The word from sources within the Canucks organization is that Aquilini wants Phoenix Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett. Tippett is regarded as one of the best coaches in the NHL but his track record doesn’t equal that of Vigneault.
Tippett ‘s contract with the Coyotes expire on June 30 and with the team’s future uncertain in Phoenix, he may decide to move on for some stability. He is known for his defensive style of hockey that has turned average teams into good teams and average goaltenders into good and great goaltenders.
Goaltender Mike Smith struggled mightily after being traded to Tampa Bay Lighting from the Dallas Stars. He did not regain his form until he was reunited with Tippett in Phoenix. Ilya Bryzgalov excelled in Phoenix and became an overpaid, average in goaltender with the Philadelphia Flyers without Tippett’s system.
Canucks general manager Mike Gillis appearing on the Team 1040 told listeners he likes a defensively responsible system and an “upbeat, fast style of play with quick transition.” Tippett would not fit into this mold based on the the style of play he has utilized in Dallas and Phoenix, but that may have been a case of personnel. Alain Vigneault was called a defensive coach during his first two seasons as the Canucks head coach, but later showed he could play offensively as well if given the correct players.