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Canucks' Bieksa 'cheering for' former coach Vigneault

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

At least one of Alain Vigneault's former Vancouver Canucks players is rooting for the coach to get back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Defenseman Kevin Bieksa is competing for Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Championship and is aware Vigneault's New York Rangers hold a 2-0 lead on the Montreal Canadiens in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Final. Game 3 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"For Alain, I'm happy for him that he got back there so quickly," Bieksa said, according to The Canadian Press. "He's a good coach and he's obviously been there before and he took us there. We had a lot of really good years together. Absolutely we're cheering for him and hope they do well."

Bieksa is one of seven Vancouver players competing in the tournament in Belarus. This season under John Tortorella the Canucks did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which they made in six of the seven seasons Vigneault was their coach.

That includes the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, which Vancouver lost in seven games to the Boston Bruins.

"It's tough to root for success on another team, that's for sure," defenseman Jason Garrison said. "It's notable, kind of the season he's having and the playoffs that he's having. ... But that's about it. Other than that, if anything, you're jealous."

Tortorella and general manager Mike Gillis were fired after the season. The Canucks finished 36-35-11, 12th in the Western Conference.

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