VANCOUVER Mike Gillis has agreed to a contract extension to remain general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, which likely means Alain Vigneault will be staying as coach.
Gillis, who had one season remaining on the five-year deal he signed when hired by the National Hockey League team in 2008, has been outspoken in his support for Vigneault. Despite a franchise-best .634 winning percentage in Vancouver that includes the best two regular seasons in Canuck history the last two years, Vigneault is unsigned beyond next season.
Gillis agreed to his extension during a meeting Monday with managing-owner Francesco Aquilini. The speedy resolution of Gillis' status is important to a team with key personnel decisions to make beyond its coach.
Gillis must resolve the Canucks' goaltending situation and decide if there is a market to trade veteran netminder Roberto Luongo, who has 10 years remaining on his $64-million contract. The GM must also try to re-sign coveted potential free agent goalie Cory Schneider before July 1.
Under Gillis, the Canucks have averaged 50 wins and 108 points and won their division each season. Vancouver's nine playoff rounds during his four years is tied for the most in the NHL, although the Canucks' first-round upset loss two weeks against the Los Angeles Kings raised questions about the future of the coach and GM.
Vigneault did not speak to reporters after the season and has been in the Montreal area since then.
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