The Russian well

Cam Charron
April 10 2014 10:13AM

Part of me wonders attributing which recent Vancouver Canucks misjudgments to ownership rather than management would prompt receiving a letter from Francesco Aquilini. One thing I'm quite confident ownership had no control over was the Canucks' brutal draft record from 2008 to present. Of the 37 young men selected by the Canucks during Mike Gillis' tenure, only one has made the Canucks in a regular capacity, being Jordan Schroeder, and even then it's debatable.

I can kind of give credit to Gillis for attempting to think outside the box and draft older, more developed prospects, but that strategy turned out to not be a calculated move structured at replenishing the minor league rosters more quickly; all it wound up doing was taking away lottery tickets for the Canucks to hit on some 5th or 6th rounder that hit a development spurt midway through his 18th year.

But there's one pool that Gillis failed to consider, one that I think was a big downfall of his as general manager and no, it isn't the Vancouver Giants.

Read Article | 48 Comments

Ticket Drive: Trevor Linden's Press Conference

Dimitri Filipovic
April 09 2014 01:38PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 11.18.55 AM

The Vancouver Canucks formally announced that they'd be bringing in one of the most beloved player's in the franchise's history to help play a part in putting together what's suddenly a broken organization. 

In doing so they held a press conference with Trevor Linden and Francesco Aquilini fielding some questions from the media members in attendance. While we didn't exactly learn much more than we already knew heading in, unsurprisingly, there were a few things brought up which are worth expanding on.

And so we will, pivoting off of the choice quotes conveniently transcribed by Thomas Drance. We'd now like to take the opportunity to thank him for his years of service.

Read Article | 41 Comments

Bringing the Band back together: Trevor Linden as President of Hockey Ops

Dimitri Filipovic
April 09 2014 10:42AM

Photo via Arlen Redenkop

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. 

Read Article | 24 Comments

Your rare chance to meet a Canuck from the past

Dimitri Filipovic
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. 

Read Article | 0 Comments

How will the Mike Gillis era be remembered?

Thomas Drance
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.

Read Article | 70 Comments