Give the Canucks credit for odd coaching announcements.
When Bruce Boudreau was brought back, he did a Friday 5 pm Zoom conference from the golf course.
And now with assistant Scott Walker not coming back, the Canucks issued a Sunday afternoon long weekend release about Boudreau’s staff.
And it’s an incomplete.
Nobody expects them to operate with a skeletal coaching staff. At least one, if not two more hires will be coming. Jeff Paterson has a name to watch, based on proximity to Bruce.
"This is pure speculation on my part…John Anderson is his [Boudreau's] best friend and John Anderson was an assistant coach under Bruce Boudreau with the #mnwild."@patersonjeff on a potential assistant coach for the #Canucks. @GreatClips
— Sekeres and Price (@sekeresandprice) May 25, 2022
But that’s one of the questions here: how much say is Boudreau getting in these hires?
Assuming he and GM Patrik Allvin agreed on bringing back Brad Shaw and Jason King, both holdovers from the Travis Green/Jim Benning era, then who is taking the lead hand in the other hires?
Walker decided not to return out of choice, having an ownership stake in the Guelph OHL franchise and having undergone some health challenges while on the Canucks bench from December onwards, after getting hit with a puck and experiencing vertigo.
He was Boudreau’s trusty lieutenant, and the question now is who will that be next season? Or will there be one of Bruce’s guys by his side?
Hiring for a coach who is in the final year of his deal and wasn’t given a vote of confidence — anything but really — is a tough spot.
Who would look at this job as more than a one-year deal? What kind of candidates would that degree of uncertainty produce? And is there still a chance of an assistant who would serve as an interim head coach or a replacement if need be?
I guess the good news is these are more entry-level positions and not exactly the steps below head coach. I just hope for the sake of harmony that Boudreau is surrounded by people he trusts.
It’s one thing to be a lame duck coach. It’s another to be surrounded by assistants you didn’t choose.