Maybe I need to get out more, but I've never heard of this guy.
Ed Willes has recently tweeted out some pretty direct messages about Mike Gillis regarding the whole Shea Weber ordeal. I apologize if this has been posted already, but these tweets are pretty strong and worthy of discussion. For the record, I think it's great when a local reporter has a strong opinion like this, and ISN'T AFRAID to share it.
Here are the 3 tweets:
The Canucks have already lost out on Justin Schultz. If they lose Shea Weber it's a massive body blow to the Gillis regime.
Weber is a BC boy. There have been multiple reports that he wanted to play for the Canucks. This is a player Gillis had to sign.
Sorry, Jason Garrison doesn't cut it. Ownership wanted Weber badly. This is a major story in the Canucks' world. Believe it.
With emphasis on the 3rd tweet, this is pretty powerful, direct stuff from a local guy who's been around forever. Note, though, that I don't think Willes has EVER been a fan of Gillis, nor even this ownership, to be frank. He was always a STRONG Dave Nonis supporter, and I do recall a few articles written by him when Nonis was fired, digging into the Aquilini's' business, questioning their character even, and similarly doing the same to Gillis.
Anyway, very interesting to see a direct calling-out by a media member. And for the record, I'm in full agreement with Mr. Willes.
1.) Do you still "think it's great when a local reporter has a strong opinion like this, and ISN'T AFRAID to share it" if the opinion being expressed is one with which you do not agree? Would you have bothered to make this thread if these tweets were all sympathetic, complimentary and congratulatory of Gillis' efforts?
2.) Schultz signed where he was going to get the kind of playing time he wanted, not the playing time he has earned. He went where he felt he was getting what was best for Justin Schultz. Perhaps he will do well in Edmonton, assuming they shield him from playing against any large, grinding forwards...
3.) The "BC boy" chip has gotten pretty worn out. Weber signing elsewhere is a "body blow" only if one wants to try and use it as a criticism.
Ownership would very likely have been consulted by Gillis if he was going to offer the size of contract needed to sign Weber. If ownership "wanted Weber badly" and money was no object, then they would have given Gillis carte blanche to sign him, but more likely informed Gillis that there was a point beyond which they were unwilling to go. I would assume that ownership would also have been briefed about the potential downside of signing Weber to such a contract, specifically with regard to cap issues. Either way, I feel pretty sure that what happened from a Canucks standpoint happened with the Aquilini's being fully informed by Gillis. And if Gillis took the position that the team couldn't afford this deal, then ownership made an informed choice, and agreed with that position.
Hamhuis and Garrison are BC boys who opted to play here for less than they could have gotten elsewhere. Schultz signed where he could get ice time which he has not earned and may well not be deserving of by the time the season hits December. Weber possibly wanted too much in the way of term and/or cash to play here (ie. no hometown discount.) Yes, that's right, he went where he got more money and/or term, or, just maybe for what he felt was a better chance of winning the Cup and with a younger team.
Of course it might also be that, when it came right down to it, Weber really just didn't want to play here after all.
4.) We haven't even seen Garrison play a game here and already he doesn't cut it? He's big, has weight, plays a physical game with that size, is a good defensive d-man, and after Tanev is the youngest d-man currently signed who we can assume will make the big club by the start of the season. He was the third most sought after UFA d-man this off season (Suter and Schultz being the top two). He has shown he can also produce points, but whether last year was a one off or will he continue to score points remains to be seen. Regardless of his offensive production he will still be a very good d-man.
And as noted, he wants to play here, at a discount. Yeah, he just doesn't cut it.
5.) These tweets are by no means direct or powerful stuff. I think they are kind of lame. These are merely opinions from a guy who has an axe to to grind, and he is taking the most popular anti-position in these recent events.
Gillis picked up the guy he had the best chance succeeding in getting. Mission accomplished in that regard. If Garrison had bolted to somewhere else then I might have been concerned about the team's future and their ability to attract UFA's.
Schultz was a less than 50/50 chance of signing here, mostly because he was likely going to play bottom-6 minutes more often than not. Weber was (IMHO) never going to sign here, and even if he truly did want to be here it would have ruined the cap structure of the team.
Following the Canucks since before Don Cherry played here.