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Canucks and Beyond

Entries with the tag: mike gillis

Is Cody Hodgson Getting Shafted?

The Vancouver Province’s Tony Gallagher takes issue with Canucks coach Alain Vigneault today, with an aggressive column questioning AV’s decision to ship Hodgson to Calgary yesterday for the opening pre-season set.

In a year when second-line centre Ryan Kesler is hurt and there is finally an opportunity to get the gifted prospect a bona fide look in a top six spot in his right position, the first signal the player gets from his coach is yet another shot across the bow.

After eating all that humble pie by publicly stating that he wasn’t going to worry about how he was used and that he was going to concentrate on making sure he had the right attitude and worry about his own game, the first thing his coach does is send him to Calgary on the day of the game and start him with a couple of stiffs in Victor Oreskovich and Mike Duco.

What can possibly be achieved by this other than annoy Hodgson?

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, cody+hodgeson, mike+gillis

Canucks’ Kesler Undergoes Successful Hip Surgery

From the Vancouver Canucks:

Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that centre Ryan Kesler had successful hip labral surgery.

“After consultation with our team physicians following the playoffs, it was deemed that Ryan would require a procedure on his hip,” said President and General Manager, Mike Gillis. “We expect a full recovery and determined this procedure would best serve both Ryan and the team’s long term goals.”

Full recovery is expected to take 10-12 weeks.

Update 2:30pm PT Jason Botchford states the surgery was last Monday, and Kesler is expected to be able to return near the start of the season.

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: mike+gillis, ryan+kesler

Q & A Transcript: Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault

From Saturday’s media Q&A with Canucks coach Alain Vigneault and GM Mike Gillis. Below is the complete transcript.
_______________________________________________


Q. Alain, your thoughts on Hank and Danny? Fresh start for them, but especially them because of the criticism and the fire they were under for not producing as much as everyone expects them to in the last round?

COACH VIGNEAULT: I think they got some unfair criticism there. They obviously are here to produce. With that being said, though, they played some solid games where they spent a lot of time on the other team’s end. They spent a lot of time generating some quality chances.

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Filed in: playoff hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

Mike Gillis: 3 Years Later

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.”

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: francesco+aquilini, mike+gillis

Re-Learning Canucks Hockey

(Prologue: So, to explain my MIA, I had that baby last March and then I took my sweet time reading the “How To” manual for her… but I think maybe I’ve got that girl all figured out so now I’m back.  To all of you out there who used to visit my little column and exchanged notes with me,  I’ve missed you!  I hope all is well!)

To start, I have to admit that I don’t know much about these Vancouver Canucks nowadays, and might need a little re-education, ergo opinions are very welcome.  So here’s the first problem I’ve had in figuring out all the changes in the last year or so:  I keep hearing phrases like “class of the NHL” and “Alain Vigneault is the greatest” and so on.

Lordy, it’s ramblings like this that makes a long-time fan very nervous. I know that sounds pessimistic, but sweet geezus, I’m a Canucks fan… pessimism is my freakin’ JOB.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

Transcript: Mike Gillis Teleconference

Today, the NHL hosted a teleconference for various media to ask questions of Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis. Here is the complete transcript of that session.

Q & A

        Q. There’s many reports out about your contract negotiations and Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin. How confident are you that those two players will be on the Canucks next seen?

        MIKE GILLIS: We’re very confident. We’ve got a lot of common ground. They want to stay and we want to keep them.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: mike+gillis

April 13, 2009: Canucks Heading Into Playoffs with Confidence

Vancouver, April 13, 2009— The Vancouver Canucks surprised many last week, returning to the playoffs after a one year absence, landing in sixth spot, the result of a series of big wins in the final weeks of the season.

“We knew we were in a position to decide our own fate,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “It was a matter of staying focused and getting some big performances from unexpected sources.”

The Canucks certainly got that.  After the blockbuster acquisition of Mats Sundin last December, many expected the multi-millionaire late addition to single-handedly be the catalyst that would boost this team to the next level, but instead the Canucks went into a January nosedive that few expected them to pull out of.

“I’m shocked they were able to manage it,” said Scott Burnside in his report filed on the ESPN website over the weekend. “My feeling in January was that they had no chance whatsoever to make the playoffs.”

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Filed in: dumb stuff, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, darcy+hordichuk, mike+brown, mike+gillis, parody, playoffs, willie+mitchell

Speculating on a New Coach in Vancouver

I was working on my job application letter this morning—applying for the soon-to-be-available position of head coach of the Vancouver Canucks—but I got stuck early. (After all, when you start with “Dear Dumbasses…” there’s really nowhere to go with it that’s going to salvage that job application). So with me out of the mix, I’ve opted to focus my energy on second-best choices.

First off, will there in fact be a coaching change? They played better last night but is it too little, too late? My feeling is that it is, but I could be wrong. This is the Canucks, after all, a team which gave Vigneault an extension last season, rather than just let him play out this final year on his previous contract to see how things go. And given that the team missed the playoffs last year, you’ll have a hard time explaining the logic of that move to me.

But let’s assume that Mike Gillis is ready to pull the trigger and knock Vigneault off his bench. If so, this 7 day break over the All Star weekend is the ideal time to do it—so if it does happen, who are your favorite options?

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, coaching, mike+gillis, pat+quinn, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks

Canucks Round-Up

Random considerations for an off-day:

 

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: cory+schneider, curtis+sanford, mike+gillis, trevor+linden

What Would You Do as Canucks GM For a Day?

Press release via Marketwire:

The Vancouver Canucks and Direct Energy announce the return of Direct Energy’s “You Call the Shots Contest,” where one lucky fan will experience what it is like to be General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks for a day. Direct Energy’s “You Call the Shots Contest” will award one fortunate fan and three friends a rare hockey prize package that will allow the group to experience a day in the life of an NHL General Manager.

You and me? Calling the shots? Well, hell, I’m in.  What kind of stuff is involved?

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: general+manager, hockey+fans, mike+gillis

Welcome Back, Michel

Yesterday we said goodbye... but that was miraculously premature, as it happens. Somehow Michel Ouellet has cleared waivers and has made his way to the Vancouver Canucks.

Given the shortage of forwards developing lately, this is very good news indeed. But the fact that Mike Gillis and his team got this lucky is almost unfathomable. 

How on earth did he not get snapped up?  A lot of great commentary about Ouellet can be found in the comments of this mc79 hockey post.

Update 11:05am PT: Forgot to add, Jason Krog is now down with the Moose.

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: michel+ouellet, mike+gillis, waivers

Sundin Dollars & Common Sense

Thursday in Los Angeles, Mats Sundin attended the Canucks/Kings game in the company of his agent, along with Vancouver’s GM Mike Gillis. Gillis has professed the interaction didn’t include any noteworthy business talk, but that doesn’t mean the NHL in general isn’t a bit intrigued.

Whether Sundin were to join the Canucks or not is a contentious issue—certainly, there are plenty who still feel the Leafs are front-runners for his services.  But whether Canucks fans want or don’t want Sundin to join their favorite team, is there anyone that thinks that available dollars is actually the deciding issue for the team? 

Matthew Sekeres at the Globe & Mail has the notion that it is:

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin, mike+gillis, salary+cap

Mats Sundin Attends Canucks Game, Escapes Buttering

You’d think winning 4-0—especially after coming off a cold streak like the Canucks have been going through—would be uber-gratifying. But watching them smoke a team playing as self-destructively as the Kings were last night, I was a bit underwhelmed.

Still, congrats to Roberto Luongo for the shutout, to Taylor Pyatt for looking more like a hockey player again the last couple games, and to the Sedins who are finally out of their black hole.  (More on the game at Canuck Nation.)

But while the Canucks held their own on the ice, their fans took a beating from the LA Kings mascot and his giant bag of popcorn last night.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+fans, mascots, mats+sundin, mike+gillis

Pushing the Canucks Panic Button

Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun looks at the Canucks statistical realities, six games into the season:

They’re allowing 3.46 goals-against per game, nearly a full puck worse than last season. And the current GAA is skewed by Canucks’ 6-0 win in their season-opener. But Vigneault says it isn’t the speedier, more offensive game that troubles his team, but its inability so far to kill penalties or score on the power play.

As of Monday, Vancouver was 29th with the man-advantage (6.9 per cent success rate), 23rd shorthanded (75 per cent). Special teams are a grave problem.

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: mike+gillis, statistics

Meeting Canucks Celebs, Acting Inappropriately

imagePrepare yourself—I’ve got a pile of Canucks news accompanied by a serious overdose of photos. 

To start with, Wednesday was the Raise-a-Reader campaign in Vancouver. From the Vancouver Canucks:

Raise-a-Reader started in Vancouver in 1997 and has since raised over $4.2 million dollars in support of children and family literacy in British Columbia alone. The Raise-a-Reader program went national in 2002, with twenty eight other Canadian cities hosting Raise-a-Reader Day this year. The Vancouver Raise-a-Reader campaign continuously leads the rest of the country in annual fundraising.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, the set-up was simple and fun:  Just donate a buck or two for a Vancouver Sun then walk around the various street corners of downtown Vancouver during the early rush-hour where various Canucks - current players and alumni as well as a few team executives—willingly allow you to accost them on the street. 

Much fun. I’ve taken to calling it “Canucks Fans Streetwalking for Literacy.”

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: mike+gillis, orland+kurtenbach, raise-a-reader, ryan+kesler, stan+smyl, vancouver+canucks

Unchecked Optimism

Matthew Sekeres at the Globe & Mail is

deluded

optimistic about the potentially “high-scoring” Vancouver Canucks team in front of Roberto Luongo this year.

“This season, Luongo may know what [Grant] Fuhr felt like.”

Well, sure. Because obviously the 2008-09 Canucks are so similar to the 1980s Edmonton Oilers.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, mike+gillis, roberto+luongo

Can a Coach Change His Game?

[Note: Updated below with a quote and link about the Sedins meeting with the boss last night.]

Last week, Canucks GM Mike Gillis was on the radio one day, answering a pile of questions about the usual subjects—the state of team, the Sundin situation, the Sedins future, etc.  None of what he had to say that day was particularly revolutionary, but still informative.

It also happened that I was at GM Place for a few hours that same afternoon, and hanging around being useless for so long I started thinking about what I would ask Gillis if he wandered into our neck of the building. 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

Time to Meet the Twins

A couple months ago, media and fans got the idea that Canucks GM Mike Gillis was ready to trade Daniel and Henrik Sedin to the first takers. Clearly this didn’t happen but the root of the rumors wasn’t unreasonable.  When Gillis was first hired, he was put on the spot about the future of the twins and his response was this:

“I don’t think the group of forwards right now are ready to compete. I don’t know if they [the Sedins] are players the team will be built around moving forward.”

Next week, he’ll finally be meeting them face to face and so today he addressed his earlier comments:

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin, j.p.+barry, mike+gillis

Directly or Peripherally Vancouver-related

Odds & Ends. (Updated below with the theory of Sundin-to-Colorado)

  • Agent J.P. Barry does, in fact, talk about more than just Mats Sundin.  Yesterday on Team 1040 he commented that Daniel and Henrik Sedin would never, ever move their careers in different directions.  There is a zero-percent chance that will ever happen. 


    Normally I’d think this was simple-stupid-obvious and just ignore the remarks.  But since it was J.P. Barry himself who seemed to have started the speculation in the first place when he said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if one or both the Sedins were going to be dealt away by the Canucks this past June, I thought it deserved mentioning.

 

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Filed in: nhl general, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: francesco+aquillini, j.p.+barry, jonathan+roy, mike+gillis, mls, scotty+bowman, steve+nash, trevor+linden

A Canucks State of Mind

Vancouver is hosting their annual State of the Franchise event tonight—a joyous occasion in that it’s one of the few Canucks gatherings that doesn’t appear to make money off anyone. (Though I suppose this week’s money train has already been taken care of.)  Anyway, the event itself will be broadcast online at the Canucks TV portal, starting at 6:30pm PT.

Meanwhile, here are some opinions on the state of this franchise from a few C&B readers in the last week…

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+fans, mike+gillis

Save the GMs!

While $2.5 million should be no laughing matter, I couldn’t help being amused by the series of events involving Steve Bernier yesterday. Nor could Adam Proteau at The Hockey News apparently, who would’ve enjoyed watching it go even further:

The only way this soap opera could be more entertaining would be if the Lightning’s braintrust discovered a hidden clause in the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement that allowed them to somehow supersede Vancouver’s ability to match and bring Bernier to Tampa Bay – a move that, by my calculations, would give the Bolts approximately 89 forwards heading into training camp.

Lordy. Is there any saving the NHL’s GMs from themselves? 

 

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Filed in: nhl general, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: gilles+lucien, john+davidson, mike+gillis, offer+sheets, steve+bernier

Steve Bernier Given Offer Sheet by the Blues

From the St. Louis Blues, this:

St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that the club has signed Group II free agent forward Steve Bernier to an offer sheet worth $2.5 million for next season. The Canucks will have seven days to match the offer or receive St. Louis’ 2nd round draft choice in 2009.

“Steve is a good young player who would play a big part in our youth movement,” said Davidson. “Our coaches and scouting staff are extremely positive about him.”

No doubt Davidson is simply doing the best thing for his club, but it still smells like payback.

Bet on Mike Gillis to match the offer, but regardless, I’d say the #$*!@ is about to hit the fan, no matter what.

Update 3:56pm PT: Canucks have matched the offer. Not a surprise. [TSN]

Update 4:25pm PT: Mike sent me a link to this story from July 5th, right after Bernier was traded from the Sabres.  Here’s the money quote (gotta love agents!)—

There were rumours Bernier would sign an offer sheet, but Lupien said that was never in the plans.

“I don’t work like that,” said Lupien, who also represents Roberto Luongo and could have gone the offer-sheet route after Luongo accepted his qualifying offer from the Canucks. “I’ve always asked teams to be honest with my client and I’m sure he (Gillis) is going to be honest with players after being a former player himself.”

 

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: gilles+lupien, john+davidson, mike+gillis, steve+bernier

Concerns About Bernier. And Everything Else.

Chuqui at Two For Elbowing—who certainly knows far more about Steve Bernier’s history than I do—wrote a great post yesterday wondering about the sequence of events leading up to his trade to Vancouver:

Even recently, Bernier was being touted as a key cog in the Buffalo future.

And now he’s off to Vancouver for a 2nd and a third draft pick?

Alarm bells are going off here. When a player starts becoming the pass-around pack, unless it’s Mike Sillinger, you have to wonder why; especially when teams say nice things about them and then trade them.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, colorado+avalanche, mike+gillis, steve+bernier, vancouver+canucks

Can Mike Gillis Save the Canucks?

From Ben Kuzma in The Province:

Unrestricted free agent centre Brendan Morrison will not re-sign with the Vancouver Canucks, The Province has learned.

At one point, seven teams expressed interest in Morrison and a source indicated that the 32-year-old Pitt Meadows native is expected to sign a multi-year deal elsewhere and reject a one-year, $1.9-million US offer from the Canucks.

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+morrison, mats+sundin, mike+gillis

Bye, Naslund

Markus Naslund signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers today—New York being pretty much as far as one can get from Vancouver without actually swimming in the sea or hanging out in Miami.  And I don’t blame him one bit.

To quote the Yankee Canuck“Well it’s official: I want Mike Gillis’s head on a spit.”

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: markus+naslund, mike+gillis, new+york+rangers

Vancouver’s Backup Plan

Canucks Free Agency Thrills, in summary—

Negatives:

Positives:

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alexandre+bolduc, david+backes, mats+sundin, mike+gillis, nolan+baumgartner

A $21 Million Shopping Trip Should Be More Fun Than This

It’s difficult to gauge the exact dollar amount available in the Vancouver Canucks’ bank come July 1st.  I’ve read estimates from less-than-$20-M to $21.6 M.  My own addition comes out to $21.1 M, only very slightly off the calculations by nhlnumbers.com.

Whatever the exact amount (and incidentally, I’m less-inclined than before to make fun of hiring a “capologist”) it’s a healthy amount of free agent spending money.

But for those Canucks fans out there still dreaming of Marian Hossa, I daresay it’s not going to be nearly enough.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, brendan+morrison, free+agents, marian+hossa, mike+gillis, pavol+demitra, rumors, salary+cap

Canucks News Today

  • Ed Willes at the Province points out why Mike Gillis is having trouble fitting into the Old Boys Club of the NHL.

  • Despite the problems Willes points out above, Tony Gallagher at the Province remains unfazed, and is still the acting PR voice for Gillis in the Vancouver press.

  • Sportsnet television is broadcasting their much-hyped Trevor Linden feature tonight. Air time is 9pm PT.

  • Ron Delorme, part of the Canucks organization for some 26 years, has tattoos of all the Canucks logos on his butt. (Seriously.) Anyway, Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun talks with the Canucks scouting director of the last nine years. All indications are that he’s on his way out.

Update 10:40am PT: Given the Delorme story, below is a bit of support for his drafting record, and from an unlikely source: a Detroit Red Wings fan.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+scouting, media, mike+gillis, ron+delorme, trevor+linden

Spinning Those Sedin Rumors

In today’s Province, this news:

Amid rampant rumours the Canucks are actively shopping the Sedin twins, their agent J. P. Barry said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if one or both were dealt during the NHL draft weekend.  Speculation has one or both the twins being traded Friday.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis admitted he has fielded several inquiries from other teams regarding forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin but said he hasn’t seen a legitimate offer.  Gillis said the twins are still in his long-term plans.

“We are not actively trying to trade the Sedins in any form,” Gillis said.  “A lot of teams have been calling but we are trying to sign them long-term.”

I’m curious about the source of this “speculation.”  Something credible or just message board talk?

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin, j.p.+barry, mike+gillis, trade+rumors

Vancouver Quotes, Innuendo and Lies

1. Markus Naslund: Money Doesn’t Matter (mostly)

On his decision to play at least one more season in the NHL:

“It was not a hard decision to make with a little distance to everything. I feel very motivated to continue playing in NHL.”

and more…

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, coaching, markus+naslund, mike+gillis, ryan+walter

Judgement Day… Draft Day… Same Thing in Vancouver

An FYI from Mike Gillis: Roberto Luongo won’t be traded this Friday. (Did anyone seriously think he would be??)

Anyway, a very good article from Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun, on the goings-on preparing for Draft day:

Gillis said he has been fielding offers for the 10th over-all pick, and expects many more will arrive before the first round Friday night. The final six rounds are Saturday. Gillis holds five picks, none in the third or fourth rounds due to deals the Canucks made in 2007 and 2005.

This is Gillis’s first draft. This will be the first of many judgement days on his leadership.

Indeed. Read the whole thing here (or listen to the audio of MacIntyre’s interview with Gillis).

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: mike+gillis, nhl+entry+draft, roberto+luongo

WWHAD?

The other day we had a discussion around here about the possibility of the Vancouver Canucks ditching their #10 draft pick in favor of picking up an established offensive player.

Today, Jeff Sargeant at BC Sports Beat has something to say on the topic:

Now managing a club that has one of the worst draft histories in the league, Gillis has options many of his 29 adversaries could dream of.  The team has a large amount of salary cap dollars to play with since the likes of Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, Aaron Miller, and Brad Isbister are set to become unrestricted free agents July 1st.

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: hakan+andersson, mike+gillis, nhl+entry+draft

Bellowing From the Moose

It’s no secret that the Vancouver Canucks are running through a lot of changes lately—so what’s another one? From Ken Wiebe at the Winnipeg Sun:

Moose general manager Craig Heisinger confirmed the Vancouver Canucks will be supplying prospects for the upcoming season, but what Heisinger said—and more importantly, the way he said it—suggests an extension with the parent club might not be in the cards.

“We’ll be with Vancouver, we have one year left in our agreement and we will fulfil that obligation,” said Heisinger. “I said we will fulfill our obligation for one more year. That’s what we will do. At this time next year, we’ll re-evaluate that situation. It’s a completely new management structure there, so we’ll see how it goes.”

And some editorializing from Wiebe:

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Filed in: manitoba moose, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: craig+heisinger, manitoba+moose, mike+gillis, mike+keane

Vigneault Signs an Extension

From the Vancouver Canucks:

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis today announced that Head Coach Alain Vigneault has agreed to terms on an extension that keeps him under contract through the 2009-10 season.

“This is a significant announcement for our hockey club,” said Gillis. “My first priority when taking over the job was to meet with Alain and ensure we shared the same philosophy about building an elite level team for now and for the future. Alain has done a very good job in his two years in Vancouver and I am confident that will continue.”

Not too surprising given the fact Viggy had the authority to sack two of his own assistants last night.  I’m really going to have to spend some time making fun of this situation later.

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

Canucks: The Bane of Miami

The Vancouver Canucks certainly have their problems, but they sure know how to screw the Florida Panthers. Or at least Florida seems to think so… From Brian Biggane at the Palm Beach Post:

When new Vancouver GM Mike Gillis hired former Panther captain Scott Mellanby as a consultant last week, the move didn’t make many waves outside of northwest Canada. Truth be told, it marked yet another lost opportunity for the Panthers [...] With his long Panther ties and enduring loyalty to the organization, Mellanby could have been a great fit [...] Remember, this is an organization that was ranked 30th and last by The Hockey News in terms of its organizational wherewithal this past season. It’s not like it can’t use the help..

If they’re this bothered by losing out on the Mellanby “sweepstakes” I can’t imagine they’re much over that whole Luongo thing yet.

Maybe the Panthers should have just ditched Jacques Martin and hired Dave Nonis…?

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: mike+gillis, roberto+luongo, scott+mellanby

The Fall Guy

From Dan Murphy at Sportsnet.ca:

When Dave Nonis was fired and replaced by Gillis, I was among the many who thought Vigneault was on very shaky ground. I mean, how many times do you see a coach survive a GM change? It’s common practise for the new GM to bring in “his guy.”

Now I know what you’re thinking. Gillis is simply keeping Vigneault on so he has a fall guy if things don’t start out well this season. Perhaps. [...]

[But if ] I was a betting man (and I’m going to Vegas this weekend so you better believe I am) I would lay odds that we’ll hear news about a Vigneault extension before we hear about a Vigneault dismissal. But that’s just me.

Hmm. Perhaps. But if I was a betting woman (and I don’t go anywhere near Vegas as a rule because I am, and I’m really, really bad at it) I would lay odds that we’ll be hearing more about that “fall guy” plan, not a dismissal or an extension.

Seems like just the right approach for a clever new GM looking to build some personal job security in this business.

Filed in: alanah makes dumb bets, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

Renewing the Vows in Vegas

Will Vigneault be fired in Vegas? The poll (below) indicates that most fans think so. But while I’m not a fan of the coach, I tend to agree (at least in part) with Iain MacIntyre via the National Post, who feels Viggy will get more time.

So, ask yourself: Would the GM include his coach in critical strategy sessions to finalize the Canucks’ entry-draft list, identify free-agent targets and generally plan for next season, then punt him? You know, so Vigneault could take his Jack Adams Trophy and the Canucks’ top-secret plans to another team?

Gillis is unconventional, but not mad.

Chances are the delay in clarifying Vigneault’s status is not due to the possible termination of his contract, but the possible extension of it. Vigneault has a year remaining and obviously would prefer not to be a lame duck, since the most recent one of those - Quenneville - will be pulling shotgun pellets from his rump for weeks.

Firing the Jack Adams-carrying coach is simply much riskier for Gillis than keeping him on another season.

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, free+agents, mike+gillis, nhlpa, trevor+linden

Busy Days—From Vancouver to Vegas

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…

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, francesco+aquilini, mike+gillis

Gambling with the Canucks

From Ben Kuzma at Canwest (via the Guardian):

The coaching fate of the Vancouver Canucks’ Alain Vigneault will be determined by the end of this week in the most ironic of locations — the gambling heartland of Las Vegas.

With Canucks management and scouts assembling in the Nevada city for their annual meetings, new general manager Mike Gillis said Tuesday that Vigneault has been summoned from his home in Gatineau, Que., to face further scrutiny over the next two days.[...]

In his season-ending address, Vigneault defended his defensive style as one that is common throughout the NHL. Still, the Canucks finished 24th in offence with 213 goals — down nine from the previous season — and their power play was ranked 18th at 17.1-per-cent efficiency. It was 17.2 per cent in 2006-07.

Lay your bets, hockey fans: Will Vigneault keep his job, or does he get offed in Vegas?

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, coaching, las+vegas, mike+gillis

Measuring the Vancouver Offense

If you’re the new GM of the Vancouver Canucks and you’ve suggested one of your priorities is to rebuild an offensive-style game, what’s tops on your agenda?

If rethinking the team’s association with Daniel and Henrik Sedin was your first guess, you’re smarter than I am.  From TSN:

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin, mike+gillis

I’m Starting to Like Mike Gillis…

In today’s Vancouver Province, news which warms my cold, blackened, disappointed Canucks-fan heart:

For a week now, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault has spent his days at GM Place on the hot seat. 

For a couple hours, sometimes more, each day, he’s been brought in to informally defend, dissect and rehash a season most are trying to forget. He’s not done yet.

“It’s still ongoing, it’s going to take even more time,” Canucks GM Mike Gillis said.

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

On those ‘Demitra to Vancouver’ Rumors

Some thoughts from Minnesota, à la Michael Russo at the Star Tribune:

Oh, and lastly, this is unconfirmed by me but being told to me by a Vancouver reporter, but apparently Pavol Demitra was in Vancouver over the weekend being given a tour of the area by Canucks captain Markus Naslund.

As I’ve intimated here, the chances of the Wild even attempting to bring Demitra back is slim to none, and there’s a question whether he’d even want to return.

Demitra signing with Vancouver makes sense. His agent — or now, I guess, former agent — is Mike Gillis, the now-GM of the Canucks. Naslund is also now a former client of Gillis. 

Both are unrestricted free agents, and you can bet Gillis may very well take care of his former clients. In fact, maybe Pavel Bure comes out of retirement and returns to Vancouver.

[updated below - Demitra did indeed spend time in Vancouver in recent days.]

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Filed in: manitoba moose, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, brad+moran, markus+naslund, mike+gillis, pavol+demitra

Vancouver Canucks Get Capped

Update May 5th: The Vancouver Sun provides details of the hiring, confirmed by the Canucks.

____________________

At Mike Gillis’s introductory press conference as the new Vancouver Canucks GM, he had mentioned something about creating a new executive position dedicated entirely to a guy using a calculator. 

Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail says it’s done:

New Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis is on the verge of adding his first executive to the front office in former Phoenix Coyotes assistant GM Laurence Gilman.

Gilman will be the Canucks salary capologist. He received his start in the NHL as a legal advisor with the Winnipeg Jets and moved with the franchise to Phoenix. Before he was fired along with general manager Mike Barnett a year ago, he also ran the Coyotes AHL affiliate in Utah.

 

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: laurence+gilman, mike+gillis, vancouver+canucks

Happy Thoughts from Spector

From Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News, a rundown of the rumors and conundrums surrounding the Canucks this offseason, including:

Behind the bench, coach Alain Vigneault and his staff remain in limbo as Gillis evaluates their future with the club. Vigneault won the Jack Adams Trophy in 2007 as the NHL’s coach of the year, but Gillis could be mulling a change in the Canucks’ style of play from their defensive system to a more offensive style, which could result in replacing Vigneault.

From your mouth to God’s ears, Lyle… 

Read the rest of his article for a roundup of other Canucks topics.

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, mike+gillis

Moneypuck

Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun sat down with Mike Gillis yesterday:

As Gillis talked Friday about management models, it wasn’t Sam Pollack or Bill Torrey or Glen Sather or Brian Burke he cited, but Sandy Alderson.

Alderson is the former U.S. marine who had no baseball management experience when he was named general manager of the Oakland Athletics in 1982. His hiring was ridiculed by many in the baseball establishment, but Alderson revolutionized the game.

He relied on data and detached analysis rather than experience and emotion to choose players and build his team, which became the best in baseball. His successor Billy Beane, a disciple, introduced the concept of “Moneyball,”

An interesting interview, which also gives more insight into how his hiring came about.  You can read it all here, or listen to the audio of their conversation here [mp3].

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: mike+gillis, mlb, moneypuck

Canucks GM Mike Gillis Addresses the Media

Statement from the new Canucks GM Mike Gillis this morning:

“I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to lead the Vancouver Canucks as General Manager.  This is a great hockey market with loyal fans and supporters. Everyone who works in this industry wants to work in a Canadian NHL city, there is nothing else like it.”

About the news conference this morning, Gillis stressed that he won’t be making any decisions about the personnel of the club until he has a chance to do a complete evaluation.  Some highlights of his comments below:

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Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: general+manager, mike+gillis, press+conference

Report: Canucks Name New GM—Mike Gillis

Update April 23, 11:10am PT: Canucks owner formally named new GM Mike Gillis in this morning’s press conference.  More info here.

_____________

imageAfter 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:

 

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Filed in: business of hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: dave+nonis, francesco+aquilini, markus+naslund, mike+gilles, mike+gillis, vancouver+canucks

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