Canucks extend contract of GM Mike Gillis

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The Vancouver Canucks have re-upped with general manager Mike Gillis, ensuring the architect of the only two Presidents’ Trophy-winning teams in franchise history will remain with the club.

“This is a significant announcement for our hockey club,” said team owner Francesco Aquilini. “These past four years have been the most successful in Canucks history. Mike and his management team have done an excellent job to position us for long term success on and off of the ice.”

Gillis has taken the club to unprecedented heights. In addition to consecutive Presidents’ Trophies, the Canucks have also won four straight Northwest Division titles and the 2011 Western Conference championship.

Gillis also won the NHL’s GM of the year award in 2011, edging out Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman and Nashville’s David Poile.

“I am very pleased to be signing this extension to remain General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks,” said Gillis. “I am proud of the work our entire organization has done these past four years and look forward to continuing to build on our success.”

Gillis’ return should be welcome news for head coach Alain Vigneault, as the GM praised Vigneault in his end-of-year press conference.

“I have every bit of confidence in Alain,” said Gillis. “It gets exasperating sometimes. This is the winningest coach in the team’s history and we just won two Presidents’ Trophies and lost the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final.

“Is that when you’re going to decide to start getting rid of people? I know a lot of teams that are envious of where this team is in a lot of different ways and having a good head coach is one reason they’re envious.

“Alain is an excellent NHL coach.”

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