Posts Tagged ‘Mike Gillis’

Vancouver Canucks take leap of faith with new president Trevor Linden

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Trevor Linden (left) is the new president of the Vancouver Canucks

Canucks icon Trevor Linden (left, with Stan Smyl) may have to contend with a meddling owner. (Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Their season isn’t officially over, but the reconstruction of the Canucks has begun in earnest.

A day after sending GM Mike Gillis packing, Vancouver continued its front-office makeover with the hiring of franchise legend Trevor Linden as the team’s new president.

According to a team release, Linden will be responsible for all hockey operations, including the coaching and scouting staffs, player procurement and development, and minor league affiliations and operations.

“Today is a real honour,” Linden said. “I came to Vancouver 26 years ago and I have never left. I love this city. It is my home and the Canucks have always been part of my family. I’m passionate about the Canucks and I want to win — just like our fans. I believe in this team and share the organization’s commitment to excellence on and off of the ice. I am looking forward to getting started — getting to know everyone in the organization, and working together to win the Stanley Cup for this great city.”

We’ll have to take him at his word there — even though he lied to us all yesterday.

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  • Published On Apr 09, 2014
  • Top Line: Mike Gillis firing fallout; Alex Ovechkin breaks a puck; more links

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    Coach John Tortorella of the Vancouver Canucks

    Who hired coach John Tortorella (right) is a hot button question in Vancouver these days. (Bob Frid/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • There’s no joy to be had when someone loses their job, but as Eric Duhatschek points out, Canucks GM Mike Gillis had it coming in Vancouver.

    • Who’ll take Gillis’s spot in the big chair? Trevor Linden, who will have a meddlesome owner to handle.

    • Whatever you do, don’t dare suggest that the decision to hire coach John Tortorella was made by anyone other than Gillis. Because apparently rich people have lawyers.

    • Adam Proteau says the fatal flaw for Gillis in Vancouver was that he loved his players too much. If that seems like an odd criticism, compare his performance to that of Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, the man whose team knocked off the Canucks for the Stanley Cup in 2011. Chiarelli didn’t just build a winner, he had the courage to do what was necessary to maintain it, including trading away No. 2 pick Tyler Seguin. Gillis never could have done something like that.

    Alex Ovechkin didn’t just score his 50th goal of the season last night. He broke the dang puck.

    • Looks like Ovi found himself the perfect girlfriend. She thinks it’s all about scoring goals, too.

    • The points are swell and all, but two-way play has been the key to Nathan MacKinnon’s quick success in Colorado. It’s no coincidence that this link comes after a couple about Ovechkin … or that the Avalanche are going to the playoffs and Washington likely isn’t.

    • We all laughed at him, but in the end it turned out that Claude Giroux could see the future. Quick … someone ask him for the winning MegaMillions numbers …

    • The Lightning didn’t offer an update on the condition of injured goalie Ben Bishop after Tuesday night’s win over the Maple Leafs, but there is real concern that an apparent wrist injury could prevent him from playing during the postseason. That would be a devastating blow to the Bolts’ chances against the Canadiens.

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  • Published On Apr 09, 2014
  • Vancouver Canucks fire GM Mike Gillis

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    Coach John Tortorella and fired GM Mike Gillis of the Vancouver Canucks.

    Coach John Tortorella (left) has won the rumored “him or me” battle with GM Mike Gillis. (Bob Frid/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    You knew someone, and probably multiple someones, would pay the price for Vancouver’s dismal season after the team was officially eliminated from the playoffs on Monday night.

    The team’s fans made it clear whose head they wanted with chants of “Fire Gillis” during that listless 3-0 loss to the Ducks.

    Today, they got their wish. The team announced the dismissal of Gillis on Tuesday afternoon.

    “On behalf of my entire family, I would like to sincerely thank Mike Gillis for his hard work and the many contributions he made on and off the ice during his tenure,” owner Francesco Aquilini said in a statement. “The Vancouver Canucks had success under Mike’s leadership, and we nearly reached our ultimate goal; but I believe we have reached a point where a change in leadership and new voice is needed.”

    “I also want to thank our fans for their support for the Vancouver Canucks through a difficult and frustrating season,” Aquilini continued. “We haven’t met their expectations or ours. We are committed to bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver for our fans and we will continue to do everything possible to reach that goal.”

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  • Published On Apr 08, 2014
  • Trevor Linden to be new president of Vancouver Canucks? Not so fast…

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    Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden

    Canucks icon Trevor Linden (right) has a good reason to deny that the team is about to hire him. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    TSN’s Bob McKenzie has cultivated a reputation for being one of the hockey world’s best-connected insiders. So when he tweeted this morning that Trevor Linden was about to be named the new president of the Vancouver Canucks, well, the story quickly gained traction.

    Except with Linden.

    The franchise legend was previously scheduled for an appearance on Vancouver’s Global TV to talk about a new gym he’s opening in the area, but McKenzie’s tweet quickly changed the focus of the interview.

    But Linden, speaking with host Steve Darling, decided to play killjoy.

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  • Published On Apr 08, 2014
  • Top Line: Canucks face big choice; David Letterman’s hockey top-10; more links

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    Coach John Tortorella of the Vancouver Canucks

    Coach John Tortorella may have the edge if the Canucks must choose between him and their GM. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    Canucks GM Mike Gillis made one thing clear about his team’s future in a shockingly frank interview on Vancouver radio yesterday: ownership needs to choose between retaining him or coach John Tortorella. Given that Torts was hired by owner Francesco Aquilini, Gillis is probably expecting that his neck will be the one in the noose.

    • Whoever is left to call the shots might need to cut loose one of Gillis’ mistakes.

    • “It’s been long time no play; I forget I’m hockey player.” Welcome back, Pavel Datsyuk!

    • A Top-10 list of David Letterman’s greatest hockey moments in honor of his announcement on Thursday that he’ll retire from his long-running TV talk show in 2015.

    • With five losses in their past six games, the fading Philadelphia Flyers are in danger of losing their grip on a playoff spot.

    • The Columbus Blue Jackets recorded a franchise first in extending Philly’s misery.

    • The St. Louis Blues set a record of their own on Thursday night. Naturally, coach Ken Hitchcock wasted no time popping the balloon.

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  • Published On Apr 04, 2014
  • Vancouver trades disgruntled goalie Roberto Luongo to Florida Panthers

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    Eddie Lack and Roberto Luongo

    Lack of experience: The Canucks now turn to unproven Eddie Lack (left) as Roberto Luongo departs. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    After an 18-month goaltending drama highlighted by trade demands, parody videos, emotionally charged press conferences and a rowdy, chanting crowd at the Heritage Classic, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis chose to hand his team’s net over to … Eddie Lack?

    Somehow the unheralded Swedish prospect finds himself the undisputed No. 1 keeper in Vancouver after a stunning trade on Thursday that sent long-time starter Roberto Luongo to Florida, where, deliciously, he’ll be partnered with 2011 Stanley Cup rival Tim Thomas.

    The Canucks also tossed minor league forward Steven Anthony into the package and will receive goaltending prospect Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias in return. The Canucks will also pick up 15 percent of Luongo’s tab.

    That’s not exactly the sort of bountiful haul that will push Vancouver’s much-needed rebuild forward — Markstrom is 24 and has failed multiple times to seize a job in Florida — but this wasn’t a hockey trade for Gillis. This was about ending a soap opera that had gone on too long, and which had threatened to erupt again after Luongo was benched by coach John Tortorella for last Sunday’s Heritage Classic game.

    And it was about moving an unmovable contract that will count $5.333 million against the cap through the 2021-22 season.

    In those ways Gillis can call himself a winner. Vancouver can move on with Lack — a respectable young netminder — and some cap space which can be put to other uses moving forward.

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  • Published On Mar 04, 2014
  • Vancouver Canucks finally fire coach Alain Vigneault — now what?

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    Alain Vigneault has been fired as coach of the Vancouver Canucks

    Despite his rocky end in Vancouver, Alain Vigneault could end up with a gig in Dallas. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    The Canucks have finally bid farewell to head coach Alain Vigneault, associate coach Rick Bowness, and assistant coach Newell Brown.

    Vancouver’s season ended on May 7 with a four-game sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, so it’s nice to see Mr. Dithers, er, GM Mike Gillis, finally get around to putting the staff out of its misery.

    After consecutive first-round ousters, the news of the dismissals could surprise only those who assumed that Gillis would continue to delay the inevitable until the pool of high quality replacements had been skimmed by the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars, leaving the Canucks to settle for someone else’s leftovers. Sort of like how Gillis has gone about adding spare parts to his roster in an effort to spackle over some significant structural flaws during the past two seasons.

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  • Published On May 22, 2013
  • Luongo trade rumors swirl as Canucks GM spotted at Capitals game

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    Robert Luongo

    Could Robert Luongo be headed to Washington? A potential deal makes sense for both sides. (Ben Nelms/Reuters)

    By Allan Muir

    There are plenty of good reasons for gentlemen of culture to visit Washington this time of year: the museums, the Auto Show, Restaurant Week, the International Wine Festival. So it’s possible that Mike Gillis and Lawrence Gilman were in D.C. for any or all of those and figured they’d stop in at the Capitals-Penguins game just to top off a fabulous weekend.

    But probably not.

    When scouts from a team at the center of every other trade rumor show up in another building on the opposite side of the country, it could mean anything or nothing. That sort of thing happens all the time.

    But when the general manager and assistant GM show up, there’s probably a very specific purpose for their visit.

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  • Published On Feb 03, 2013


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