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Avalanche sack GM Giguere

THE Colorado Avalanche fired General Manager Francois Giguere on Monday, saying fans and management "deserve better" than a last-place finish in the NHL Western Conference.

Team President Pierre Lacroix called the season "unacceptable" and will oversee the Avalanche until a replacement is hired.

This is the first time the team has come last in the conference since the franchise relocated to Denver in 1995. The Avalanche had a 32-45-5 record and were 28th in the league, in front of only the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay.

"We are too proud of what we have accomplished in this market to ignore where we are and what happened in just a very short period of time," Lacroix said in a statement.

For now, coach Tony Granato's job is safe. Granato took over for Joel Quenneville last May when Quenneville and the Avalanche split. Quenneville now coaches the Chicago Blackhawks, who face Calgary in the first round of the playoffs.

The Avalanche were hurt by injuries and went long stretches without captain Joe Sakic, offensive threat Paul Stastny and top defenseman Adam Foote.


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