arbour did it.

EDIT: Also, there is a huge survivorship bias issue with that stat, even if it were true. Coaches that don't win the Cup usually don't last more than a handful of seasons. Coaches that win the Cup early in their career are much more likely to stay on long term with a team. You're working with a very skewed sample.
On my phone now but this is essentially what i wanted to bring up. Never mind that a team may also fire its coach of its "under performing" and when it starts to play to the level it should play at, its under a new coach whether or not that coach had any significant impact on performance. Heck the act of changing in and of itself may have some impact. Regardless of the individual coaches abilities.

Any study ive been able to find has pretty much shown changing a coach rarely if ever affects a teams performance.

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02-04-2013, 12:51 PM
  #27
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When Joel Quennevile took over from Savard there was an immediate and then longterm improvement.

But that is an example of a much better coach being brought in.

So until someone can show me a clear improvement that is available, I can't imagine anyone in charge in the Canuck organization making a coaching change.

Now, if we have a miserable year, fail again in the first round or miss the playoffs altogether, with no huge injury problems,etc., then a change would probably be made.

But I just don't see any signs of that at this point.

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02-04-2013, 12:53 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
Not true necessarily. Coaching changes don't have an immediate impact, but they can the following season. I think there's also plenty of anecdotal evidence that at a certain point, sometimes a team just needs a new voice.

It is fairly surprising that not a single coach has won a cup if he doesn't win it in the first three years he's with a team.
No idea what you mean by anecdotal evidence.

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02-04-2013, 02:07 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
That's not true. Off the top of my head I know that Al Arbour did it.

EDIT: Also, there is a huge survivorship bias issue with that stat, even if it were true. Coaches that don't win the Cup usually don't last more than a handful of seasons. Coaches that win the Cup early in their career are much more likely to stay on long term with a team. You're working with a very skewed sample.
Ah the era's before manufactured parity.When you could if you wanted to spend money & wheel & deal you could build a team that could dominate ala the islanders & the old oilers.(read take five years to win a cup & go on to dominate the league).
With the salary cap & the shootout where you have 1 winner but no loser there will be no more dynasty teams.

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02-04-2013, 03:43 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
That's not true. Off the top of my head I know that Al Arbour did it.

EDIT: Also, there is a huge survivorship bias issue with that stat, even if it were true. Coaches that don't win the Cup usually don't last more than a handful of seasons. Coaches that win the Cup early in their career are much more likely to stay on long term with a team. You're working with a very skewed sample.
I agree there's a survivorship bias (good term). How long was Arbour with the team before he won his first cup? I'd always read that it hadn't happened in the NHL.

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02-04-2013, 03:51 PM
  #31
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I agree there's a survivorship bias (good term). How long was Arbour with the team before he won his first cup? I'd always read that it hadn't happened in the NHL.
Arbour was in his seventh season with the Isles when he won the Cup.

Just looking through some other names since the eighties, Bowman didn't win the Cup until his fourth season with Detroit, Hitchcock until his fourth season with Dallas, and Glen Sather until his fifth season with the Oilers (and 8th season if you count his WHA years too).

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02-04-2013, 03:59 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
Arbour was in his seventh season with the Isles when he won the Cup.

Just looking through some other names since the eighties, Bowman didn't win the Cup until his fourth season with Detroit, Hitchcock until his fourth season with Dallas, and Glen Sather until his fifth season with the Oilers (and 8th season if you count his WHA years too).
Claude Julien - was in his 4th year with Boston.

Tortorella was in his 4th season with Tampa Bay.

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02-04-2013, 04:09 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
Arbour was in his seventh season with the Isles when he won the Cup.

Just looking through some other names since the eighties, Bowman didn't win the Cup until his fourth season with Detroit, Hitchcock until his fourth season with Dallas, and Glen Sather until his fifth season with the Oilers (and 8th season if you count his WHA years too).
Sather stepped away from coaching for a brief period. He stepped back in after firing Bryan Watson so that counts if you're looking for a coaching shake up.

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02-04-2013, 04:09 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
Arbour was in his seventh season with the Isles when he won the Cup.

Just looking through some other names since the eighties, Bowman didn't win the Cup until his fourth season with Detroit, Hitchcock until his fourth season with Dallas, and Glen Sather until his fifth season with the Oilers (and 8th season if you count his WHA years too).
I could just be mis-remembering what I read. It might have been, "no coach other than Al Arbour has won a cup if he didn't win it in his first 5 seasons". I do agree about the survivorship bias, but I do wonder if there's not at least something to it. At a certain point, haven't the players "learned" everything they're going to "learn" from a coach? Would a new voice give them new tools?

Or perhaps more importantly, I wonder if a coach get stale and fall into patterns after a certain amount of time, something he wouldn't do with new players/a new team. We've all seen under-utilized players go to a new team/system and flourish in a different opportunity. I'm sure coaching plays some role in that.

I don't really know the answers to those questions, and they seem impossible to conclude anything about one way or another. But may

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02-04-2013, 04:40 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
That's not true. Off the top of my head I know that Al Arbour did it.

EDIT: Also, there is a huge survivorship bias issue with that stat, even if it were true. Coaches that don't win the Cup usually don't last more than a handful of seasons. Coaches that win the Cup early in their career are much more likely to stay on long term with a team. You're working with a very skewed sample.
2012 Darryl Sutter (year 1) vs Peter Deboer (year 1)
2011 Claude Julien (year 4) vs Alain Vigneault (year 5)
2010 Joel Quenneville (year 2) vs Peter Laviolette (PHI 1)
2009 Dan Bylsma (year 1) vs Mike Babcock (year 4)
2008 Mike Babcock (year 3) vs Michel Therrien (year 3)
2007 Randy Carlyle (year 2) vs Bryan Murray (year 2)
2006 Peter Laviolette (CAR 2) vs Craig MacTavish (year 5)
2004 John Tortorella (year 4) vs Darryl Sutter (year 2)
2003 Pat Burns (NJD 1) vs Mike Babcock (ANA 1)
2002 Scotty Bowman (year 9) vs Paul Maurice (year 7)
2001 Bob Hartley (year 3) vs Larry Robinson (year 2)
2000 Larry Robinson (year 1) vs Ken Hitchcock (year 5)
1999 Ken Hitchcock (year 4) vs Lindy Ruff (year 2)
1998 Scotty Bowman (year 5) vs Ron Wilson (year 1)
1997 Scotty Bowman (year 4) vs Terry Murray (year 3)
1996 Marc Crawford (year 2) vs Doug MacLean (year 1)
1995 Jacques Lemaire (year 2) vs Scotty Bowman (year 2)
1994 Mike Keenan (NYR 1) vs Pat Quinn (year 4)
1993 Jacques Demers (year 1) vs Barry Melrose (year 1)
1992 Scotty Bowman (year 1 with PIT) vs Mike Keenan (CHI 4)
1991 Bob Johnson (year 1) vs Bob Gainey (year 1)

There are only TWO coaches in the last 21 years who have even made the final after coaching their team for more than 5 years. Five years has recently been the limit.

It's been pretty unlikely for a long-tenured coach to even make it to the final. I've included the finalists to increase the admittedly small sample size.

Yes, of course there is some bias, but you could argue it the other way around. Let's
say that it takes on average 5 years to turn a team around (well according to Burke anyways). You should see some bias towards coaches with 4-6 years of experience making the final. Instead what you see is a bias towards VERY new coaches.

If you really wanted to investigate this, you could compare the playoff position of the team the year previous to the newbie coach's hiring. However, there are so few repeat appearances in the SCF, let alone multiple winners.

And yes you've pointed out Al Arbour a number of times now, but this list only goes back to 1991 and I was leery of even going back that far because of the difference in eras.

What this list does dispel to some extent is the idea that 'if there is no clearly better alternative we should stay with what we have'. If that coach has been there more than 5 years, and historical trends continue, you are absolutely NOT better off keeping the guy.

Now, having said that, there is no way AV is getting fired this season. So all this is really moot until next year, and of course if we win the Cup I couldn't care less about historical precedent.


Last edited by mossey3535: 02-04-2013 at 04:46 PM.
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02-04-2013, 04:50 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proto View Post
I could just be mis-remembering what I read. It might have been, "no coach other than Al Arbour has won a cup if he didn't win it in his first 5 seasons". I do agree about the survivorship bias, but I do wonder if there's not at least something to it. At a certain point, haven't the players "learned" everything they're going to "learn" from a coach? Would a new voice give them new tools?
In order to get anything somewhat meaningful, you really need to see what proportion of coaches with x number of years of experience accomplished various goals (i.e. won the Cup, made the finals, etc.) for every x and see if anything there. And even then, you’re dealing with small samples for the higher number of years typically and so there may not be a lot of significance in the data.

I just don’t buy a lot of the narratives around coaches. I don’t think Vigneault has shown anything to suggest that he’s an elite coach like a few others have, but I also don’t think it’s going to make a difference if the Canucks bring in another guy who isn’t an elite coach either. I don’t think ‘learning’ has a lot to do with how a coach impacts a team, as I’m sure most coaches know the same things and are relaying very similar information.

The two things that are most tangible in terms of coaches’ impact are the lineup choices the coach makes and the systems the coach implements. Vigneault has, in my opinion, shown some misjudgment on the former but not any worse than any other coach, and in terms of the latter I don’t think I really know enough to comment.


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There are only TWO coaches in the last 21 years who have even made the final after coaching their team for more than 5 years. Five years has recently been the limit.
You're still missing the survivorship bias. I’m willing to bet that fewer than 5% of coaches over those 21 seasons had seasons where they were with the same team for more than 5 seasons. If that’s the case, then having 2/42 coaches reach the finals would be about what you’d expect given random chance.

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02-04-2013, 04:51 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
I could just be mis-remembering what I read. It might have been, "no coach other than Al Arbour has won a cup if he didn't win it in his first 5 seasons". I do agree about the survivorship bias, but I do wonder if there's not at least something to it. At a certain point, haven't the players "learned" everything they're going to "learn" from a coach? Would a new voice give them new tools?

Or perhaps more importantly, I wonder if a coach get stale and fall into patterns after a certain amount of time, something he wouldn't do with new players/a new team. We've all seen under-utilized players go to a new team/system and flourish in a different opportunity. I'm sure coaching plays some role in that.

I don't really know the answers to those questions, and they seem impossible to conclude anything about one way or another. But may
I think it has a lot to do with diminishing returns. A new guy can come in and see clearly some of the deficiencies in the system. He will fix those and everyone involved will have a surge in enthusiasm.

However, he probably introduces some of his own deficiencies in the process. Over time those flaws become apparent to everyone. Complacency probably sets in for both players and coach.

I think you're right that there are a lot of factors going on but IMO there is an expiration date on a coach.

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02-04-2013, 04:51 PM
  #38
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Yeah --silly & rash --sorry but for most who would prefer AV gone it's years in the making.
Actually you're wrong. Maybe some of the younger kids on these forums would prefer that. But the people who remember what it was like to have years and years of bad coaches are happy to have AV. A guy who gets us to the playoffs just about every time. I'm sure if we fired AV he would have another job the next day if he wanted to take the first of many offers he would get.

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02-04-2013, 04:57 PM
  #39
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I don’t think Vigneault has shown anything to suggest that he’s an elite coach like a few others have, but I also don’t think it’s going to make a difference if the Canucks bring in another guy who isn’t an elite coach either.
Question for me is: do you try and bring in a guy who has shown to be elite at every other level and has risen through the ranks at a rapid pace? Someone like Jon Cooper who is in Tampa's system? Is that risk worth it? I don't know but if we don't make a dent in the playoffs this year, I think you have to ask that question and seriously consider the answer.

To me, AV was never an elite coach, at any level. IMO you should take that risk in the hopes that you might be picking up the next "generational" coach. By the time guys like that make the NHL, they very rarely become available again.

Cooper is also a BC-native, born in Prince George, so that's another plus... kind of... right?


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02-04-2013, 05:01 PM
  #40
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For the 2011-12 season, the average tenure of NHL coaches was 2.86 years, so survivor bias is probably the biggest factor explaining the "win within 5 years" logic.

Longest serving is Barry Trotz (12 years), followed by Mike Babcock and Randy Carlyle (6 years) then Alain Vigneault (5 years) - all at the start of the season. Carlyle didn't survive the season.

In 2001-02 the average was 2.55 years - lead by Ken Hitchcock (9) and Scottie Bowman (8).

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02-04-2013, 05:04 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
In order to get anything somewhat meaningful, you really need to see what proportion of coaches with x number of years of experience accomplished various goals (i.e. won the Cup, made the finals, etc.) for every x and see if anything there. And even then, youíre dealing with small samples for the higher number of years typically and so there may not be a lot of significance in the data.

I just donít buy a lot of the narratives around coaches. I donít think Vigneault has shown anything to suggest that heís an elite coach like a few others have, but I also donít think itís going to make a difference if the Canucks bring in another guy who isnít an elite coach either. I donít think Ďlearningí has a lot to do with how a coach impacts a team, as Iím sure most coaches know the same things and are relaying very similar information.

The two things that are most tangible in terms of coachesí impact are the lineup choices the coach makes and the systems the coach implements. Vigneault has, in my opinion, shown some misjudgment on the former but not any worse than any other coach, and in terms of the latter I donít think I really know enough to comment.


You're still missing the survivorship bias. Iím willing to bet that fewer than 5% of coaches over those 21 seasons had seasons where they were with the same team for more than 5 seasons. If thatís the case, then having 2/42 coaches reach the finals would be about what youíd expect given random chance.
I acknowledged that.

Just because you've identified a potential bias doesn't mean that it automatically renders the whole analysis invalid.

Now if we were going to do a whole statistical analysis, yes, the survivor bias may turn out to be a deal-breaker. But I'm not going to go look right now, I don't have the time. So could you at least make an attempt to have a dialogue here?

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02-04-2013, 05:11 PM
  #42
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Actually you're wrong. Maybe some of the younger kids on these forums would prefer that. But the people who remember what it was like to have years and years of bad coaches are happy to have AV. A guy who gets us to the playoffs just about every time. I'm sure if we fired AV he would have another job the next day if he wanted to take the first of many offers he would get.
Exactly - we've had the innovators (Tom Rennay) the fast risers (Bill LaForge), the Stanley Cup winners (Keenan and Crawford), the likable bumblers (Bob McCammon) and the chair warmers (Tom Watt, Rick Ley).

In my opinion this organization has had 3 really good coaches - Roger Neilson (who only lasted 3 seasons), Pat Quinn - who promoted himself upstairs after 4 years, and Alain Vigneault.

Harry Neal and Bob McCammon were adequate but didn't have a lot of tools to work with. Marc Crawford was good for about 4 years, but it was obvious that he had lost the room and had to go.


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I acknowledged that.

Just because you've identified a potential bias doesn't mean that it automatically renders the whole analysis invalid.

Now if we were going to do a whole statistical analysis, yes, the survivor bias may turn out to be a deal-breaker. But I'm not going to go look right now, I don't have the time. So could you at least make an attempt to have a dialogue here?
Actually it DOES render the argument invalid. You can't say that coaching tenure is a factor in Stanley Cup success when the coaching tenure of SC winning coaches is indistinguishable from the coaching tenure of ALL coaches.

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02-04-2013, 05:12 PM
  #43
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In order to get anything somewhat meaningful, you really need to see what proportion of coaches with x number of years of experience accomplished various goals (i.e. won the Cup, made the finals, etc.) for every x and see if anything there. And even then, you’re dealing with small samples for the higher number of years typically and so there may not be a lot of significance in the data.

I just don’t buy a lot of the narratives around coaches. I don’t think Vigneault has shown anything to suggest that he’s an elite coach like a few others have, but I also don’t think it’s going to make a difference if the Canucks bring in another guy who isn’t an elite coach either. I don’t think ‘learning’ has a lot to do with how a coach impacts a team, as I’m sure most coaches know the same things and are relaying very similar information.

The two things that are most tangible in terms of coaches’ impact are the lineup choices the coach makes and the systems the coach implements. Vigneault has, in my opinion, shown some misjudgment on the former but not any worse than any other coach, and in terms of the latter I don’t think I really know enough to comment.
I mostly agree with you, but I do think the Canucks have shown a unique propensity for "meltdowns" that few other teams have. I can't think of many teams in modern professional sports that have fallen under a torrent of momentum (if you want to call it that) as often as the Canucks have. I just think most of the blame went to Luongo -- mostly unfairly (but not entirely).

We agree about the systems, too. My only complaint at all is that every defenseman that comes in says it's difficult to learn, and the team has serious issues incorporating mid-season acquisitions (or overcoming injuries) because of it. That said, his zone deployment more than makes up for that deficiency, if you want to look at it that way.

I just wonder if at some point having someone else in your ear might have different results. It might not be true, but anecdotally there have been a handful of recent examples of teams bringing in a new voice and having success. It could just be statistical noise, of course. I don't really know.

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02-04-2013, 05:14 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by LeftCoast View Post
For the 2011-12 season, the average tenure of NHL coaches was 2.86 years, so survivor bias is probably the biggest factor explaining the "win within 5 years" logic.

Longest serving is Barry Trotz (12 years), followed by Mike Babcock and Randy Carlyle (6 years) then Alain Vigneault (5 years) - all at the start of the season. Carlyle didn't survive the season.

In 2001-02 the average was 2.55 years - lead by Ken Hitchcock (9) and Scottie Bowman (8).
OK, cool. So, why hold on to a coach for more than 5 years?

So, within the small % of coaches who are >5 years experience each year, how many win or make the cup final?

Two coaches out of 30 every year is around 7% of the population. So let's say every year there are 2 long-beard coaches who make the playoffs. Is there a trend towards those types of coaches making the SCF? The answer is no, unless you're Scotty Bowman.

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02-04-2013, 05:24 PM
  #45
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Exactly - we've had the innovators (Tom Rennay) the fast risers (Bill LaForge), the Stanley Cup winners (Keenan and Crawford), the likable bumblers (Bob McCammon) and the chair warmers (Tom Watt, Rick Ley).

In my opinion this organization has had 3 really good coaches - Roger Neilson (who only lasted 3 seasons), Pat Quinn - who promoted himself upstairs after 4 years, and Alain Vigneault.

Harry Neal and Bob McCammon were adequate but didn't have a lot of tools to work with. Marc Crawford was good for about 4 years, but it was obvious that he had lost the room and had to go.




Actually it DOES render the argument invalid. You can't say that coaching tenure is a factor in Stanley Cup success when the coaching tenure of SC winning coaches is indistinguishable from the coaching tenure of ALL coaches.
Fair enough. But if those 2/42 are just a result of random distribution, and the general trend is towards very low-tenured coaches, then why are we hanging on to a guy in his 7th year who hasn't won a SCF?

We should hang on to AV because he is a good coach - but the numbers show that the coaches who end up in the SCF are statistically similar to the general population of coaches in the NHL - that is, having coaches their team for 2.5 years.

Nor are there any notable exceptions, or any trend within coaches who do not fall into the general population that would indicate that AV has historical trends on his side.

If we could show that there is a particular tendency for coaches who have already appeared in the SCF to reappear in the SCF despite their long tenure, then I could accept that too. But there isn't.

However, we CAN show that within the general population of coaches who make the SCF, 25% of them make multiple appearances - just not with the same team.


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02-04-2013, 05:56 PM
  #46
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Fair enough. But if those 2/42 are just a result of random distribution, and the general trend is towards very low-tenured coaches, then why are we hanging on to a guy in his 7th year who hasn't won a SCF?

We should hang on to AV because he is a good coach - but the numbers show that the coaches who end up in the SCF are statistically similar to the general population of coaches in the NHL - that is, having coaches their team for 2.5 years.

Nor are there any notable exceptions, or any trend within coaches who do not fall into the general population that would indicate that AV has historical trends on his side.

If we could show that there is a particular tendency for coaches who have already appeared in the SCF to reappear in the SCF despite their long tenure, then I could accept that too. But there isn't.

However, we CAN show that within the general population of coaches who make the SCF, 25% of them make multiple appearances - just not with the same team.
DING DING DING
there is no real reason to keep him on-

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02-04-2013, 06:03 PM
  #47
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Actually you're wrong. Maybe some of the younger kids on these forums would prefer that. But the people who remember what it was like to have years and years of bad coaches are happy to have AV. A guy who gets us to the playoffs just about every time. I'm sure if we fired AV he would have another job the next day if he wanted to take the first of many offers he would get.
Wrong about what exactly--
If you think the coach has been here to long & won't win a cup you must be a young kid?
Right--there are a number of posters here & they have been here for quite a while who don't believe AV should still be here -I have no idea how old they are but their respective opinions are no less valid then your own.
Sorry to burst your bubble.

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02-04-2013, 06:26 PM
  #48
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DING DING DING
there is no real reason to keep him on-
DING DING DING - there's also no reason to let a good, effective and winning coach go.

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02-04-2013, 07:47 PM
  #49
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Fans want to fire AV just for the sake of change. They think that because the team hasn't won the cup a coaching change will be the inevitable light at the end of the tunnel. Then we have statistics that back up a coache's expectancy for how long he should be with a team and look at the long duration AV has been with the Canucks.

There's no truth to any of it. AV keeps winning so what's the reason to fire him exactly?

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02-04-2013, 09:09 PM
  #50
Fat Tony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soth View Post
Actually you're wrong. Maybe some of the younger kids on these forums would prefer that. But the people who remember what it was like to have years and years of bad coaches are happy to have AV.
I remember Bill Laforge so I know how bad things can get. I was of the opinion that AV should never have been hired. I didn't think he was the right fit for the players we had. My stance softened when he showed the ability to back off when it came to the Sedins, something I thought he would be incapable of. He's a great regular season coach but I don't think he'll coach a Cup winner. I hope I'm wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soth View Post
A guy who gets us to the playoffs just about every time.
More than half the league makes the playoffs. That can't be enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soth View Post
I'm sure if we fired AV he would have another job the next day if he wanted to take the first of many offers he would get.
Many of the Canucks' coaches found head coaching positions with other NHL clubs after being fired. That's not really relevant to whether AV is the right coach for this club.

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