Canucks fire Keenan

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Mike Keenan is through in Vancouver. He was fired Sunday and replaced by Marc Crawford, who led the Colorado Avalanche to the 1996 Stanley Cup.

"His heart did not appear in coaching the hockey club," Canucks general manager Brian Burke said of Keenan's attitude since Christmas. "It was apparent to me that he was indifferent at times. This club needs to play with desperation."

Crawford, 37, becomes the Canucks' 15th coach in franchise history and fifth in the last four years. He inherits a club that has a 15-24-6 record and has gone through a season-long distraction with the Bure situation.

"I've got a great deal of confidence in myself," Crawford said Sunday. "A lot of people would say it borders on cockiness. But I think you have to be confident that you could do the job."

Crawford's contract is for four years and it reportedly averages $1.1 million per year.

"I think I've got great people around me," Crawford said. "And I mean great people in terms of the players, the staff. You've got to be like a fist if you want to be successful in this very competitive National Hockey League."

Crawford resigned as the Avalanche coach last spring and still has contractual obligations to Colorado, meaning the Canucks must negotiate a compensation deal.

The Avalanche would get at least $200,000 and a second-round draft pick. If the Canucks make the playoffs, the Avalanche get a first-round pick and receive $200,000 and a maximum $600,000 for each playoff round the Canucks win.

Crawford played his six NHL seasons with the Canucks. Burke was the team's assistant GM at the time.

"He's had great success with young players, and that's a key for us as we go forward," Burke said.

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