April 09 2014 10:42AM
In the least surprising and poorly concealed news in recent memory, the Vancouver Canucks have officially announced that Trevor Linden - a former Canuck, and someone who has stuck around in the community - has been named the President of Hockey Ops in advance of the press conference scheduled by the team for this morning.
This comes less than 24 hours after the firing of Mike Gillis (who along with being the General Manager, served as the team's President), as the reeling franchise embarks upon what figures to be a series of moves that'll attempt to right the ship following a truly dreadful campaign.
While this particular piece of the puzzle will probably be lionized and overstated, there's still some meat to it worth discussing. We'll do so just past the jump.
April 09 2014 10:26AM
When I was first approached by my bosses about the Scotiahockey NHL Debit Card campaign, I was most certainly a little dubious myself. More so than anything else, the big hang-up for me was how getting involved would affect my already jam-packed schedule.
I mean, when I’m not obsessively refreshing my Twitter timeline, I’m either responding to angry commenters who have taken issue with my blog posts or searching up Markus Naslund-related memorabilia on eBay. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Then there’s the whole ‘having to leave my mother’s basement’ ordeal, to boot.
But despite all of these extenuating circumstances I decided to give Scotiabank a shot, and signing up for my ScotiaHockey NHL Debit Card was remarkably easy. In a matter of minutes, I was dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s. Now when I order a pizza or pull the trigger on that signed Naslund headshot, I can reach into my wallet and pull out my trusty Vancouver Canucks-themed card.
There are other benefits, too.
April 08 2014 05:52PM
I come to bury Mike Gillis; not to mourn him.
On Tuesday afternoon, after a day of dizzying rumors - a management shake-up, Trevor Linden in as President? - the Vancouver Canucks pulled the plug on the "Mike Gillis era". Gillis had become a controversial figure in Vancouver, as underscored by Monday night's "Fire Gillis!" chant at Rogers arena, owing almost entirely to his mixed managerial record. While there are the obvious successes to point to: six seasons, five playoff appearances, the NHL's fifth best record during that span, two President's Trophies, and one Stanley Cup Finals appearance; there are also the obvious blemishes.
The sordid way the goaltending situation played out was an unmitigated mess, a fireable offense all on its own. It should be noted that Gillis' bets on the trade market were also generally poor (Christian Ehrhoff the major exception), and Gillis drafted players combined to appear in a paltry 54 NHL games this season for the Canucks. Even worse, you couldn't reasonably describe any of those Gillis draftees (Yann Sauve, Nicklas Jensen, Jordan Schroeder, Frank Corrado) as obvious core pieces.
Firing Gillis is a rupture for this organization, an epochal termination. Though the age was tinged with a perma-film of sweaty arrogance and will always be associated with the 2010-11 team blowing a flat in game seven and the riot that followed, the age of Gillis as Canucks general manager was generally a very successful one for the organization.
Read on past the jump.
April 08 2014 02:01PM
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.
April 07 2014 11:23PM
"The jig is up."
Those were the wise words of John Shorthouse, the voice of the Vancouver Canucks, as he summed up the situation rather concisely with the final seconds of the team's playoff hopes running off of the clock.
Realistically speaking, the season had become a lost one a long time ago and we've been preaching it on this platform for weeks now (in true Vancouverite fashion, we were in the tank helping steer it long before it was cool to do so!).
But while we'd all - at varying speeds - come to terms with the inevitability of how this particular season would ultimately conclude, it feels somewhat different now that they're actually mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
I'll give you guys a final minute with the body to say your goodbyes before we proceed.