The Vancouver Canucks have fired head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant coaches Rick Bowness and Newell Brown. Initially reported by TVA Sports, the Canucks made the announcement official Wednesday afternoon.
"We have made the very difficult decision to relieve Alain Vigneault, Rick Bowness and Newell Brown of their coaching duties today," general manager Mike Gillis said in a statement. "Alain, Rick and Newell worked tirelessly to lead this team to great on-ice success. I am personally grateful to each of them and their families for their commitment to the Canucks and the city of Vancouver and wish them continued success in future."
Prior to the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, many wondered whether Vigneault would remain in his position if the Canucks failed to register an extended run in the postseason. Following a four-game sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, it became clear that time had run out on Vigneault's tenure.
General manager Mike Gillis stated in his end-of-season press conference that changes were coming for the team. While he praised Vigneault as a coach, many believed that the first shift in a new direction would come with his dismissal. Ultimately, that has proven to be the case.
Vigneault was originally hired prior to the 2006-07 season. In seven years with the franchise, he registered six division championships, two Presidents' Trophies and a Western Conference championship. In 2011, the team fell a win shy of a Stanley Cup. He also won the Jack Adams Trophy as the league's best coach in 2006-07.
Where this leaves the future for both parties remains to be seen. Many believe Vigneault will be highly in demand. As of this time, the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars both have vacant head coaching positions.