Canucks Report: Bylsma Among Interviewees For Coaching Job

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Pittsburgh

Former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was spotted having lunch in Vancouver on Tuesday, and soon after sources reported that he had been interviewed by Canucks President Trevor Linden and GM Jim Benning for the head coaching job.

It’s no surprise that the Canucks are interested in Bylsma, who coached Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup in 2009 and took Coach of the Year honors in 2011. However many people believe that Bylsma is more likely to take the Florida Panthers coaching job, while the Canucks are expected to hire AHL coach Willie Desjardins, who just lead the Texas Stars to the Calder Cup Championship.

Due to his team’s championship run, Desjardins has been unavailable for coaching interviews until now. Meanwhile the Canucks have been very busy with interviews, talking to former Canucks coach Marc Crawford, ¬†Portland Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston (one of Crawford’s former assistants), and former Panthers interim coach Peter Horachek. The Canucks have also asked the New York Rangers for permission to talk with their assistant coach Scott Arniel.

Vancouver was hoping to talk with Los Angeles Kings assistant coach John Stevens, but their request was denied by the Kings who later resigned Stevens. The Canucks were similarly shut down by Detroit Red Wings when asking to talk to Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill.

Despite the amount of interviews, Linden has stated that a ¬†new coach likely won’t be in place until after the draft. This could hurt the Canucks in the long run as most free agents will be more skeptical playing in Vancouver without knowing who the head coach will be. This season teams will be able to talk to potential free agents on June 25 instead of on July 1, putting the Canucks at a disadvantage if they don’t hurry. Hopefully Vancouver will have their man in place in time for the free agent frenzy.

Lachlan Irvine

Lifelong Canucks fan, goalie on the ice.

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