Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 5/23/12
Five days ago we asked the question. To AV or not to AV. We now have our answer folks.

Big day for the Vancouver Canucks. They've got their man resigned and back behind their bench.

Per a media release from the Vancouver Canucks this morning we've learned that Coach Alain Vigneault has had his contract extended by the team.

Here's is the official press release from the organization.

Quote: Vancouver, B.C. –Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that Head Coach Alain Vigneault has agreed to terms on a contract extension.

“Alain has established himself as one of the premiere coaches in the National Hockey League,” said Gillis. “He has demonstrated a commitment to winning that has led to back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies and we are confident his dedication and hard work will continue to yield positive results. Alain has built a foundation of winning with this franchise and I feel he can continue to build on that foundation to achieve our ultimate goal.”

“I am pleased to be signing this extension to continue as the Head Coach of such an outstanding organization,” said Vigneault. “I look forward to taking the next step with this franchise in bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver. I feel fortunate to be able to work with such a dedicated group of management, coaches and players in this great city I love.”

Vigneault, 51, was named the 16th Head Coach in Canucks history on June 20, 2006. In 492 games behind the Canucks bench, Vigneault has guided the team to a record of 287-155-50 and the highest winning percentage in franchise history (.634). In his six seasons with Vancouver, Vigneault has led the Canucks to two Presidents’ Trophies, five Northwest Division Titles, and five 100-plus point seasons. Under Vigneault’s leadership, the Canucks have made five playoff appearances, and compiled a playoff record of 33-31. Vigneault has won more playoff games than any coach in franchise history.

Vigneault led Vancouver to a League best 111 points in 2011.12 and became the winningest coach in franchise history, surpassing Marc Crawford (246 wins) with his 247th victory with Vancouver November 23, 2011 at Colorado.

In 2010.11, Vigneault guided the club to a franchise best 54-19-9 record. He also led the club to its third consecutive Northwest Division title and the highest points total (117) in franchise history. Vigneault led the Canucks to their third appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, coming one win short of securing the franchise's first Stanley Cup Championship.

Following the 2006.07 season (his first season as Canucks Head Coach) he earned the Jack Adams Award as the NHL coach “adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success”. That season, he established a then franchise record for wins (49) and points (105) and led Vancouver to its first appearance in the playoffs since the 2003.04 season.

Vigneault previously served as Head Coach of the Montreal Canadiens from 1997-2001, becoming the organization’s second youngest coach in club history at the age of 36. While behind the Canadiens bench he was nominated for the Jack Adams Award, following the 1999.00 season.

Vigneault joined Vancouver from the club’s AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, where he led the club to a 44-24-7 record during the 2005.06 season.

Vigneault also spent 10 seasons as Head Coach in the QMJHL with Trois-Rivieres, Hull, Beauport and PEI. In 1988, Vigneault led the Olympiques into the Memorial Cup and was subsequently named CHL Coach of the Year. Vigneault also served as an assistant coach to Canada’s gold medal winning World Junior Championships team in 1991.

The Gatineau, Quebec-native began his career in the NHL playing for the St. Louis Blues from 1981-1983. Drafted by the Blues in the eighth round, 167th overall in the 1981 Draft, the defenceman recorded two goals, five assists and 82 penalty minutes in his NHL career. Vigneault went on to serve as a scout for the Blues for two seasons and as an Assistant Coach for the Ottawa Senators from 1992-1996. In my opinion this is a great move. I'm 100% in favor of it. I'm 39 years old. I've been a fan of this organization for my entire life. I've never enjoyed winning and success at the rate that I currently am enjoying by being a Canucks fan.

Kudo's to Mike Gillis and the Canucks brass and ownership for making this move and locking up the most successful coach this team has ever had.

vigneault.jpg
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