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Alain Vigneault (born May 14, 1961) is a Canadianmarker professional ice hockey head coach currently coaching the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was previously a professional hockey defenceman for six seasons, split between the NHL, Central Hockey League and American Hockey League (AHL). He has also coached the Montreal Canadiens, as well as in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach of the year for the 2006–07 NHL season.

Coaching career

Vigneault began his coaching career at the young age of 25 in 1986–87, just one season after his retirement as a player. He began in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), coaching one season for the Trois-Rivières Draveurs and five for the Hull Olympiques – coincidentally, the same two teams he played junior hockey for. He coached the Olympiques to personal QMJHL regular season bests in 1987–88 with a 43–23–4 record.

In the 1992–93 season, Vigneault got his first break in the NHL as an assistant coach with the expansion Ottawa Senators. However, after three consecutive last-place finishes, he returned to the QMJHL half-way through the 1995–96 season to coach the Beauport Harfangs.

One and a half seasons later, Vigneault was granted another chance in the NHL, his first stint as a head coach in the league, with the Montreal Canadiens. He performed well in his first few seasons with the storied franchise, and in 2000, he was nominated for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year as his team almost made the playoffs in spite of key players lost to injury. Ironically, the season after his nomination, Montreal started poorly and he was fired.

After a third stint in the QMJHL, coaching two seasons for the Prince Edward Island Rocket, Vigneault was hired by the Vancouver Canucks organization to coach their minor-league affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. After a successful season in Manitoba, in which the Moose earned 100 points and reached the second round of the playoffs, he was chosen to replace Marc Crawford as the Canucks' coach for the 2006–07 season.

In his first season as head coach of the Canucks, he set a franchise record for wins in a single season with 49, eclipsing Pat Quinn's 46-win campaign in 1992–93. Vigneault also coached the Canucks to a Northwest Division title before being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks. As a result, he received his second Jack Adams Award nomination and beat out Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres in voting on June 14, 2007, for coach of the year honours. The following season, however, the Canucks failed to qualify for the playoffs and general manager Dave Nonis was fired. After Nonis' successor, Mike Gillis, was brought in, it was speculated whether or not the Canucks would retain Vigneault. After several meetings with Gillis, Vigneault was re-signed to a one-year contract extension to keep him in Vancouver to the 2009–10 season. Vigneault's assistant coaches Barry Smith, inherited from Crawford's coaching staff, and Mike Kelly were both fired, however.

With the departure of captain Markus Naslund in the 2008 off-season, Vigneault controversially selected Roberto Luongo as the team's new captain, despite NHL rules forbidding goaltenders to be team captains. Luongo became the first goaltender to captain an NHL team in 60 years. Under new leadership and management, Vigneault and the Canucks returned to the post-season and won their second Northwest Division title in three years. They were once again defeated in the second round, however; this time by the Chicago Blackhawks.

About to enter the final year of his contract in 2009–10, Vigneault was signed to a three-year extension in September 2009.

Awards and accomplishments

Off the ice

Vigneault resides in Gatineaumarker (Hull), Quebecmarker during the offseason. He is divorced with two daughters, Andreane and Janie Vigneault, who live with their mother in Trois-Rivièresmarker, Quebecmarker. He lives in Vancouvermarker during the season. He can often be found on gamedays jogging around Vancouver's Stanley Parkmarker. He is known among the Vancouver media for his sense of humour. His nickname is "A.V".

NHL coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish Result
MTL 1997–98 82 37 32 13 87 4th in Northeast Lost in second round
MTL 1998–99 82 32 39 11 75 5th in Northeast Missed playoffs
MTL 1999–2000 82 35 34 9 4 83 4th in Northeast Missed playoffs
MTL 2000–01 20 5 13 2 0 (70) 5th in Northeast (fired)
VAN 2006–07 82 49 26 7 105 1st in Northwest Lost in second round
VAN 2007–08 82 39 33 10 88 5th in Northwest Missed playoffs
VAN 2008–09 82 45 27 10 100 1st in Northwest Lost in second round
Total 512 242 204 35 31 Points %: .537


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