Vancouver Canucks: Gillis interviews, Lightning up next

VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 5: Sven Baertschi
VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 5: Sven Baertschi /

As the Vancouver Canucks prepare for today’s game in Tampa – which luckily was missed by Hurricane Michael – all the talk in Vancouver is about the eye-opening TSN1040 interview with Mike Gillis yesterday. Let’s see what everyone’s talking about.

Plenty of reaction to Mike Gillis’ very candid responses to an interview I thought was well-conducted by Matt Sekeres and Blake Price. Vancouver Canucks fans learned quite a bit from the former GM. Let’s recap some of what was said using the excellent stream of tweets by TSN1040:

This was the main story of the piece, and one that almost every Canucks fan would agree with. In the scouting team’s defense, Gillis packaged away so many draft picks that they didn’t have the luxury of getting a few wrong – and sadly, the team got many picks wrong during Gillis’ time at the helm.

Ah, what might have been. When Cody Hodgson went bar-down, we all thought we had a bonafide star forward in the making. Such a shame that things ended up the way they did, and that the eventual Hodgson trade didn’t work out either.

Easily forgotten amongst the riots, finger-biting and Sedin-punching, was that by the end of that series with Boston we had lost several key players and had several more playing through serious injuries. Oh for what could have been!

We could be out of the other end of a rebuild already had Gillis had his way. Ancient history now of course, and I think this way has been less painful (who’d have wanted to have seen that great team broken up in its prime?).


Personally, I don’t think we missed Aaron Rome as much as Gillis would have us believe. But he’s right about the overly-lengthy suspension.

Torts might attempt to fight Gillis after these comments, but I’m glad to hear management take Torts’ unprofessional conduct so seriously. That was a true low point after those years of success.

For me, the team that went within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2011 was mesmerizing, and Gillis deserves a lot of credit for the supplementary moves he made to the roster to make that team as competitive as it was. And while I don’t agree that Mike Gillis ranks streets ahead of other past GMs, I do agree with JD Burke with his overall viewpoint:

In other Canucks news, the team is unconcerned about Brock Boeser‘s failure to light the lamp so far this season. Fantastic quote from Coach Green in this iMac article for Sportsnet, which really sums up the story perfectly:

"“I know he’s pressing; he wants to score a goal. I just don’t think … he’s not sharp right now. He’s a smart kid, though. He’s got to stay with what works. He can’t just start cheating. He’s got to play good at both ends of the rink, and that’s when you usually end up finding a goal that gets you out of a rut.”"

I can see Boeser scoring today. Speaking of which, all that Gillis news has overshadowed the fact that the Canucks play again today, Game 4 of the season and the third game of our longest road trip of the season. It’s worth noting that every forward has at least one point bar Tim Schaller, who has only played one game so far. Game-day previews can he found here: [ESPN] [NHL]

I’m going Nucks, 3-2, Boeser on the PP and a couple for Bo.

Tell us something we don’t know Mr Button:

Elsewhere in the NHL:

Alex Ovechkin continues his assault on the NHL record books, potting goals 610 and 611 of his stellar career to surpass the legendary Bobby Hull and take sole possession of 17th all-time in goals scored. Where does Ovie finish this season, if healthy – 650 goals, 14th all-time? It’s entirely possible he surpasses Selanne, Lemieux, Yzerman AND Messier towards the end of next season. [NHL records]

Forget Rasmus Dahlin, the most impressive young D-man in the NHL this season is  Maxime Lajoie of the Ottawa Senators. This guy has 3 goals and 2 assists in four games, after scoring just one goal in 56 games in the AHL last season. What a sensational start to his NHL career. Apparently some kid named Brady Tkachuk scored his first career goals in last night’s game but for me, Lajoie is the story. [TSN]

Eliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts are pretty-much the must-read piece of every week in the NHL. Here are this week’s, which include some interesting tidbits about EP40’s draft positioning. [Sportsnet]

Goalie equipment has been a focus for league brass for some time, and changes were brought in in an attempt to increase scoring league-wide. Patrick Johnston at the Province has written a very interesting piece about the evolution of the goaltending wardrobe, and how some of the league’s goalies are handling the changes. [Vancouver Province]

Tom Wilson has been granted non-roster status, to allow the Caps to field a 23-man roster during his suspension. That rankles with me, with many other fans of many other teams. That really should void his appeal. Just when you think the Department of Player Safety has made a good call, the league chickens out of actually applying the proper punishment. [Sportsnet]

Already time for changes on defense. dark. Next

Question of the day:

What is YOUR one abiding memory of the Gillis regime?