Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: francesco aquilini
The era of Mike Gillis in Vancouver began rather awkwardly, as he was hired by new owners while having no experience in a NHL management gig and yet without any competition for the job. The drama surrounding the ownership in general (i.e. Francesco Aquilini was embroiled in a contentious lawsuit for his very ownership of the team even as the hire was completed), the results—three years later and at the top of the league’s standings—seem to vindicate the choice.
From Ed Willis at The Province:
In the end, you can question how it all happened, and the jury is still out on some aspects of Gillis’s administration. What’s beyond dispute, however, is the level of trust Aquilini has invested in Gillis and the resources he’s placed at his disposal.
“No one has carte blanche,” Aquilini said during the team’s current road trip. “But he’s been placed in control of the hockey operations and I don’t think I’ve said no to him yet.”
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 April 23, 11:10am PT: Canucks owner formally named new GM Mike Gillis in this morning’s press conference. More info here.
After the first period of the Washington/Philadelphia game tonight on TSN, Bob McKenzie stated the new Canucks General Manager was very-nearly 100% decided as Mike Gillis. He also stated this was likely to be announced by the end of the week.
Now, Global TV’s website reports:
Player agent Mike Gillis will be named general manager of the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, Global BC reported today.
Update 5:55pm PT: On TSN, James Duthie has now stated that this GM appointment is “confirmed” (though Bob McKenzie came short of backing this up as a certainty). There is a Vancouver press conference scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Asked by Global TV, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini “would neither confirm nor deny the hiring.” (Which I figure is pretty much code for: “Yeah. Gillis is the new GM. But don’t steal my thunder. I’ll tell you more tomorrow.”)
More updates and links:
“Know how many National Hockey League teams have fired two general managers in the last four years? One. [The Vancouver Canucks]. Know how many Northwest Division teams have won more games or division titles than the Canucks in that time? None.”
—Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun
With the small sampling of votes collected on my poll the other day, Jim Nill is the clear favorite on the list. But if you read the comments at that link, a number of Wings fans provide some thoughtful and detailed reasons why prying Nill out of Detroit is likely to be impossible.
Geez. With this whole mess of a team, I’m seriously concerned I’ll never be able to make fun of the Edmonton Oilers again.
Anyway, a few very good articles related to the Canucks today:
The Vancouver Canucks have a press conference scheduled later this morning—I’ll update this post as soon as it happens. (11:10am PT: Updates now below)
Meanwhile, Spector summed up the msm reaction to the Dave Nonis
firing earlier today:
The firing caught many hockey observers by surprise and some were quick to offer their opinions. TSN’s Bob McKenzie believes it’s the wrong move, citing the good work Nonis had done over the last three seasons in building the Canucks roster and that he couldn’t be held at fault for the rash of injuries to key players that hampered the club this season. Iain MacIntyre also suggested the team ownership had jumped the gun, while Ed Willes of the Province considered it a panic move and a farce.
Nonis must really be a nice guy, because I can’t remember a time in Canucks history where so much hockey media actually thought a Canucks GM should not be fired.
Anyway, some idle speculation before the press conference starts…
From the CP via Slam! Sports,
Two Vancouver businessmen are appealing a judge’s decision rejecting their claim that they were unlawfully and unfairly scooped out of a chance to buy the Vancouver Canucks.
Tom Gaglardi and Ryan Beedie had argued they were in a partnership with Francesco Aquilini when Aquilini negotiated behind their backs to buy the lucrative franchise in 2004. They wanted a judge to order Aquilini to put the team in trust for them.
note: a bit more information on the original ruling, plus background and related links to this story, can be found here
Update 11:23am PT: Judge has ruled that Aquilini doesn’t have to share his hockey team. More details at bottom of post.
Here’s a round-up of the issues behind a major lawsuit being decided in Vancouver today. Nearly eight months since testimony began in this trial, a judge will finally be addressing the question: Who owns the Canucks?
From Bob Mackin at 24 Hours Vancouver,
Will B.C. Supreme Court order Francesco Aquilini to relinquish ownership of the Vancouver Canucks and General Motors Place today?
Or will his family proceed with plans to build an office tower next to the Garage and cash more VANOC cheques?
We’ll find out this morning when Justice Catherine Wedge delivers the verdict from last year’s blockbuster court battle.
Here’s what the pundits of the press box have to say…