Canucks and Beyond
by Alanah McGinley on 05/15/08 at 01:28 PM ET
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Busy times in Vancouver as new owner Francesco Aquilini cries to the local papers every time he reads something that rankles him and with new GM Mike Gillis throwing everyone connected to the Dave Nonis regime under the bus. Now, Gillis is starting to rebuild the Canucks in his own image, announcing that he’s hired longtime NHLer Scott Mellanby to be a conduit between the team’s hockey operations and himself. [...]
The Canucks are holding their annual meetings in Las Vegas this week and Gillis is expected to make a final decision on whether to bring back coach Alain Vigneault. Sources have told ESPN.com that Vigneault rubbed some veteran players the wrong way and there is a strong suspicion Gillis will bring in his own coach.
That about sums it up, although I’m not sure how Burnside came up with the idea that Gillis is “throwing everyone connected to the Dave Nonis regime under the bus.” Perhaps he will, but not yet.
As for “sources” suggesting Vigneault rubbed some veteran players the wrong way… well, I don’t think you’d need sources any more complex than a television set and some common sense to have figured that one out.
Update 8:35am PT: A bit more on Mellanby, plus comments from Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison…
Update May 16th: More Vigneault talk here.
From Elliott Pap via the National Post:
“I wanted to have the opinion of a recently retired player with a long track record in the East,” Gillis said, explaining Mellanby’s appointment. “Scott is coming in specifically to assist me and our pro scouts assess players who will be unrestricted and restricted free agents.”
Mellanby has no prior history with Gillis and was never a client of the latter during his many years as an agent.
“It kind of came out of the blue,” Mellanby told reporters during a conference call. “Mike reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and I was very flattered. I think he valued my opinion and my experience in the league. I was fortunate to play 20 years, through a lot of different situations from teams like the Philadelphia Flyers, who have been around for awhile, to expansion teams like the Atlanta Thrashers.
“I think I have a lot things to offer. I see it as a great opportunity to get back in the game and I’m going to be there to assist in any way I can.”
And from the veterans:
“It’s still status quo like it was after the season, so there is no reason on speculating,” Naslund said. “All I can say is that this city and this team have a special place in my heart. More than that, I can’t elaborate because I don’t know what the future holds for me. Time will tell.”
Naslund has made it clear he would prefer to play a Detroit Red Wing puck-possession style over the chip-and-chase game plan deployed by Vigneault on many nights, a strategy necessitated by injury and an overall lack of skill.
“I mean, you want to look at what kind of team it’s going to be and what role would they want for me if I were to come back,” Naslund said. “All those things are going to play in, so that’s why it’s so difficult to say.”
Morrison, who is recovering from ACL knee surgery, also has not met with Gillis.
“My future is up in the air and, yeah, I’m anxious to see what will happen,” said Morrison, 32. “The big question is: where does everybody stand right now and what’s the thought process?”
Note: Of the readers polled yesterday, over 70% are predicting that Vigneault does get the shaft in Vegas.
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Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]