Mike Gillis Doesn't Want to Make Decisions Hastily or Based on Emotion

Thomas Drance
May 09 2013 02:57PM


Photograph by Jeff Vinnick

During his season ending press conference, Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis was asked by Jason Botchford about Mason Raymond's future with the team, and whether or not Gillis still believes in the speedster. Gillis responded as such:

"We had a lot of success in previous years, now we have to recognize that changes have to be made. I'm not going to commit today to what those changes will be, I think I need more time. I don't want to make decisions hastily or based on emotion."

That was pretty much the tenor of the entire press conference.

Read past the jump for more.

On Thursday afternoon in the media centre in the bowels of what was once called "GM Place," briefly was known as Canada Hockey Place and is now known as Rogers Arena, a humbled Mike Gillis talked about needing to "reset" but not "rebuild."

He talked about a review process that would spare no one in the organization, and gave no definitive answer on Alain Vigneault's future behind Vancouver's bench.

The most definitive nugget he gave us was his strong suggestion that Luongo has played his last game in a Canucks uniform.

There was a somber tone to the proceedings, frankly, and now we're left to watch and see exactly what "significant changes" the team puts into action. 

In terms of excuses, Mike Gillis touched on the change in style of play league-wide - even though his club was ironically defeated in a special teams heavy series - and he touched on injuries, and the lockout which made for a "messed up season."

"When I look at every other team in the league, this was such a messed up season from start to finish with the uncertainty of the lockout the repercussions coming out of the lockout - the landscape certainly changed from the summer time to the last opportunity we did have to make changes.

The shortened season had teams competing right up until the last day of the season. So historically some of those teams would've been out signifcaintly earlier and we had limited opportunities to do the things we wanted to do. We had significant injuries the whole year, which didn't help. But it's my job to give the coach the best players we could possibly give him. Regardless of what happened in a shortened season that's my responsbility that's my job"

Implied in that answer is that he failed at his job this season, by his own assessment. Let it not be said that Mike Gillis didn't at least ownership of Vancouver's postseason ineptitude this year.

Still, he didn't talk about blowing it all up and seemed to suggest that the club will more or less stick with their core pieces, "we need to supplement our core group of players that are here as best we can and then look at other possibilities." He also left the door wide open for the organization to retain Alain Vigneault, though he didn't necessarily give him the strongest endorsement either:

"I think Alain is a great coach. I think he's done a remarkable job here in the face of lots of adversity. I can't think of another team that has gone through the tragedies that we have in the last four to five years and done it with dignity and respect."

In summary, Mike Gillis didn't show us his hand today. But that's fine, an early playoff outster gives you extra time for self-evaluation and it's on the organization to make the most of that time. Being deliberate and unemotional going forward is the right approach, even if I thought some of Mike Gillis' comments about rushing prospect into the lineup were a bit odd. We'll see Mike Gillis play his cards over the next few months (and rest assured we'll track it closely at this blog). It should be fascinating, frankly.

The quote that sticks with me from the Press Conference, however, was when Gillis stated that "five years ago we came in here and reset the organization and it’s time to do it again." Ignoring the regular season success, and the postseason success too, it seems like Mike Gillis's tenure has come full circle. In his own words: the organization is back to where it started when he found it a half decade ago. I'm not sure that's what Canucks fans were hoping to hear today...

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#51 Habs A OK
May 10 2013, 05:36AM
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@CoLa

Hey, if my questions are too hard for you to follow let me ask you again simply -

Please tell us how HARD it is to hire a GM, seeing as how you seem to have experience in hiring Hockey GM's?

You say it's HARD hiring GM's, please enlighten us and tell us from your experience WHY? Please also tell us how many people you tried to hire to be the Canuck's GM and why IT"S SO HARD?

I'm looking forward to your answers on why it's so hard. I look forward on your hard experiences on why it was so HARD for you to hire a GM.

Enlighten me, I would love to hear your answer.

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#52 Habs A OK
May 10 2013, 05:41AM
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@CoLau

Please tell me how the crappy players on the Canucks got there. Please let us know why it's so HARD to replace Gillis , the Sedins.

You sound like you have GM hiring experience. enlighten us, please.

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#53 Senrik Hedin
May 10 2013, 07:09AM
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am i the only one sad at the fact that the comment section here has become something like the cdc forums/oilersnation?

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#54 Oilsover
May 10 2013, 07:29AM
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@Senrik Hedin

Do you want a forum where everyone is kissing everyone elses behind? Where everything has to be sugar-coated? The Team does not deserve more time, more chances as far as I'am concerned. let us save sympathy, chances for things that truely deserve it. The Canucks imo have run out of " get out of jail" passes along long time ago...and so has half the team, the GM and the coach and staff.

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#55 Marko
May 10 2013, 10:02AM
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@Habs A OK

You're a dumbass, dude.

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#56 Mantastic
May 10 2013, 10:06AM
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@Origamirock

Chicago, LA and Boston have all won the cup recently and have way better prospects than the canucks, please don't blame the position when you draft guys like Mallet in the 2nd round...

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#57 Watsukoguy
May 10 2013, 10:15AM
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Candid and taking responsibility for the failure of the Canucks. I agree with the style of play that hurt the Canucks. Both GM and Coach failed to see that. AV blending his lines and constantly misusing his players to acquisitions gone south by the GM. It would appear they believed that they had the style and the champions or teams that defeated them were rare in how they played. All winning teams seem to play that way.

Not sure neither Mike Gillis nor Alain Vigneault will be back but wouldnt be totally surprised if they were.

Change is clear and if nothing else i think: Luongo, Ballard, Booth Raymond and potentially Edler are on their way out of Vancouver. Luongo for sure and the rest are just the obvious pickups. Edler might be part of the Bold move they mentioned.

my two cents.

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#58 Mantastic
May 10 2013, 11:15AM
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@Wholly comments Batman

lol, Canucks PP worked at the same rate as the Sharks?! Canucks are in the bottom 3rd of the league in PP%, Sharks are top 3rd of the league in PP%... so very similar...

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#59 Mantastic
May 10 2013, 11:21AM
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@Senrik Hedin

might as well keep it like the previous CA comments and have them completely empty. because that is so much better.

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#60 PNutz
May 10 2013, 02:21PM
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@Mantastic

Are kidding? LA had at least 1 top 15 pick in every draft since 2003 Chicago stockpiled tons of 1st round picks in their 10 years of abstinence. Not hard to gain prospects when you have picks

The Canucks havent had a pick inside the top 10 since drafting the Sedins in 99, have had 2 picks at number 10 Hodgson and Bourdon. One is playing the other is dead.

The Canucks might not have a huge pool, and yes having draft numbers does help, but the likes of Tanev, Corrado, Lack, Jensen and Gaunce are looking like very good pickups (drafted or not)

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#61 Mantastic
May 10 2013, 03:55PM
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@PNutz

who's fault is that about not having picks in the 1st round and drafting players like Mallet in the 2nd? or trading your own top 10 drafted player for someone who is way more of a project?

there are lots of teams that finish high in the overall standings that finish with low picks that have a way better prospect pool than the canucks still in the past few years. stop making excuses for extremely poor drafting and trading away picks and prospects for bad players (Ballard, Roy, Pahlsson, Alberts).

there are only 10 players every year to be picked in the top 10 and there are another 200 remaining, teams do not need top 10 picks to replenish their prospect pools. they aren't the only impact players and aren't automatic impact players either

only having 5 "prospects" (Tanev isn't a prospect anymore) that may or may not be impact players is not enough sustain a team, seeing as high end prospects maybe pan out 80% and what you just listed, they are not classified as high end at all

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#62 Habs A OK
May 10 2013, 04:42PM
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@Marko

Look who's talking. Enjoy another 44 years of sucking, moron. You suck worse than your team. I'll be back next year to tell you once again how your team still haven't won and still sucks like you. LOL

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