Canucks sign head coach Alain Vigneault to three-year extension

Alain Vigneault, who has the highest winning percentage of any Vancouver Canuck coach, agreed to a three-year contract extension Thursday.

VANCOUVER — Alain Vigneault, who has the highest winning percentage of any Vancouver Canuck coach, agreed to a three-year contract extension Thursday.

The deal will keep Vigneault, 48, with the team through the 2012-2013 season.

In three NHL seasons with the Canucks, Vigneault has a regular-season record of 133-86-27. His .595 winning percentage is the best in franchise history.

“This is an exciting day for me and my coaching staff,” Vigneault said in a release. “I love working and coaching in this tremendous hockey city and look forward to continuing to build on our previous success.”

Mike Gillis, the Canucks’ president and general manager, said keeping Vigneault was significant for the club.

“Alain and his staff have done an excellent job leading our team to two division titles in three years,” Gillis said in a release. “I believe strongly in the partnership between management, coaches and players and we are all committed to building a championship team here in Vancouver.”

Last season Vigneault collected his 200th win as an NHL coach and his 100th victory behind the Vancouver bench.

Vigneault won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year during his first season in Vancouver after leading the Canucks to the Northwest Division championship. That season the team set franchise records with 49 wins and 105 points.

Vigneault’s first head coaching job in the league was with the Montreal Canadiens from 1997-2001. He reached the Eastern Conference semifinal in 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.

Prior to joining the Moose, Vigneault spent 10 seasons as head coach in the QMJHL with Trois-Rivieres, Hull, Beauport and P.E.I. In 1988, Vigneault led the Hull Olympiques to the Memorial Cup and was subsequently named CHL coach of the year.

Vigneault also 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.

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