After almost six years as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, Marc Crawford was fired yesterday after the team grossly underperformed in the regular season, finishing out of the playoffs for the third time in Crawford's stint on the west coast. General Manager Dave Nonis made it pretty clear that this was just the first move in over-hauling the Canucks for next year. "This does not absolve the players of any responsibility," said Nonis. "It's not a situation where we have a new coach and everything is fine. That's not the case. We're going to make them fine."
The Toronto Maple Leafs notoriously underachieved this year and finished their season out of the playoffs. In what is considered the toughest hockey market in the world, this has not gone over too well with the fans and media. Pat Quinn and his assistant Rick Ley became the first casualties as the Leafs fired the 19-year coaching veteran who still had one year remaining on his contract. Quinn led Toronto to a 41-33-8 record this season and finished out of the postseason for only the fourth season in his coaching career. Quinn went 300-222-52 with 26 shootout and overtime losses as the Leafs coach, twice leading Toronto to the Eastern Conference final with losses to Buffalo in 1998-99 and Carolina in 2001-02.