Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - With only three games remaining in the regular season, the Vancouver Canucks made a bold move on Tuesday, firing team president and general manager Mike Gillis.
The Canucks have been eliminated in the first round in each of the last two seasons after falling one win short of a Stanley Cup in 2011.
Under first-year head coach John Tortorella, they sit 11th in the Western Conference and were officially eliminated from postseason contention with a 3-0 loss to Anaheim on Monday.
"On behalf of my entire family, I would like to sincerely thank Mike Gillis for his hard work and the many contributions he made on and off the ice during his tenure," said Francesco Aquilini, chairman, Canucks Sports & Entertainment. "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.
"I also want to thank our fans for their support for the Vancouver Canucks through a difficult and frustrating season," continued Aquilini. "We haven't met their expectations or ours. We are committed to bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver for our fans and we will continue to do everything possible to reach that goal."
The 55-year-old came to the organization in April of 2008, taking over for the fired Dave Nonis. He turned a club which had missed out on the postseason in two of the previous three seasons and built them back up into a contender, snagging five straight playoff berths, five Northwest Division titles and two straight Presidents' Trophies (2011, '12).
For his efforts, Gillis was granted a contract extension in May of 2012.