Alain Vigneault really knows how to make an entrance, I’ll give him that much. After going radio silent the minute the season ended, leaving many people wondering just what the heck was going on with the usually bombastic coach, Alain Vigneault has made a triumphant WWE style return, running through the crowds and metaphorically smacking the champion with a steel chair to let his presence be known.
Yesterday AV weighed in on a variety of subjects, most notably the fact that Luongo wants out (HERE) and that Ryan Kesler shouldn’t be using his shoulder injury as an excuse for a poor performance. Shockingly, the Canucks resident teenager with angst Ryan Kesler
was apparently none too pleased to hear this. News1130 fills us in:
news1130 Ryan Keslers camp not happy with Vigneaults comments
Like I’ve always said, there is only room for one terribly informed fake doctor in this league, and that belongs to Dr. Mark Recchi, so I would have to agree with Overhardt on telling Dr. Vigneault to back off with the medical advice. And this isn’t the first time Vigneault has tried his hand at playing doctor. For those who don’t remember, Willie Mitchell once fractured a vertebrae in his back, leading to friction between the coach and player as Vigneault basically told Mitchell to suck it up and play through the pain. (History lesson HERE). Vigneault said it was a case of playing through pain, Mitchell said it was a case of being comfortable playing hockey again, which led to Dr. Vigneault coming across as kind of clueless when it comes to injuries to his players. Mitchell was none too pleased with that diagnosis either.
My buddy Thomas Drance reminded me today that David Booth might have come under the questioning eye of Vigneault, as Booth’s return from injury earlier this season may have tested the patience of the coaching staff.
And it doesn’t stop there, as Jason Botchford points out that Vigneault wasn’t even sure Daniel had a concussion last year. At least this time around Vigneault admits he learned a lesson about head injuries, but it’s a bit scary to think that it’s just now that Vigneault is learning that head injuries are hard to diagnose, with “Concussion” being the word of the year for the NHL last year.
On top of playing Doctor, this isn’t even the first time Vigneault has pissed off Ryan Kesler. If you recall, AV publicly called out Kesler this season, claiming he needed to use his linemates more. This lead to Kesler to respond by claiming “if he wants to say that he can come to me and talk to me about it.“
So to recap, on Tuesday, we were debating if Alex Burrows nickname should be “Burr” or the newly minted “Albu”, and a day later, AV has given us Luongo updates, Daniel Sedin medical history stories, and has probably pissed off Ryan Kesler. Admittedly, it probably isn’t that hard to piss off Ryan Kesler. I am pretty sure any time David Booth shoots the puck instead of passing it, Ryan Kesler rages inside. And I understand that sometimes you have to push your players and tell them things they might not want to hear to get them going and motivate them to play at a higher level. I just wonder if the off-season is really the time and the place to do this? Far be it from me to play coach, but it just seems like motivating Kesler right now is odd timing. Are we hoping Kesler goes all out in his Xbox 360 NHL 12 franchise, playing harder than ever before?
Of course this could all just be overblown. For all we know Kesler gets annoyed everyday and then shrugs it off. I don’t want to suggest this will lead to a Hodgson like rift with the team, but from far away, it just makes me cringe slightly to see two big parts of this team butting heads with each other so soon.
Either way, based on AV’s output the last day, we should have an entertaining off season on our hands. Maybe tomorrow AV can tell us about the time Henrik pushed Daniel down a flight of stairs so he could win the Art Ross trophy?
Update: Jim Jamieson has the goods on quotes directly from Overhardt: HERE