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Vancouver Canucks sack coach John Tortorella after one season

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks sacked coach John Tortorella on Thursday after the NHL team failed to make the playoffs in his only season behind the bench.

“Today we are making an important change in the direction of our team,” said new Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden, who added that assistant coach Mike Sullivan was also relieved of his duties.

“On behalf of the entire organization, we extend our thanks to John, Mike and their families for their commitment to the Canucks and wish them the very best,” Linden said.

Linden took over as Vancouver's president on April 9, just a day after Mike Gillis was fired as president and general manager.

Gillis had hired Tortorella last June, but his lone campaign in Vancouver saw the Canucks finish with a 36-35-11 record and eight points behind Dallas for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

“We have a lot of important work to accomplish this offseason as we build our management and coaching staff, improve our roster and connect with our fans,” added Linden. “Our general manager search is well underway and we will begin assessing head coaching candidates immediately.”

Tortorella had replaced Alain Vigneault, who guided Vancouver to five straight post-season appearances, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in the spring of 2011.

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