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NHL Roundup: Canucks fire Vigneault, Sutton retires

The SportsXchange

The Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday fired head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant coaches Rick Bowness and Newell Brown, according to TVA's Louis Jean, reported ProHockeyTalk.com.

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis met with team ownership before informing the trio that they were no longer with the team, PHT added.

It appears Wednesday's firings may be the start of a complete housecleaning in Vancouver, PHT said, although two other assistant coaches -- goaltending coach Roland Melanson and Daryl Williams -- are still with the team, for now.

In a subsequent report later Wednesday, Jean reported that Williams and Melanson "are safe for now," adding that their jobs may still be eliminated depending on what the new coach decides to do or whether he still wants them on his staff.

Vigneault was the Canucks' 16th head coach and the most successful leader in team history with 313 regular season wins. Since joining the team in 2006, he led the Canucks to six postseason berths, a Stanley Cup Finals appearance.

However, back-to-back first-round playoff exits in the last two seasons was "unacceptable," Gillis said, according to PHT.

---Longtime NHL defenseman Andy Sutton is calling it a career at age 38, announcing his retirement after sitting out the 2013 season with a knee injury. Sutton last placed for the Edmonton Oilers during the 2011-12 season, when he saw action in 52 games. He completed the final year of a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Sutton, an undrafted free agent, played 676 career games for San Jose, Minnesota, Atlanta, the New York Islanders, Ottawa, Anaheim and Edmonton. He finished with 38 goals, 150 points, 1,185 penalty minutes, 1,164 blocked shots and 1,134 hits.

---Philadelphia Flyers winger Jake Voracek was not hurt in a car crash in his hometown of Kladno, Czech Republic. Voracek was driving his Ferrari when it hit a truck. Pictures from the scene showed extensive front-end damage to Voracek's car.

In a text to a reporter in the United States, Voracek said, "All good. No injuries. That's good! Can't talk now. Very busy haha."

"(Voracek) failed to comply with safe distance from the vehicle ahead," Kladno police spokeswoman Michaela Novakova told Sport.cz.

Voracek, 23, finished the 2013 regular season with a career-high 22 goals and 24 assists in 48 games.
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