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Colorado Avalanche fire GM Francois Giguere after missing NHL playoffs @NHLdotcom

DENVER - The Colorado Avalanche brass feel the organization has lost its way so general manager Francois Giguere is out of a job.

Giguere was fired one day after the team finished last in the Western Conference for the first time since moving to Denver in 1995. It was the second time in three years the team missed the playoffs under Giguere.

Colorado finished with a record of 32-45-5 and had just one win in its final 13 games.

"The results of this season are unacceptable," Avs president Pierre Lacroix said in a statement. "We feel a new direction is needed which re-emphasizes those standards of excellence our fans have grown accustomed to since 1995. We will work diligently towards reclaiming our identity that made our brand so special and unique.

"We are too proud of what we have accomplished in this market to ignore where we are and what happened in just a very short period of time."

The future of coach Tony Granato remains uncertain. He just completed the first season in his second stint as head coach.

Asked Sunday if he expected to be back next season, Granato said: "I've got a lot of pride in this organization, I like it. We'll get ready to do our work in the summer."

The franchise has been slipping in recent years.

The Avalanche won eight straight division titles and two Stanley Cups immediately after relocating from Quebec City in 1995. However, they haven't been beyond the second round of the playoffs since 2002.

Fan dissatisfaction is starting to show at the gate.

Colorado put together a league-record sellout streak of 487 games from 1995 to 2006, but was just 27th in NHL attendance this season with an average of 15,429 fans per game.

Lacroix said the fanbase deserves a better product on the ice.

"The immediate future of this franchise is my primary concern so it was important to act now and start the process of restoring this franchise to where it belongs," he said.

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