Crow sings his swan song

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

"I guess that's it." Those were Marc Crawford's last words in an emotional Thursday news conference at General Motors Place, two days after he was fired as the Vancouver Canucks' head coach.

Instead of standing at the podium where he offered post-game comments for the last seven years, Crawford sat at a table. A black curtain behind him hid the Canucks' logo.

That logo was different when Crawford was a left-winger drafted 70th overall by Vancouver 26 years ago. Though he did appear upbeat, he paused a few times to choke back tears.

"There's a little bit of disappointment that I wasn't able to accomplish the job I was brought here for," Crawford said. "I had a vision for this club and the vision for this club included a Stanley Cup and a parade."

Crawford, coach of 1996's Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, was brought to Vancouver in January 1999 to succeed the fired Mike Keenan. He amassed 246 wins but only one playoff series victory. Crawford was fired after the Canucks missed the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

The 45-year-old thanked former general manager Brian Burke for hiring him and offered praise to the man who fired him, Burke's successor Dave Nonis.

"He's not going to lose my friendship," Crawford said.

Crawford denied player relations caused the firing. Some of his strongest compliments were reserved for Todd Bertuzzi, who he said was treated unfairly by the media.

Crawford said he is going to "let things sink in" for a few days before pondering his next career move.

"I'm a very good coach," he said. "I know I don't see myself doing something other than what I love to do."

Though Crawford is done behind the Canucks' bench, he could be called to testify if Steve Moore's lawsuit against Bertuzzi goes to court. Moore hasn't returned to action since suffering a serious concussion and broken neck bones when Bertuzzi attacked him on March 8, 2004.


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