The Vancouver Canucks have agreed to terms on an extension with head coach Alain Vigneault that keeps him under contract through the 2009-10 season.
''This is a significant announcement for our hockey club,'' said Canucks' general manager Mike Gillis. ''My first priority when taking over the job was to meet with Alain and ensure we shared the same philosophy about building an elite level team for now and for the future. Alain has done a very good job in his two years in Vancouver and I am confident that will continue.''
''I am pleased to be signing this extension to remain the Head Coach of such a great franchise,'' said Vigneault. ''Mike and I have had meaningful discussions about how we believe we can take the next step with this team to be as successful as we all hope to be. This is a team that I believe in and a city that I love living and working in.''
On Wednesday, the Canucks terminated assistant coachs Barry Smith and Mike Kelly.
Vigneault was named head coach of the Canucks June 20, 2006. In two seasons behind the bench, Vigneault has guided the team to a record of 88-59-17 and winning percentage of .589.
In 2006-07, Vigneault led the team to their most successful regular season to date; establishing new franchise records for wins (49) and points (105), on the way to a Northwest Division Championship and Vancouver's first appearance in the playoffs since the 2003-04 season. In recognition of these significant achievements, Vigneault was presented with the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year at the 2007 NHL Awards in Toronto.
Vigneault previously served as Head Coach of the Montreal Canadiens from 1997-2001, becoming the organization's second youngest coach in club history at the age of 36. While behind the Canadiens bench he was nominated for the Jack Adams Award, following the 1999-2000 season.
Vigneault joined Vancouver from the club's AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, where he led the team to within one game of the conference finals. In the 2005-06 season, his first season as Head Coach with the Moose, Vigneault guided the club to a 44-24-7 record.
Vigneault has also achieved success on the international stage. He served as an Assistant Coach with Canada's National Junior Team in 1989 and 1991, winning a gold medal at the 1991 World Junior Championships in Saskatoon.