The Vancouver Canucks announced on Tuesday that president and general manager Mike Gillis was relieved of his duties. The NHL club made the decision to fire Gillis just a day after officially being eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoff race.

Gillis had been with the team since April of 2008 when he was hired as their general manager. He was named their president a year later.

Francesco Aquilini, the chairman chairman of Canucks Sports and Entertainment, thanked Gillis for his years of hard work and leadership both on and off the ice.

He released a statement which said, “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.”

Aquilini also thanked the team’s fans for their continued support throughout the frustrating and difficult 2013-14 season.

He admitted that the team let them down and didn’t meet anybody’s expectations this year, but they’re committed to winning a Stanley Cup for the Vancouver fans and will do everything in their power to reach that goal.

Reports out of Vancouver said the club will likely name former Canucks captain Trevor Linden as the new president. However, Linden stated on a local television station that he hadn’t been contacted by the franchise.

It turned out that Linden wasn’t being honest with the television station as he was named the new president of the club on Wednesday.

The Canucks made it to the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Final under Gillis, but were ultimately beaten in the seventh game of the series at home by the Boston Bruins. That loss was followed by a riot in downtown Vancouver by Canucks fans.

Vancouver also won the Presidents' Trophy that season as the NHL’s top regular-season team and followed it up with a second straight trophy the next year.

Gillis was named the league’s general manager of the year for 2010-11 for taking the club to the final against Boston. At the conclusion of the 2011-12 campaign, Gillis was signed to a contract extension even though the Canucks were knocked out of the postseason in five games in the first round by the Los Angeles Kings.

Things didn’t get any better for Vancouver in the shortened 48-game season of 2012-13 as they were eliminated from the playoffs again in the first round. This time, the damage was done in four straight games by the San Jose Sharks.

After the sweep, head coach Alain Vigneault lost his job and he was replaced by former New York Rangers bench boss John Tortorella. The Canucks actually got worse this season under their new coach though and failed to make the postseason for the first time since 2007-08.

Fans are blaming Gillis for some questionable moves over the past couple of seasons such as trading away two top goaltenders in Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo.

Gillis also acquired forward David Booth from the Florida Panthers during the 2011-12 campaign and he has scored just 49 points in his 131 appearances with the squad. Booth could possibly have his contract bought out this offseason.

The hiring of Tortorella and the firing of Vigneault have also been questioned by many fans.

Vigneault was the team’s all-time leader when it came to wins with 313. Under Tortorella the team has played a more grinding style of hockey.

This has led to several injuries to some of their star players such as Henrik Sedin Alex Edler, Alex Burrows and Mike Santorelli.


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