Canucks and Beyond

Canucks GM Mike Gillis Addresses the Media

04/23/2008 at 4:55pm EDT

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:

  • He said he does not think the Canucks are close to being contenders (welcome to our club, Gillis…)
  • He said he’s begun the process of dissolving his partnership as a hockey scout agent and transferring all his clients
  • He said he took about 5 days to decide on accepting this job, so it would seem the Aquilinis had a plan to hire him from the start.
  • He’s got issues with Canucks assets, and it sounds like he’ll have a focus on scouting
  • He seems to imply that Alain Vigneault’s coaching style might have been limited by having poor assets; so it sounds (for now) like Vigneault may be keeping his job.

Owner Francesco Aquilini would not answer any questions posed about the hiring process for his new GM (which strikes me as a bit shady, but whatever).

Anyway, I’m not sure what I think of Gillis but he sounded competent—certainly a lot better with the media than his boss is, that’s for sure. And I’m glad the Aquilinis made this decision quickly—the longer this team went without a GM, the more negative the impact would be on next season.

I’ll post the audio of the press conference (or a link to it) as soon as it’s available, as well as stories from the media that will be coming out later today.

Update1:50pm PT: A short video clip featuring some of Gillis’ comments at the press conference [TSN]

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