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Alain Vigneault signs three-year extension

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that Head Coach Alain Vigneault has agreed to terms on a new contract that extends through the 2012.2013 season.

“This is a significant announcement for our hockey club,” said Mike Gillis. “Alain and his staff have done an excellent job leading our team to two Division titles in three years. I believe strongly in the partnership between management, coaches and players and we are all committed to building a championship team here in Vancouver.”

“This is an exciting day for me and my coaching staff,” said Alain Vigneault. “Having the opportunity to work with the Aquilini family, Mike and his staff and our players has been very rewarding. I love working and coaching in this tremendous hockey city and look forward to continuing to build on our previous success.”

This past season Vigneault collected his 200th win as a Head Coach in the NHL, 100th win behind the bench of the Vancouver Canucks and appeared in his 500th career game as a Head Coach. Vigneault led Vancouver to its sixth Northwest Division title in franchise history, his second in three years, and a record of 45-27-10.

In three seasons as Canucks bench boss, Vigneault has built a regular season record of 133-86-27 with a .595 winning percentage, the most successful winning percentage by a Vancouver coach in franchise history. Vigneault’s inaugural season as Head Coach of the Canucks saw him lead the team to their most successful regular season to date; establishing new franchise records for wins (49) and points (105), on the way to the 2006.07 Northwest Division Championship and Vancouver’s first appearance in the playoffs since the 2003.04 season. In recognition of these significant achievements, Vigneault was presented with the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year at the 2007 NHL Awards in Toronto. At the completion of the 2008.09 season, Vigneault ranks fourth in franchise history for coaching wins and is only the second Head Coach in club history to win the Jack Adams Award.

Vigneault, 48, 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. He reached the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals during his first season behind the Canadiens bench and was nominated for the Jack Adams Award, following the 1999-2000 season.

Vigneault joined Vancouver from the club’s AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, where he led the team to within one game of the Conference Finals. In the 2005.06 season, his first season as Head Coach with the Moose, Vigneault guided the club to a 44-24-7 record.

Prior to joining the Moose, Vigneault spent 10 seasons as Head Coach in the QMJHL with Trois-Rivieres, Hull, Beauport and PEI. In 1988, Vigneault led the Hull Olympiques to the Memorial Cup and was subsequently named CHL Coach of the Year.

Vigneault has also achieved success on the international stage. He served as an Assistant Coach with Canada’s National Junior Team in 1989 and 1991, winning a gold medal at the 1991 World Junior Championships in Saskatoon.

The Quebec-native began his career in the NHL playing for the St. Louis Blues from 1981 to 1983. Drafted by the Blues in the eighth round, 167th overall in the 1981 Entry 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 to 1996.

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