The San Jose Sharks did what many suspected would be done once their season came to an end, they have relieved head coach Ron Wilson of his duties.
Three seasons of second round exits finally taking their toll on the team record holder, who never seemed to be able to move them beyond two rounds of the playoffs with the exception of the 2004 season when they came up short against the Calgary Flames in the conference final that year.
Wilson found frustration year after year, as a team loaded with talent seemed to constantly be the perceived favourite for a Stanley Cup berth only to fall by the wayside with regularity. The bulk of the team's line up is young, fast and full of talent but for whatever reason they could never hold things together for the final march on the Stanley Cup in the finals.
His departure at least provides him with a few options to pursue in the always meteoric state of the NHL coaching fraternity. Ottawa, Toronto, Florida and Colorado are all in the process of seeking out new head coaches, so perhaps an interview may be in his future.
He might also want to keep an eye focused on the developments up Vancouver way, where he once was employed as an assitant coach. The speculation is that former coach of the year Alain Vigneault may be on a short list for a trip to the Employment centre in the near future.
Currently stuck in a sense of coaching limbo, it was reported on Vancouver radio station CKNW on Monday, that Vigneault has been pressing upon the importance of a contract extension to his new boss, not wishing to be a lame duck coach or a potential sacrificial lamb should things go rough at the start of next season. If true it's a pretty bold move for a coach who watched his team slip out of the playoffs, looking every bit the team that had decided to tune their coach out for the final weeks of the season.
It remains to be seen if Mike Gillis is like minded on that particular issue of an extension, or if he will push Vigneault back into his own full time job search and start taking in resumes of his own.
We hear that there's an opening in San Jose, now that Vigneault has experienced the West Coast he might be tempted, though the talent in Silicon Valley country are prone to crashes, just ask their former coach.
National Post-- Sharks fire head coach Wilson
San Francisco Chronicle-- Sharks fire coach Wilson
an Jose Mercury News-- Coach Ron Wilson shown the door by Sharks