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Photo Credit: Vancouver Sun

NHL History: Vancouver Canucks hire Jake Milford as GM today in 1977

It was 43 years ago today that the Vancouver Canucks hired Jake Milford as the club’s fourth general manager in franchise history.

The Milford era was among the most successful of any Canucks general manger despite the fact it only lasted five years.

Milford was brought on the same day the club fired Phil Maloney and it ushered in an important time for the organization. He was a key cog that helped take the Canucks from a middling expansion club to a legitimate NHL team.

Despite not making the playoffs in the first year with Milford as the GM, Vancouver went on to make four consecutive playoff appearances under his tutelage.

With Harry Neale running the bench, Vancouver made their deepest run in 1981-82 making it to the cup finals where they lost to the New York Islanders.

Milford stepped back from the GM role and was appointed the Canucks senior vice-president in 1982.

It was a role he held until he suddenly died on Christmas Eve 1994 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 68 years old.

On Twitter: @zjlaing