First domino to fall: Mike Gillis fired

Dimitri Filipovic
April 08 2014 02:01PM

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The fans that chanted "Fire Gillis" near the conclusion of last night's home defeat to the Anaheim Ducks - putting a firm seal on any sort of outside shot the team had at a playoff bid - got what they wanted today.

According to reports, General Manager Mike Gillis has been let go by the Vancouver Canucks after 6 largely successful seasons on the job. But this is a "what have you done lately for me?" business, and things had completely gone off the rails for the franchise that was one win away from being a Stanley Cup Champion less than 3 years ago.

With the team mired in a tailspin, there'd been all sorts of rumblings floating around for a while now that Gillis wasn't long for this job. While it was believed that he may've helped alleviate some of that tension with his inspiring interview on Team 1040 last Thursday, apparently it wasn't nearly enough to save him from getting the axe.

The best head coach, goaltender, and GM in franchise history have now all become casualties in the span of 10 months now, as the soap opera in Vancouver continues to drag on without a sign of slowing down. This is surely the first domino to fall in what will be a long, and absorbing summer for the team.

The attention now shifts to coach John Tortorella, as it's still unclear whether this news affects him in any way. When this news broke I was actually in the process of reading Jason Botchford's Provies from last night, which have been the best source of insight into this entire ordeal:

"If the owners do fire Gillis, they will be hoping a new general manager would be willing to keep Torts. That’s a big ask. Not only would the Canucks have to find someone willing to work with the Aquilinis, they would need to find someone willing to work with Tortorella. That’s a helluva frightening double bill right there. Of course if Gillis goes, the Aquilinis would be doing it knowing a new GM may want his own coach. But that’s only if they don’t have a successor picked out already."

One potential candidate that's surfaced and would likely be OK with keeping Tortorella around for another kick at the can is Jay Feaster, which is as alarming as it sounds. The two have a working history from their days back in Tampa Bay, but that's about the only positive I can think of. I'm not sure going after Calgary's sloppy seconds is the right way to approach this delicate matter, personally.

As John Shannon alluded to in that tweet, though, I'd imagine that the Aquilinis will approach putting this convoluted puzzle back together piece-by-piece. The first play could involve bringing Trevor Linden into the fold in a president role, which is a headline that quickly got bumped down to being the second biggest piece of news around these parts today. While Linden quickly squashed those rumours on Global TV this morning -- where there's smoke, there's fire, and that connection between the former player and the team makes a whole lot of sense.

After that, it appears that they'll bring in the new GM, who they'll entrust with handling the coach (hopefully in a different way than they did the former decision maker, if all of the reports are true). While we collectively pray that the guy I mentioned earlier isn't actually in-play for the role, a name that would garner legitimate interest is Markus Naslund, who has some real managerial experience in Sweden

If nothing else, next year's campaign of "WE'RE BRINGING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER" would surely be a hit with the fans. Based on the total clusterf*ck that this entire season has been for the Canucks, the franchise really could use any sort of PR help it could get right about now.

This'll all take some time to play out, though. Especially considering all of the questions that need to be answered:

Will Gillis finally shave and take another job as a GM elsewhere? Or will he just continue to cash cheques, grow out his goatee, and snidely end every tweet he sends out with #stillonpayroll? How long will it take for the fans to turn on guys like Naslund and Linden if they're brought in for management roles? Will they forego the alumni route and just promote cap magician Laurence Gilman instead? And what's the buffet scene like in Vancouver (fine, Jay Feaster asked me to throw that one in there..)

While the team couldn't help itself from casting Mike Gillis' corpse to the side of the road as soon as it could, we've got the full summer to dissect and debate potential candidates and courses of actions as each little inkling become public knowledge.

Anyways, I've gone ahead and attached some further reading and takes on the Gillis firing, in case you'd like to continue reading up on it. I'll also be joining Stephen Quinn on CBC Radio's "On The Coast" later today at roughly 3:15 PM PST if you'd like to tune in and hear my thoughts, again, on the matter.

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Dimitri Filipovic writes about hockey on the internet, and is the Managing Editor of Canucks Army. You can follow him on Twitter @DimFilipovic, and email him at dimitri.filipovic@gmail.com.
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#51 JCDavies
April 08 2014, 05:43PM
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@Nanodummy

Your opinion of their ability to do the job when they were in Vancouver isn't influenced by what you have seen of them since?

Did they forget how to be GMs?

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#52 NM00
April 08 2014, 05:47PM
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@JCDavies

While I think Bryan Murray doesn't get anywhere near the credit he deserves, Burke certainly made some notable moves (dumping Federov on CBJ, rebuilding the defense core) that propelled the Ducks to their cup.

I'm guessing we don't disagree much here.

As for the work of Burke & Nonis in Toronto, I don't necessarily look at it in terms of "if they really are good GMs".

The league has changed quite a bit and, quite frankly, Burke sounds like a dinosaur that hasn't adjusted to the times.

Which isn't to take away from his previous successes or to suggest that he CAN'T have success in the future.

Perhaps he can. I simply would not give him another chance if it were my decision.

The same could be said for Nonis if he doesn't fix what ails Toronto in the next year or two.

Glen Sather may have been a good GM once as well...

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#53 NM00
April 08 2014, 05:51PM
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@Nanodummy

"So you have 3 GMs, all with spotted records. You pick, but to deny Gillis MIGHT be the best is dubious, especially if you don't back another horse."

That wasn't my original claim.

If one wants to make an argument that Gillis is the best GM in Canucks history, more power to them.

However, defaulting to the W-L record is lazy considering everything that goes into that...

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#54 Nanodummy
April 08 2014, 05:52PM
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@NM00

What?

Gillis had a goalie. His name was Roberto Luongo.

And Cory Schneider, and IMHO, Eddie Lack.

All 3 starting calibre, Luongo definitely elite. And perhaps Markstrom or Eriksson will fulfil starter potential as well.

Goaltending was never a talent issue here. Unless you're a tinfoil hat "meltdown" conspiracist.

And Gillis did throw fairy dust. It was called Malholtra and Torres and permitted AV to implement one of the most radical zone deployments seen in recent history. Now, maybe that was AV, and not Gillis, but Gillis kept the guy for a long time and perhaps that firing will be the keystone of his downfall.

Gillis failed to find another depth centreman to permit that kind of deployment, which I will criticize him for, and he failed to give Kesler another Demitra or Sundin or Sammuelson to augment the second line. These are failures, and I don't even know whether I think Gillis is better than Burke.

Erhoff was also much more valuable than Gillis thought, and to have signed him for 4 mil a season, even for that long, looks like it might have paid off. But perhaps someone *cough* ownership *cough* didn't want any more long term contracts.

We agree that Gillis is likely the second best after Burke, if you pick Burke as your #1, though, yes?

Or do you think Nonis or Quinn did a better job?

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#55 NM00
April 08 2014, 05:54PM
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JCDavies wrote:

Your opinion of their ability to do the job when they were in Vancouver isn't influenced by what you have seen of them since?

Did they forget how to be GMs?

"Your opinion of their ability to do the job when they were in Vancouver isn't influenced by what you have seen of them since?"

When the discussion is limited to the work which each GM did in Vancouver, no, one should not be using work performed in a different environment.

And there's a difference between forgetting how to be a GM and simply not adapting to the times/environment...

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#56 NM00
April 08 2014, 05:58PM
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@Nanodummy

Correction: Gillis inherited two goalies.

What is the collective save percentage of the goalies he brought into the organization in Vancouver?

I suspect it's not very good.

Instead of Torres, Manny (and Samuelson), what difference would it have made if the Canucks had kept Grabner, Morrison & Pyatt?

Same goes for Ballard over Mitchell...

I can't remember the Quinn era so I'm not going to bring him into this.

As for the last three GMs, I'm not sure who I would have at #1.

But #3 without a doubt is Gillis as evidenced by the mess he is leaving for the next guy to clean up...

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#57 Lemming
April 08 2014, 05:59PM
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Yay!

Though honestly, I can't be too happy. The Aquilinis seem more and more like meddling owners. I can see the team and franchise moving into more and more of a dark age with them at the helm.

I'm not going to expect anything from the team for a while. I hope I'm wrong, but I have a feeling I'm not.

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#58 JCDavies
April 08 2014, 06:14PM
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@NM00

"The league has changed quite a bit and, quite frankly, Burke sounds like a dinosaur that hasn't adjusted to the times."

"I simply would not give him another chance if it were my decision."

Agree on both.

But it does sound a little like you are arguing that he was good because others were bad...

"Burke certainly made some notable moves (dumping Federov on CBJ, rebuilding the defense core)"

Aren't these moves actually "gifts" that Burke was lucky to receive?

The rebuilding of the defense core consisted of a gift from a player that wanted to play with his brother (Niedermayer) and a player whose wife didn't want to live in Edmonton anymore (Pronger) and a gift from Doug MacLean (the Federov trade).

He inherited a good young core (Perry, Getzlaf, Penner Selanne, Kunitz, Giguere .. etc.) and surrounded them with a couple of pretty fortunate gifts.

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#59 NM00
April 08 2014, 06:30PM
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@JCDavies

"But it does sound a little like you are arguing that he was good because others were bad..."

That's just the other side of the coin, really.

It's all relative to the environment in which one works.

As for Burke's work in Anaheim, he acquired Rob Niedermayer before signing Scott.

He stepped up to the plate when Pronger was available using Murray's assets.

Dumping Federov (and acquiring Beachumin & the cap space for Pronger) doesn't qualify as a "gift" for me.

As I noted, Murray deserves a lot of credit for Anaheim's cup.

The flip side being Burke received too much credit for Anaheim.

And not enough for Vancouver's success in and around 2011...

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#60 JCDavies
April 08 2014, 06:31PM
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NM00 wrote:

"Your opinion of their ability to do the job when they were in Vancouver isn't influenced by what you have seen of them since?"

When the discussion is limited to the work which each GM did in Vancouver, no, one should not be using work performed in a different environment.

And there's a difference between forgetting how to be a GM and simply not adapting to the times/environment...

Disagree.

How do I know their success/failures in Vancouver wasn't related to something other than their abilities?

I prefer more information in this case.

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#61 Nanodummy
April 08 2014, 06:37PM
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@NM00

So Burke or Nonis are your pick?

And frankly, that means it's Burke, unless you feel Nonis deserves more credit for his time under Burke's wing than I give him.

Financial restraints do not justify holding on the Dan Cloutier for as long as he did. His team was also top heavy, forwards and blue line. You can argue that he didn't have the dollars to do anything, but the fact is he gave Jovo bank, rode the west coast express and had the Sedins on the cheap for a second line, but Crow couldn't figure out how to use them.

His third and fourth lines?

Are you going to defend them?

It took his team 10 years to mature into the juggernaught Gillis "inherited". Perhaps that's how long it takes to build a team.

But Gillis had a better blue line, and built it mostly himself, except for Bieksa and Edler, he retained NONIS' goalie, and he built the bottom 3 lines, save kesler, to allow the Sedins to deploy in the fashion that won them MVP awards.

Perhaps you are more impressed by what Burke did before the current ownership opened the coffers (which Nonis had access to). But he also didn't work in a cap era NHL.

I think Burke did a fine job.

I will argue Gillis > Nonis though.

Nonis doesn't have enough of a track record.

And FTR, I never accused you of what you called me on there. See who I replied to.

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#62 JCDavies
April 08 2014, 06:42PM
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@NM00

"As for Burke's work in Anaheim, he acquired Rob Niedermayer before signing Scott."

False. I believe Rob Niedermayer was acquired by Murray.

"He stepped up to the plate when Pronger was available using Murray's assets."

How is this ability? Many other GMs would have also stepped up. Pronger did have control of his destination...

"Dumping Federov (and acquiring Beachumin & the cap space for Pronger) doesn't qualify as a "gift" for me."

That was an awful trade for Columbus. Burke was lucky to find somebody willing to take that contract.

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#63 Nat
April 08 2014, 06:44PM
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If Tortorella is still the coach next season, I'm not spend a cent on Canucks merch or tickets next year.

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#64 NM00
April 08 2014, 06:47PM
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@JCDavies

Unfortunately this is not a science experiment where every GM gets 20 years.

There are only 30 GM chairs and a lot of competition for them.

Or at least there should be...

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#65 Gored 1970
April 08 2014, 06:54PM
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The fans are restless but the hiring of two storyied Canucks with absolutely no HHL experience for President and GM isn't the answer. Neither is Jay (I took Mark Jankowski in the first round because I know more than Central scouting who had him ranked in the 60's) Feaster. Let's try something new and take in applications and hire the vest person available. Having said that, I wouldn't trust the owners to pick the mustard for the concession stands so we need a consultant or something to make sure the owners don't hire a relative.

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#66 NM00
April 08 2014, 06:56PM
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@JCDavies

Well if Murray acquired Niedermayer then, yes, Burke should not get credit for it.

How do you know other GMs would have paid the price Burke did for Pronger?

Even though I agree that the NTC means Pronger played a part, I'm not sure that Anaheim was the only team to which he would waive his right.

As for the Federov thing, why does Burke not receive credit for dumping the contract that, if I'm not mistaken, Murray signed in the first place?

As you say, it was an awful trade for Columbus.

Inherent in that is that it was a good trade for Anaheim.

In any case, do you have any complaints about what he did while in Anaheim and what he left behind for Bob Murray?

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#67 JCDavies
April 08 2014, 07:06PM
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@NM00

Science experiment? You don't need a science experiment to look at and evaluate new information.

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#68 pheenster
April 08 2014, 07:07PM
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NM00 wrote:

Correction: Gillis inherited two goalies.

What is the collective save percentage of the goalies he brought into the organization in Vancouver?

I suspect it's not very good.

Instead of Torres, Manny (and Samuelson), what difference would it have made if the Canucks had kept Grabner, Morrison & Pyatt?

Same goes for Ballard over Mitchell...

I can't remember the Quinn era so I'm not going to bring him into this.

As for the last three GMs, I'm not sure who I would have at #1.

But #3 without a doubt is Gillis as evidenced by the mess he is leaving for the next guy to clean up...

So you're seriously stating that there's no difference between a clapped-out Brendan Morrison and a pre-eye injury Manny Malhotra? Or between Taylor Pyatt and FU Sweden? Or Grabner and Torres (whose style of play is entirely different)? If Malhotra doesn't suffer the injury I don't think we're even having this conversation.

Now if you want to say that Gillis messed up when he let Raffi go I would agree with that.

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#69 NM00
April 08 2014, 07:10PM
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@JCDavies

We are seemingly have two different conversations here.

Who did the best work in Vancouver isn't the same thing as which of these guys would you hire in 2014...

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#70 Lemming
April 08 2014, 07:24PM
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@pheenster

I would say that Morrison and Grabner are both objectively better than Malhotra and Samuelsson, respectively. Torres is a better checker than Pyatt, but a better player? I'm not sure I'd buy that.

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#71 Drams
April 08 2014, 07:32PM
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Most interesting discussion. I think after reading some of the arguments here my thinking has changed. I used to think Burke was a great GM and always would have accepted him back into Vancouver. I still think he's done a lot of good work but he might be a bit over rated.

I always thought that he inherited a good core from Murray but made some shrewd moves to put them over the top. After this discussion it seems he got lucky.

He took advantage of brotherly love and signed Scott. He took advantage of his relationship with Pronger (Burke drafted him essentially), who knows if there were other teams that Pronger was willing to go to. Lastly, he got lucky that MacLean was trying to make hockey work in Columbus and needed a big name.

Maybe the same could be said for Gillis' time in Vancouver. He got lucky with signing Hamhuis. He took advantage of his relationships with players and got them to sign in Vancouver to help mentor the younger guys (at least Demitra if not Sundin). He took advantage of a GM trying to clear some cap space and acquired a defender who changed things up for the Canucks.

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#72 Drams
April 08 2014, 07:38PM
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Lemming wrote:

I would say that Morrison and Grabner are both objectively better than Malhotra and Samuelsson, respectively. Torres is a better checker than Pyatt, but a better player? I'm not sure I'd buy that.

Oh Yeah that's why Morrison made the team on a PTO and Malholtra didn't at the beginning of the 2010-2011 season. Wait - that never happened.

Grabner vs Samelsson is an interesting argument. Different players for sure. I'd say they are about even, all thing considered.

Torres is almost definitely better than Pyatt.

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#73 NM00
April 08 2014, 07:46PM
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@Drams

I believe Manny was on a PTO in SJ one season prior to signing in Vancouver.

Irrespective of this, would it have made much of a difference if Morrison was the 3LC over Wellwood, Manny etc?

The Canucks have Booth to show for Samuelson (and Sturm).

While Sammy was pretty good in Vancouver for 2 years, it's also a pattern this GM repeated over and over again by dedicating roster spots to older players as opposed to young guys (like Grabner).

And eventually it all caught up to the NHL team...

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#74 GeezMoney
April 08 2014, 07:53PM
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Does anyone remember when Steven Bellringer was the GM, or at least part of a weird triumvirate with Steve Tambellini and Mike Penny? Only, that Mike Keenan was secretly... NOT A SECRET AT ALL... the real GM? It was that weird Quinn-Burke interwar period, when the times were good, and then very bad (the good part being the fun we had making fun of former BC Gas executive 'The Gas Man' Stephen Bellringer; the bad being Mike Keenan being the real GM.

I like to think of that to remind me how bad things have been. Then a day like today doesn't seem so bad at all. It seems like a summer breeze by English Bay in July -- a minor, but needed blip in otherwise awesome world.

The Canucks will bounce back. The NHL, in its cyclical nature, demands a down time in Canucks fortune. Now is time to decide how this team will move forward.

Please, oh please, show Torts the door next. He doesn't know what he's doing. He can't get this team out of this funk. But do the right thing: can him after this week. We need to have someone run this terrible powerplay in to the ground. And he's the master.

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#75 Drams
April 08 2014, 08:04PM
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@NM00

He made the team in SJ. Morrison didn't even beat out Peter Schaefer or Alex Bolduc.

I think it would have made a difference if they kept Morrison over Malhotra. The team would not have been as strong. Morrison would not have been able to soak up the defensive zone starts and play against the opposing top centremen of the league. Thus not freeing up Kesler to explode offensively, thus not giving the Canucks two top-6 lines. While Morrison did enjoy success in Calgary he did it while riding along with Iginla and Tanguay. Morrison is great at riding in the middle of two thoroughbreds he just wouldn't have been able to do it on the 2010-2011 team.

I don't understand the point you are making re: booth for Samuelsson? We were discussing who was better Grabner or Samuelsson. If we were talking about what could net you a better return -this would be futile since Gillis was not able to trade.

I agree that he dedicated spots for older players when he should have made room for younger players. I don't think Grabner's spot should have come at the expense of Samuelsson. I surmise that Grabner playing with Kesler would not have worked as well as Kesler + MS. Grabner should have pushed Raymond or Hansen or at the very least Tambellini, Bliznak, Glass, Oreskovich out.

But we all have hindsight to cloud our vision. We are reaping what has been sown the last few years and it does not taste good.

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#76 JCDavies
April 08 2014, 08:23PM
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@NM00

"How do you know other GMs would have paid the price Burke did for Pronger?"

If you believe that Edmonton got fair value for Pronger then I won't try to dissuade you of that...

"Even though I agree that the NTC means Pronger played a part, I'm not sure that Anaheim was the only team to which he would waive his right."

Never said "only".

"As for the Federov thing, why does Burke not receive credit for dumping the contract that, if I'm not mistaken, Murray signed in the first place?"

The "gift" was finding someone willing to take that contract. Is Burke a good GM because MacLean wants to make a bad trade?

"In any case, do you have any complaints about what he did while in Anaheim and what he left behind for Bob Murray? "

Was he in Anaheim long enough to leave a mess for Murray? ... Not a fan of Carlyle.

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#77 Gike_Millis
April 08 2014, 08:28PM
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Dimitri, Could you write an article about Dave McNab potentially becoming the next GM. He's a fascinating guy and he's also a local! In my mind, he would be our best option. Cheers!

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#78 pheenster
April 08 2014, 08:28PM
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Lemming wrote:

I would say that Morrison and Grabner are both objectively better than Malhotra and Samuelsson, respectively. Torres is a better checker than Pyatt, but a better player? I'm not sure I'd buy that.

Objectively better? I don't know why it seems to escape some people's notice (willful blindness, I'm guessing) but Michael Grabner pretty much sucks. He had one decent season and since then has been average at best. Mason Raymond is a better hockey player by a significant margin. You don't believe me, look at the numbers. FU Sweden had back to back 50-point seasons here and had some pretty good playoff series as well.

Taylor Pyatt is a plumber, end of story. His career year was here in 06 (37 points). Torres has averaged roughly 30 points and brings a bunch of intangibles (including the proclivity to mash people's brain cells, which is bad) but Gillis lost an element that he never replaced when he let Raffi go to Phoenix.

Morrison had some great years with the West Coast Express tis true, but when he got put out to pasture in 08 he was a pale shadow of his former self. Malhotra (in my opinion anyway) was the reason the 2010-11 Canucks were so good. In case you forget, there was talk of him being nominated for the Selke at one point. Gillis never did replace him at 3C.

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#79 JCDavies
April 08 2014, 08:33PM
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@NM00

I think your conversation with Nanodummy might have been along those lines.

I wasn't arguing either point.

My point: With what we now know about Burke and Nonis, I was questioning whether they were really as good as they might have appeared to be.

Burke has his flaws and I think other GMs are leaving him behind, but I don't dislike him. I don't think Nonis was ever a good GM, however.

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#80 acg5151
April 08 2014, 08:52PM
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@NM00

He brought in Hamhuis at a reasonable contract, Ehrhoff for nothing, Raffi Torres, Max Lapierre, Chris Higgins, Manny Malhotra, Chris Tanev, Eddie Lack, David Booth (for nothing I might add), Jason Garrison, Zack Kassian and Keith Ballard. Some of those moves didn't work out but at the time, they were all smart moves.

Let's look at the 'amazing' bottom six that Nonis left.

Tom Pyatt, Ryan Johnson, Darcy Hordichuk, Steve Bernier, Mike Brown, Kyle Wellwood, Jannik Hansen.

We basically had a bunch of fringe NHL'ers when Mike Gillis arrived and that's why we missed the playoffs - the core of Sedins, Burrows, Kesler, Raymond, Edler, Bieksa just weren't surrounded by any talent whatsoever.

We had Shane O'Brien on our defense. Shane O'Brien.

And you think that Dave Nonis left us a capable team? While several good players were drafted during his time here, he couldn't figure out how to surround them with talent. That is why he is an inferior GM to Mike Gillis.

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#81 acg5151
April 08 2014, 08:54PM
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@pheenster

Michael Grabner is one of the most underrated defensive forwards in the NHL and is a good goal scorer. I would take him over MayRay anyday.

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#82 Lemming
April 08 2014, 09:28PM
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@Drams

Didn't Morrison then go to Calgary and perform as a decent 2nd line center who filled in on the 1st?

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#83 NM00
April 08 2014, 09:39PM
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@acg5151

1. Tom Pyatt should be Taylor Pyatt.

2. Ryan Johnson was acquired by Gillis.

3. Darcy Hordichuk was acquired by Gillis.

4. Steve Bernier was acquired by Gillis and then promptly overpaid after the foolish offer sheet matching.

5. Kyle Wellwood was acquired by Gillis.

"We had Shane O'Brien on our defense. Shane O'Brien."

Shane O'Brien was acquired by Gillis.

Other than that, well done...

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#84 andyg
April 08 2014, 09:40PM
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Are you seriously discussing whether he was one of the best GM in our history?

Only in Vancouver would the fans run a GM out of town and then sit around and discuss how he was the best GM we ever had!

WOW!!!

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#85 NM00
April 08 2014, 09:42PM
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@JCDavies

"Burke has his flaws and I think other GMs are leaving him behind"

Doesn't that mean he was never a good GM and that he simply took advantage of "bad" GMs?

Of course, I more or less agree with you on this.

The ideal GM is probably someone like Lombardi who has adapted to the times...

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#86 NM00
April 08 2014, 09:44PM
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@andyg

The fans didn't run any of Gillis, AV, Luongo, Schneider, Mitchell, Salo and the rest out of town...

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#87 andyg
April 08 2014, 09:54PM
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NM00 wrote:

The fans didn't run any of Gillis, AV, Luongo, Schneider, Mitchell, Salo and the rest out of town...

Right! You just keep smoking what ever it is that your on.

We all herd the fans at the game. Gillis is a sacrificial lamb to appease the masses. It is all about STH.

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#88 acg5151
April 08 2014, 10:03PM
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@NM00

You're right. What's sad is that those guys are all improvements on the Canucks bottom six before he got here of Matt Cooke, Matt Pettinger, Brad Isbister, Jeff Cowan, Ryan Shannon, and Byron Ritchie.

Oh and our defense had Lukas Krajicek, Aaron miller and Nathan McIver

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#89 Drams
April 08 2014, 11:19PM
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Lemming wrote:

Didn't Morrison then go to Calgary and perform as a decent 2nd line center who filled in on the 1st?

Yes he did. I addressed that in post #75. He wouldn't have been a better option than Henrik or Kesler in an offensive role. He was not better defensively than Malhotra. He may have been faster than Manny but was also smaller and not as good in the dot. Morrison would have been a good depth option but he decided he wanted something else.

For that team Manny was the better option. Who knows, maybe Manny puts up a ppg playing with Iginla/Tanguay or Naslund/Bertuzzi?

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#90 JCDavies
April 08 2014, 11:25PM
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@NM00

"Doesn't that mean he was never a good GM and that he simply took advantage of "bad" GMs?"

I don't know if he was never a good GM but I am no longer certain he was any better than average.

"The ideal GM is probably someone like Lombardi who has adapted to the times..."

Agree.

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