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responded to the Islamic thr

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    March 31, 2020 7:44 PM PDT

    VANCOUVER -- The man charged with the job of revitalizing the Vancouver Canucks made his first major move toward erasing the memory of one of the teams worst seasons in recent history. Jim Lee Hunt Jersey . Trevor Linden, the former Vancouver captain who has taken over as the teams president, put his stamp on the Canucks by firing head coach John Tortorella on Thursday. Linden said the action was the first step in moving on from a frustrating season that saw the Canucks miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. "Today is about the future of this team and the goal of getting it back to the Stanley Cup playoffs," Linden told a news conference. Tortorellas firing was expected, but Linden said he didnt want to rush the decision. "I tried to come in from a neutral place," he said. "At the end of the day I kept coming back to a lot of things I didnt like that I saw trending. I just felt to move forward and kind of put a new perspective and new direction, it was the right thing to do." Besides Tortorella, assistant coach Mike Sullivan was also relieved of his duties. They join fired president and general manager Mike Gillis as those paying the price for a dismal year that saw the Canucks finish 25th overall. Assistant coaches Glen Gulutzan and Darryl Williams and goaltender coach Roland Melanson will keep their jobs. Linden hopes to have a new general manager hired by the end of the month. The search for a coach could coincide with looking for a GM. "I have a real strong (GM) candidate list that I will be starting the interview process next week," said Linden. "I think the two processes can move along together for a certain period of time. "Its important the manager have a great deal of input on the coaching direction. That would be the ideal situation." One of the names most frequently mentioned for the Vancouver GMs job is Jim Benning, Bostons assistant general manager and a former teammate of Linden. The Bruins have the potential to play deep into the Stanley Cup playoff. Linden refused to be specific about any candidates but indicated playoff teams may be willing to let him talk to their staff. "I have not got any pushback on timing from a playoff standpoint," he said. Linden wants a coach with experience at "many levels." The person must be a teacher and be able to communicate with his players. One of the most popular Canucks of all time, Linden is trying to repair the teams image and its relationship with fans left disillusioned by Vancouvers drop from the ranks of the NHLs elite. "This is a fresh start for our team and youll see us make some other changes this summer," he said in a letter to season ticket holders. "It starts with how we shape our management and coaching staffs and the roster improvements were able to make." The Canucks had a good start under Tortorella but finished the year with a 36-35-11 record for 83 points. The Canucks had just 13 wins in the 41 games since Jan. 1. Vancouver also struggled to score, managing just 196 goals on the season, leaving the Canucks tied for second least in the league. At an April 14 season-ending news conference Tortorella was blunt when he said the Canucks are getting old and the core needed revitalizing. Linden was asked about the comments. "We talked about that," he said. "I dont totally agree with everything he said." Tortorella, who won a Stanley Cup coaching Tampa Bay in 2004, was hired as the Canucks 17th head coach last June to replace the fired Alain Vigneault. Vigneault took over Tortorellas old team, the New York Rangers, and has led them into the second round of this seasons playoffs. Tortorella has four years remaining on a contact which is estimated at US$2 million a season. Its estimated the Canucks owe Gillis $4 million for the remaining four years left on his contract. Tortorella could be cantankerous, even rude, when dealing with the media during his five seasons with the Rangers. He kept his promise to be different in Vancouver, where he was cordial and often humorous when talking to reporters. On the ice Tortorella preached defence and shot blocking. He used star players Daniel and Henrik Sedin on the penalty kill. He also faced criticism for the amount of ice time he heaped on front-line players like the Sedins and centre Ryan Kesler, who averaged 21 minutes 48 seconds of ice time a night. Tortorellas decision to start rookie goaltender Eddie Lack in the outdoor Heritage Classic game frustrated veteran Roberto Luongo. That decision eventually resulted in Luongo being traded to Florida. A rash of injuries took their toll, Both Sedins, Alex Burrows and defenceman Chris Tanev all missed a significant number of games with injuries. Noted for his fiery manner behind the bench Tortorella shocked management and the teams owners when he tried to get into the Calgary Flames locker-room following a line brawl in a Jan. 18 game in Vancouver. Tortorella was prevented from getting at Flames coach Bob Hartley and was suspended for six games. The Canucks were 2-4-0 during that period, then 2-7-1 when Tortorella returned. Linden said that incident did not factor in Tortorellas firing. Canuck players said they played a role in the fate of both Gillis and Tortorella. "The bottom line is if we win more games, then guys dont lose their jobs," said defenceman Kevin Bieksa. Among the available coaches is Barry Trotz, who was fired from Nashville last month after 15 seasons with the Predators. Other candidates include L.A. assistant coach John Stevens and former Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher. "We will do everything we can to make this team as good as it can be and get back to the Stanley Cup playoffs," Linden said. "We have ideas of how we can do that. "Going down that path you need things and puzzles to fit together." Richard Seymour Jersey . Future Hall of Famer Ricky Ray is in his prime and back for a third season in double blue. The 34-year old was magnificent in 2013, throwing for just under 2,900 yards despite missing eight games, tossing an impressive 21 touchdowns against just two interceptions, completing 66 per cent of his passes in the process. Kevin Greene Jersey . According the CSNBayArea.com, the 31-year-old suffered an ACL injury in his right knee on Friday when he collided with Anaheims Emerson Etem during a pre-season game.MOSCOW -- Russias counter-terrorism agency says its studying a video posted by an Islamic militant group that asserted responsibility for suicide bombings that killed 34 people last month and is threatening to strike the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Security experts say the Russians are right in taking the threat seriously. The video was posted online Sunday by a militant group in Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim republic in Russias volatile North Caucasus. The Olympic host city of Sochi lies only 500 kilometres (300 miles) west of Dagestan. Two Russian-speaking men featured in the video are identified as members of Ansar al-Sunna, the name of a Jihadist group operating in Iraq. It was unclear whether the men in the video had received funding or training from that group or only adopted its name. There was no confirmation the two men were the suicide bombers who struck the southern Russian city of Volgograd last month as the video claims. Scores of people were also injured by the bombings of a train station and a bus. Russias National Anti-Terrorism Committee said Monday it was studying the video and would have no immediate comment. The video couldnt be viewed in Russia, where Internet providers cut access to it under a law that bans the "dissemination of extremist materials." It was released by the Vilayat Dagestan, one of the units that make up the so-called Caucasus Emirate, an umbrella group for the rebels seeking to establish an independent Islamic state in the North Caucasus. Doku Umarov, a Chechen warlord who leads the Emirate, had ordered a halt to attacks on civilian targets in 2012. But he rescinded that order in July, urging his followers to strike the Sochi Olympics, which he denounced as "satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors." The games run from Feb. 7-23. The Kremlin-backed leader of Chechnya claimed last week that Umarov was dead, but the claim couldnt be verified. The Vilayat Dagestan statement said the Volgograd attacks were carried out in part because of Umarovs order, but it didnt specifically say he had ordered them. Dagestan has become the centre of an Islamic insurgency that has engulfed Russias North Caucasus after twoo separatist wars in Chechnya. Ty Law Jersey. Militants seeking to create an independent state governed by Islamic Shariah law in the Caucasus launch daily attacks on police and other authorities there. One of the two ethnic Chechen brothers accused of staging the Boston Marathon bombings spent six months in Dagestan in 2012. Andrei Soldatov, an independent Moscow-based security analyst, said the video threat need to be taken seriously. "They have capabilities to strike beyond the North Caucasus, which they demonstrated in Volgograd," he said. "Its extremely difficult to stop a lone wolf suicide bombing attack." Georgy Mirsky, a respected Russian expert on the Middle East, said the video reflected the increasingly close ties between Jihadists in the Caucasus and elsewhere. Russias war against Caucasus militants has made it an enemy on par with the United States and Israel for militant Islamic groups in the Middle East, he wrote on his blog. Russia has responded to the Islamic threat by introducing some of the most sweeping security measures ever seen at an international sports event. Some 100,000 police, army and other security forces have been deployed, according to analysts, and tight restrictions have been placed on access to the Sochi area. Anyone attending the Winter Olympics has to buy a ticket online from the organizers and obtain a spectator pass that requires providing passport details. Authorities have already barred access to all cars registered outside of Sochi and Russian police have gone house-to-house methodically screening all city residents. Soldatov argued, however, that Russias massive security presence at the Olympics could also have an adverse effect. "When you put so many troops on the ground, you might get some problems with the co-ordination of all these people," he said. Soldatov noted that the ominous threat of a "present" for the visitors to the Games contained in the video is loosely phrased and could herald an attack outside tightly guarded Olympic facilities. "They never tried to specify the place where they might strike, thats why everybody should be concerned," he said. ' ' '