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Canucks part ways with general manager Nonis

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TSN.ca Staff
4/15/2008 1:32:22 PM
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The Vancouver Canucks have fired Dave Nonis after three seasons as the team's general manager.

Nonis was promoted to the post in May of 2004, replacing Brian Burke after six seasons as senior vice-president and director of hockey operations.

The Canucks finished the 2007-08 season with a record of 39-33-10 and missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

"The decision to relieve Dave of his duties was difficult,” explained Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini in a statement. 

"We want to thank Dave for the many contributions he has made helping to build our organization during his tenure. 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."

Under Nonis, the team finished ninth in the Western Conference in 2005-06, three points shy of the final playoff spot. The Canucks enjoyed their best regular season in franchise history in 2006-07, with 105 points to clinch the Northwest Division title. With 174 man-games lost on the blue line and a defence corps that never played at full strength all season, the Canucks took another step back this year with an 88-point campaign - their worst total since 1999-2000.

Nonis also pulled off one of the biggest and most lopsided deals in NHL history. In June of 2006, he traded veteran forward Todd Bertuzzi and netminder Alex Auld to the Florida Panthers in exchange for franchise goaltender Roberto Luongo.

He did, however, take his share of criticism for not acquiring more help - namely more scoring - at the February trade deadline, a decision that likely led to the team's struggles down the final stretch.

"If there is a deal that makes sense for our hockey team and will make us better, regardless of who it is, we would do it," Nonis told reporters in February. "But if it's a deal that would decimate our reserve list, take all of our top prospects and require players off our team along with those picks and prospects, I think it's highly unlikely we would do that for any rental player.

"We are not going to gut this draft for players we feel, (a) may not be here long term or; (b) may not help us that much."

A Burnaby native, worked closely with Burke as senior vice-president and director of hockey operations in contract negotiations, dealing with players like Ed Jovanovski and Trevor Linden.

Prior to joining the Canucks, Nonis served as the NHL's manager of hockey operations for four seasons. He helped finalize sections of the league's 1995 collective bargaining agreement and also worked with the league's arbitration team.

Dave Nonis (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
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