Canucks ax Vigneault, rest of coaching staff

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Updated: 5/22/2013 5:58 pm

Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday fired head coach Alain Vigneault along with assistants Rick Bowness and Newell Brown, in the wake of a disappointing first-round playoff exit.

"We have made the very difficult decision to relieve Alain Vigneault, Rick Bowness and Newell Brown of their coaching duties today," said Canucks general manager Mike Gillis. "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."

Vigneault had been at the helm since June of 2006, taking over for Marc Crawford. Despite leading Vancouver to 30-or-more wins in six straight seasons and guiding the club to a club-record 54 wins and a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2011, the Canucks faltered in the opening round of the postseason the last two years, losing a five-round decision to the Kings last year and being swept by San Jose earlier this month.

Vancouver ended this lockout-shortened campaign with a 26-15-7 record and won the Northwest Division.

The 52-year-old native of Quebec departs the franchise with a 313-170-57 regular-season record and 33-31 postseason mark. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach in 2007 after helping the Canucks to 49 wins and a playoff series victory and was a finalist two other times.

Bowness previously served as head coach for Winnipeg, Boston, Ottawa, Phoenix and the New York Islanders, and had been on Vigneault's staff since 2007.

Brown joined the staff in August of 2010, after five seasons as an assistant with the Anaheim Ducks.

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