04/22/2008 at 10:45pm EDT
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:
Update 5:57pm PT: The same info from Elliott Pap at the Vancouver Sun.
Update 6:32pm PT: The Canadian Press states definitively that Gillis “has been hired to be the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks.”
Update 6:44pm PT: Matthew Sekeres at the Globe & Mail considers what will likely be a big question at Wednesday’s press conference…
It is unclear what would become of Gillis’s NHL clients, including Canucks captain Markus Naslund, who can become a free agent in the summer, should the agent accept a management position with the Canucks. As of yesterday, the National Hockey League Players’ Association had not received news that Gillis planned to decertify himself, though that process could be left until after he is introduced as the general manager.
Gillis has various other NHL clients as well. No doubt this will be explained right off the bat at Wednesday’s press conference.
Also, another confirmation that this is a done-deal, from Jason Botchford at The Province. Botchford also points out…
His client list over the years has included Markus Naslund, Pavel Bure, the Courtnall brothers, Bobby Holik, Sam Gagner, Pavol Demitra, Mathieu Dandenault, Mike Richter, Mathieu Schneider and many others.
Update 8:56pm PT: Check out Elliotte Friedman at the CBC—the first guy to ask the question that a lot of MSM are likely to be asking (or should be asking) in the coming days…
His apparent ascension to the Canuck throne would suggest his move to the West Coast also allowed him to be closer to Francesco Aquilini. It’s clear now that the Canucks owner had him in mind from the moment Dave Nonis was fired. Gillis undoubtedly worked his way close to the person who mattered most. Obviously, it worked. Did he undermine Nonis? That’s probably something the former GM is asking, too.
*thanks to a KK member for posting the Global TV link in the forum