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Canucks fire general manager Nonis after missing playoffs

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -The Vancouver Canucks fired general manager Dave Nonis on Monday after missing the playoffs for the second time in his three seasons in charge.

Nonis had already been in the organization for six years as director of hockey operations when he took over the general manager duties from Brian Burke just before the NHL lockout in 2004.

"The decision to relieve Dave of his duties was difficult," Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini, whose family bought the franchise after Nonis got the job, said in a statement. "However, I think this important change in leadership is critical to the future of the team and the direction we need to take. It's not acceptable to our fans or to us as owners that our team isn't in the playoffs."

Vancouver also missed the playoffs in Nonis' first season in 2005-06, and he responded by firing coach Marc Crawford and changing half the roster. That included trading controversial forward Todd Bertuzzi to Florida in a six-player deal that brought back star goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Nonis then rebuilt the team around Luongo with the emphasis on defense, and the Canucks responded by winning the Northwest Division with a franchise record 105 points last season under new coach Alain Vigneault, who won NHL coach of the year.

But the team struggled to score again this season, and after being plagued by injuries to its top defensemen all season, only won once in the final eight games, missing the playoffs by three points with 88.

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