Canucks fire GM Gillis after missing NHL playoffs

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Vancouver Canucks fired president and general manager Mike Gillis on Tuesday, a day after being eliminated from playoff contention.

Gillis took over as general manager from the fired Dave Nonis after the 2007-08 season. The Canucks advanced to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals under Gillis before losing to Boston, and since then the team has been in a steady decline.

“The Vancouver Canucks had success under Mike’s leadership, and we nearly reached our ultimate goal; but I believe we have reached a point where a change in leadership and new voice is needed,” team owner Francesco Aquilini said in a release.

The Canucks lost in the first round of the playoffs for two straight seasons before missing the post-season entirely for the first time since 2008.

Vancouver fans appeared fed up with the team’s downturn and chanted for Gillis to be fired as the Canucks lost 3-0 to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

Gillis signed a contract extension after the 2011-12 season. There were indications last week he and first-year head coach John Tortorella weren’t communicating. Gillis seemed to criticize Tortorella’s style in a radio interview, saying he wanted the team to get back to the type of game that got it to the 2011 Cup finals.

“I want us to play upbeat, puck possession, move the puck quickly, force teams into mistakes, high-transition game,” Gillis said in an interview with the Team 1040. “I think we have the personnel to do it. If we don’t have the personnel to do it, they’ll be changed.

“That’s my vision, that’s how I believe you are going to win in the Western Conference and the National Hockey League. If you look at the top teams in the West, there isn’t a lot that separates any of the teams in the West, but the top teams play that way. That’s the way we played.”

Tortorella has preached a defense-first, puck-pressure, shot-blocking style since taking charge of the club in the offseason after Alain Vigneault was fired following the 2013 first-round playoff exit. That has been Tortorella’s coaching style in previous stints with the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers.

More in Sports

Art Thiel: Carroll has no choice but to be ‘very aggressive’

With just two years left on his contract, the Seahawks coach has no choice but to go for it in 2018.

Dan Mack steps down as the head football coach at Kamiak

He served as the Knights’ head coach for 20 seasons

Area girls soccer players earn all-state honors

King’s Stella named the Class 1A MVP; a pair of Jackson players land spots on the 4A first team

Kokanee exhibit added to sportsmen’s show

The Kokanee Tank is likely to be one of the most popular additions to the sportfishing seminar lineup.

Wayne Kruse’s Pick of the Week: Skagit Eagle Festival

By Wayne Kruse For The Herald Two full weekends remain to visit… Continue reading

Police question friends of WSU quarterback who killed himself

The redshirt sophomore died Tuesday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.

Oregon AD named chairman of playoff selection committee

Six new members added to the committee, including Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott

Meadowdale tops rival Lynnwood 56-42 (VIDEO)

Led by junior guard Haben Tekle, the Mavericks race to an early lead and cruise past the Royals.

Seahawks announce coaching hires, Richard’s dismissal

Seattle hires Brian Schottenheimer, Ken Norton Jr., Mike Solari and announces it has fired Kris Richard.

Most Read