Canucks fire head coach John Tortorella and assistant coach Mike Sullivan

SPORTS CANUCKSVANCOUVER Canucks President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden announced Thursday that Head Coach John Tortorella and Assistant Coach Mike Sullivan have been relieved of their coaching duties.

Linden said: “Today we are making an important change in the direction of our team. On behalf of the entire organization, we extend our thanks to John, Mike and their families for their commitment to the Canucks and wish them the very best.

“We have a lot of important work to accomplish this off-season as we build our management and coaching staff, improve our roster and connect with our fans. Our General Manager search is well underway and we will begin assessing head coaching candidates immediately.”

Tortorella signed a five-year contract last summer.

When Linden’s appointment was announced on April 9, the Canucks said he would “be responsible for all hockey operations, including the coaching and scouting staffs, player procurement and development, and minor league affiliations and operations.”