NHL notes: Canucks sign GM Gillis to extension

Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis has been signed to an extension....

Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis has been signed to an extension. (REUTERS)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:11 PM ET

If Alain Vigneault has an ally in Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis, his job should be safe.

The Canucks signed Gillis to a contract extension Monday, which bodes well for Vigneault to return as coach of the Presidents' Trophy winners. There was no indication how many years the extension covers.

Speculation in Vancouver has been rampant that Vigneault would be axed after the Canucks were upset by the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round of the playoffs -- he also left town without talking to the media -- but Gillis backed his coach at the end-of-season presser.

"I have every bit of confidence in Alain," Gillis said at the time. "It gets exasperating sometimes. This is the winningest coach in the team's history and we just won two Presidents' Trophies and lost the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final. Is that when you're going to decide to start getting rid of people? I know a lot of teams that are envious of where this team is in a lot of different ways and having a good head coach is one reason they're envious."

Whatever happens with Vigneault, the Canucks are happy that Gillis, the NHL's GM of the year in 2011, is sticking around.

"This is a significant announcement for our hockey club," Canucks' owner Francesco Aquilini said in a press release. "These past four years have been the most successful in Canucks history. Mike and his management team have done an excellent job to position us for long term success on and off of the ice."

MAC GETS PROMOTED

Norm Maciver was promoted Monday to assistant general manager, the Chicago Blackhawks announced Monday.

Maciver, 47, had been serving as director of player personnel. He becomes GM Stan Bowman's right-hand man, replacing Marc Bergevin, who has become GM of the Montreal Canadiens.

"Norm has proven to be a valuable asset to our hockey operations over the past five years, so we are excited to be able to elevate him to this role," Bowman said in a statement.

Maciver played 500 NHL games as a defenceman with six different teams, retiring in 1999.

FRENCH FORWARD SUSPENDED

Forward Sacha Treille of the French team was given a four-game suspension Monday for a headshot on Kazakhstan's Roman Starchenko at the world hockey championship.

"This is the harshest suspension in the modern era for an individual on-ice incident and further underscores the IIHF's commitment to eliminate hits to the head and neck area," the International Ice Hockey Federation said in a statement.

Treille was ejected from the game when his blindside hit knocked out the Kazakhstan forward in a game Sunday in Helsinki. He didn't play against Canada as a result of an automatic one-game suspension for the hit. The IIHF added another four games to the ban.

Starchenko has been diagnosed with a concussion.


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