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Mike Gillis Eyes NHL Return

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29 minutes ago, debluvscanucks said:

He's a good hockey mind and I wish him the very best of luck.

 

People tend to judge things in hindsight but, in the moment, often things that don't appear to be a good decision long term are necessity in the here and now in considering not only what's available, but what the current situation is.  

 

We had some pretty good  (some of our best) years under Gillis despite it all

A lot of people forget what Gillis did here. I too wish him the best.

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I read Money Players and got a better understanding of the why's behind what drives Gillis.  This is a good article that sheds a bit of light on it (it's long).

 

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It may not have been the dream in every last Canadian boy's head, but if you were a hockey-playing teenager in the 1970s, there weren't many better than the one Michael Gillis was living. Playing junior in Kingston, Ont., the young left- winger was not only marked for glory, he had the agent to prove it: The man behind the great Bobby Orr, the one and only R. Alan Eagleson himself, had swung into town to sign up Gillis. "We did this meet-and-greet thing," the 42-year-old Gillis recalls with, it's fair to say, less enthusiasm than he might have felt at the time. "At that point he was a very powerful guy. Extremely influential."

In the 1978 NHL draft, the dream was sustained: Gillis was drafted by the Colorado Rockies, fifth overall. It didn't seem to matter that once a contract was in place, Eagleson didn't call: Gillis was on his way.

Then, in the first week of training camp, he wrecked his knee. "I remember sitting there before the operation," he says, "and the doctor saying, 'I don't know if you'll ever play again.' I was 19."

Gillis did return to the ice, but somehow, after that, the stuff of dreams was lacking. Traded in 1981 to the Boston Bruins, he scored a total of 17 goals over four seasons. "He was a good little worker," says Russ Conway, who covered the Bruins for The Eagle-Tribune in Lawrence, Mass.

It wasn't until 1984, when a broken leg ended his career, that Gillis acquired what a lot of those former teenaged dreamers got in his day: his very own bad-agent story. Eagleson told Gillis that Lloyd's of London had rejected his disability claim. Not to worry, his agent reassured him: They'd get some high-powered law firm on the case. What Eagleson didn't mention was that he already had the disability cheque in hand. Not only that, but the big law firm was in fact a real estate company owned by Eagleson himself. When the cheque finally found its way to Gillis, $41,250 had been carved out to pay for the non-existent lawyers.

 

Gillis, who returned to Kingston to attend law school, eventually sued Eagleson and won. After all the injuries, the insult, the deceit, Gillis might have been forgiven for withdrawing to the placid world of corporate law. "When I left playing I had absolutely no intention of ever being in hockey again," he says.

But then a former teammate asked him to look at his contract and Gillis started inching his way back. "I decided that players needed someone who could represent them in an efficient and aggressive way," he says. If he didn't exactly set out to right Eagleson wrongs, he went into the business with a blueprint of how not to operate. By 1993 he'd left law and was working full-time as an agent.

What's changed in the years since Gillis played? There are now 30 teams in the league, providing jobs for about 750 players. There's more money, of course. There are more agents--200-plus, compared to a mere dozen in Canada in 1969--and more of them are former players. They now have to be certified by the National Hockey League Players' Association.

So the whole business is as immaculate as a freshly Zambonied rink, right? Right, except for the ill feeling that still seems to shroud agenting. It's as if today's practitioners are paying for Alan Eagleson's bad karma. Fans blame agents for ruining the game by sending salaries into the stratosphere. Among agents themselves, the competition for talent can be a race to the bottom. "It's a nasty business," says Tom Laidlaw, a former defenceman who now represents 15 players. "It's dog-eat-dog, much more than it was," says Bill Watters, a former agent who today is assistant general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Eagleson years, Russ Conway believes, are "a scar" on hockey "that can never be removed." He was one of the first journalists to document Eagleson's sins. "The glad-handing, backslapping, hey-don't-worry-about-it, leave-it-up-to-me-and-you'll-be-a-millionaire days are gone," he says. "The players are more educated and more aware. If the Eagleson saga did anything it woke up the players"

 

Tales of underpaid and ill-used players are as natural a Canadian resource as maple syrup. Before Eagleson came along, owners ran the show. When Eagleson wasn't acting in his own interest, he was only too pleased to accommodate his many friends in management. "Eagleson just made it so easy for the owners," says sportswriter Bruce Dowbiggin. "They stocked their front offices with a bunch of dolts and former hockey pucks who couldn't have run a 7-Eleven. But as long as Eagleson was in charge of the players, you could still make any mistake in the world and be forgiven."

As Eagleson fell, the players--and their salaries--began to rise. Since Detroit lawyer and agent Bob Goodenow succeeded Eagleson as NHLPA executive director, average salaries in the league have climbed from $271,000 (in 1991) to $1.4 million this past season, an increase of more than 400%.

With NHL payrolls totalling more than $1.5 billion last season, agents collectively stood to take in about $46 million--and that's assuming, conservatively, they all charged the industry minimum of 3%. In 1999, Gillis, whose 20 NHL clients include Bobby Holik, Tony Amonte and Pavol Demitra, negotiated a five-year, $72-million deal with the Florida Panthers for high-scoring right-winger Pavel Bure. Gillis's 3% fee over the life of the contract comes out to more than $2 million.

So, thanks to the better-informed, better-paid situation of players--which the agents themselves helped produce--preying on players is not a possible business strategy any more. Preying on other agents is. The weather in the agenting world is humid with innuendo and rumour. Players offered cars, parents offered jobs. In the months leading up to this June's junior draft in Sunrise, Fla.--one of the richest crops of talent in recent years--several highly ranked players switched agents, producing mutterings of inducements amounting, in one case, to $225,000.

Many agents will happily share stories of the sins of their rivals, the poaching of clients chief among them. Says Edmonton agent Rich Winter: "The most recent one was, I will pay you $100,000 [U.S.]if you leave Rich Winter's company and come with us." (The player didn't bite.)

Highly skilled hockey players don't, of course, arise fully formed in an agent's office, eager to sign over 3% to 5%. Most are aggressively recruited. Gus Badali tracked down and signed up a 15-year-old Wayne Gretzky. Today it's the norm.

 

"When I started doing this about 15 years ago I used to recruit college seniors," New York-based agent Lewis Gross says. "Now we have to recruit them before they get to college. You find yourself recruiting 16-year-olds, 17-year-olds. You really don't have a choice. Nobody likes to do it, everybody thinks it's wrong to do it--but we're all in business, and you have to do what you have to do."

"We've been fairly dominant in the Czech Republic because we were there early," says Rich Winter. "But now the competition is increasing. One guy went into Slovakia about three years ago, under the radar, and signed 12- and 13-year-old kids.

"That's a way to compete, because a 12-year-old kid's going, 'An agent from Los Angeles? Mmm. That's cool.' There's 25% unemployment in some of the areas of Slovakia. If someone offers them a thousand bucks, that's pretty attractive. Sometimes that's a long-term decision that comes back to haunt them."

"It's a terrible business decision to recruit a 13-year-old, and it's a terrible moral decision," says Brian Lawton of Octagon Athlete Representation. "They're kids. Let them be kids. They can get an agent when they're 16, 17, 18 years old. They're not going to miss anything." The father of Ontario Hockey League centre Jay McClement, drafted 57th overall by the St. Louis Blues in June, recalls approaches by a dozen or so agents --including Woolf Associates, headed by none other than Bobby Orr--back when Jay was 14. A visit to the family home by Orr helped seal the deal. Why does a 14-year-old need to sign with an agent? "I didn't know whether you really need to," says David McClement. And today? "I don't know they did a whole lot for us at that time, except for preparing you for the OHL draft, giving Jay some guidance on what he needed to work on."

Michael Gillis won't recruit. "Based on my own experience," he says, "kids are naive, they're easily influenced. Parents are naive and easily influenced. Parents are willing to put their faith in people they don't particularly know. Oftentimes the results are quite poor. I don't believe any kid who is 15 or 16 needs representation. And now I hear stories of 12- and 13-year-olds getting approached. I can't imagine another industry in the world that would let adult males solicit adolescent preteens in this kind of context. I think it's wrong."

Pavol Demitra didn't have a great May. Then again, the year before wasn't so great either. In 1999-2000, the high-scoring 26-year-old Czech left-winger for the St. Louis Blues missed the playoffs with a bad shoulder. This season he bruised a retina, took a deep cut in the leg from a skate, and then hurt a hamstring, before finally making it back into the lineup for the playoffs.

 

St. Louis made it through the first two rounds, beating San Jose and Dallas. In the third, facing Colorado, they struggled. After one loss, Demitra was singled out by his general manager, Larry Pleau, as a struggler:"It's hard to say why, but he was bothered out there. He didn't look comfortable."

Michael Gillis thought he knew why. After all, he'd already flown down to counsel his client.

"The game now is played at such a high level," says Gillis, "that if a guy is just a little bit off-centre in terms of his play--or emotionally off-centre or physically off-centre--he can go sideways in a real hurry. And the relationship that I've evolved with my players is really based on playing the game and maximizing their opportunities." Demitra's problem, in Gillis's view, was that he was vexed by the layoff. "When he was frustrated, he began to get way too far ahead of the play. He ended up floating around, not touching the puck. One of the big things we talked about is being a lot more patient."

This sort of coaching by agents--which goes as far as running summer development camps--is not universally regarded as kosher. "That's the coach's job," says Bill Watters flatly. The comeback is that coaches necessarily focus on the team effort. When Gillis analyzes a game on TV, he's only watching his client. "What I like about Mike is that he's not a BS-er," says client Pat Verbeek, an 18-year and five-agent veteran who played last year with the Detroit Red Wings. Like many clients, Verbeek often calls Gillis for an assessment after a game that doesn't go well. "He tells you straight what you're doing."

Coaching clients does offer an alternative channel for the development of the agenting business to race-to-the-bottom recruiting. But since both those activities are traditional hockey-club turf, they're unlikely to enhance agents' reputation among fans already peeved by the core business: salary negotiations. "Obviously agents can't protect the best interests of their clients and at the same time care about the sport," says Jim Boone, an Ottawa web developer who co-founded the National Hockey League Fans' Association, an on-line advocacy group.

Agents are used to this line of talk, and have a ready answer. "From the player's perspective," says Gillis, "he's got a very limited time horizon to do as well as he can do financially. Your career is at the mercy of management, injuries, loss of skill--any number of things. People make presumptions: Boy, that player's greedy. No, he's not greedy. He just isn't developing a career that's a 40-year career."

 

True enough. But the enticements offered this year's crop of free agents produced new levels of career compression: Colorado re-signed Cup-winning stars Joe Sakic and Rob Blake at $10 million and $5 million a season, respectively. If, as they sign one lucrative contract after another, the players hold the power in today's NHL, they also must be aware that the gap between the have and the have-not (read: Canadian) teams is growing, and that the time may soon come when the owners try to grab some of of the power back. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and the NHLPA doesn't expire for another three years, but already there are signs that the two sides are girding for battle.

There's the rhetoric. Owners need to control costs, says NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. That could mean a salary cap. No way, says NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow. Both sides have raised the spectre of the entire 2004-05 season being swallowed up in the fight.

There are the war chests--said to be $90 million on the NHLPA side--built up in the event of a protracted work stoppage like the one in 1994-95.

And then there are what some see as signals in contract negotiations.

Last fall, agent Don Meehan asked the Buffalo Sabres to negotiate a new contract with his client, team captain Mike Peca. When negotiations broke down, Meehan and Peca asked for a trade. In March, the NHL's trading deadline came and went without a peep from Buffalo, and Peca ended up missing a year.

While to some agents this was just business, others think it's a message from the league, the text being, salaries have to be kept down in the run-up to 2004.

 

"Do they think that I'm not well enough connected to know through 30 teams the approaches that were made, the offers that were made?" asks Meehan. "It became very clear they were not going to trade him to teach him a lesson. Now, did that come from the league? I think it did." (In June, Peca was finally traded to the New York Islanders.)

"What scares me," says Rich Winter, "is that there are so few people involved in the process. It's Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow and they don't appear very cordial in their relationship.

"Bob and Gary have the possibility of destroying the game. The economics are such now that we could destroy it in six or eight markets. I think Bob and Gary understand that. I'm not sure, in my mind, why they're not negotiating today.

"It's a very simple business. We can count the gate receipts, we can count the TV revenue, we can count the parking. Let's get some forensic accountants in and figure it out and then decide what's a fair share of the pie. Sure, there's going to be owners trying to '. But let's try to figure it out. Because at the end of the day, this is a very good business."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/mr-unpopularity/article1032398/

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12 hours ago, Silver Ghost said:

 Gillis, who appreciates the Premier League organizational chart, believes an NHL front office could maximize its effectiveness by hiring four assistant GMs, plus a behind-the-scenes cast of problem-solvers devoted to maximizing its individual players through the study of hard evidence and suggesting their ideal linemates and situational usage to the GM and coach.

 His ideas are intreguing but to find an owner who buy's in is the challenge.  It's going to take a special coach to accept advice on how to deploy his players.  This is completely counter to how things are traditionally done in the NHL.  I can see 4 AGM's as there is a trend to having larger front offices these days.  Having a large management team that buys in as the going gets tough is another challenge.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Crabcakes said:

 His ideas are intreguing but to find an owner who buy's in is the challenge.  It's going to take a special coach to accept advice on how to deploy his players.  This is completely counter to how things are traditionally done in the NHL.  I can see 4 AGM's as there is a trend to having larger front offices these days.  Having a large management team that buys in as the going gets tough is another challenge.

 

 

It would definitely be a challenging environment to manage. And an expensive one.

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Back to back President Trophies and almost a Stanley Cup and people rag on the guy. He made one mistake and that was handing out Full NTC. I think the team should have been blown up as well and the ownership clearly did not think so and once Gillis and Aquilini didn't see eye to eye the team fell apart.

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Great, another thread about who is the better GM, Gillis or Benning. 

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MG is extremely overhyped and overrated by some, IMO. I find him arrogant and egotistical. I appreciate that he likes to think outside the box but I just don't think he has much talent at being a GM. I remember him being praised on these boards for asking the Aqs to quadruple the scouting budget. Asking for more money somehow makes you a great GM! His drafting record was terrible to boot.

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IMHO, the NHL is a better place with Mike Gillis in it.  Need to preface my comments by saying that I have always liked Gillis as an ex-NHL player (top 10 first rounder) whose career ended prematurely because of career ending injuries, to becoming a lawyer (i.e., finding something for life after hockey), to being one of the guys to bring down Alan Eagleson (who, in my opinion perpetrated the biggest fraud in NHL history by stealing millions of dollars from his clients), to being an agent who truly worked for the benefit of his clients (and making lots of enemies with rich owners/powerful hockey people and some everyday fans along the way), to being one of the most innovative hockey execs during his time in Vancouver.

 

I truly believe that if he was allowed to rebuild the team around the Sedin twins after the 2011-2012 season, the Canucks would have had another shot at the Cup before the Sedins retired.  But that's all sort of revisionist history, with no way to substantiate, so it's just an opinion.

 

Gillis didn't help himself by being prickly with the media, but can you imagine what it must be like to deal with the likes of Tony Gallagher, Dave Pratt, the Moj, Farhan Lalji, Jeff Patterson, Jason Botchford (RIP), etc. on a near day-to-day basis?  I am shocked that there aren't more of the Phil Kessel/Dan Boyle/John Tortorella/Ron Wilson sort of outbursts (goes to show you how congenial hockey players/hockey people are). 

 

Anyways, I hope the Gillis finds his way back into the NHL...I would be 100% on board if he came back to the Canucks in some capacity.

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Posted (edited)
 
Mike Gillis, enlightened: Former GM on organizations, Luongo, leadership
 

TORONTO - Mike Gillis was recently recommended a book called "Tape to Space: Redefining Modern Hockey Tactics." The former NHL general manager hasn't finished it, but he felt compelled to scribble down a passage from the book’s forward.

 

"The ever-present malaise within this sport, the crushing weight of consensus, the warm safety blanket of inactions that consumes the ruling class in hockey..." Gillis said on Friday, reciting his favorite part to the 200-plus attendees at the TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference held at Ryerson University.

 

"That is outstanding," he continued. "Like anything, if you want to be good at something, you need to take risks and you need to think a little differently about every possible opportunity, and you have to push the competitive boundary, no matter what it is."

 

cropped_GettyImages-453832209.jpg?ts=1563666200 Jeff Vinnick / Getty Images

 

Gillis was considered a progressive hockey executive during his time running the Vancouver Canucks from 2008 to 2014. As a trained lawyer, ex-player agent, and lifelong learner, he stood out. Five years later, with his hair grayer, beard longer, and brain fuller, he appears refreshed and enlightened.

 

Which begs the question: Does the 60-year-old have ambitions of returning to the NHL?

 

"I do, but in a fairly specific role," Gillis said. "I’m really interested in analytics, sports science, human performance, and how to blend those things into a high-functioning organization. As a general manager of a team you’re really myopic, really focused on your team performance, individual performance, coaching performance, and I like that part of the job. But right now I'm a little more interested in how you build an organization and how you see results, how you measure results, and being really high functioning."

 

During an on-stage Q&A and a subsequent interview, Gillis shared a wide range of opinions and anecdotes at the conference. Let's run through the best stuff.

The reeducation

To say Gillis has expanded his horizons since being fired would be an understatement. His only post-Canucks hockey job listed online is a two-year board of directors role with Geneva of the Swiss league.

 

Instead of focussing on hockey, he's quite literally traveled across the planet.

 

An incomplete list of his adventures: He's visited various laboratories centered around persuasion and virtual reality at Stanford University in California; learned about cognitive awareness at the Nike Sport Research Lab in Oregon; participated in a business school think tank at the University of Michigan; studied how KHL teams develop players; checked out the Campus BioTech in Switzerland; and flown to China, Spain, Australia, among other locales, all in search of information about how to optimally run a modern sports team.

 

"The top organizations are really focused on the daily training environment," Gillis said, offering a main takeaway from his world tour. "They are trying to push the envelope in every possible element, from the time a player shows up until the time that player leaves. It's becoming (obvious) that the top teams have a far more holistic viewpoint of how to run these teams."

 

cropped_GettyImages-114975123.jpg?ts=1563720953 Dave Sandford / Getty Images

 

Gillis' view of the NHL and its teams' organizational structures has evolved. For instance, he now believes the typical workflow within front offices is inefficient, with the GM stretched far too thin while often overseeing the entire hockey operations department.

 

"One of the biggest issues NHL teams have is that a lot of that responsibility resides with one person," he said. "That one person over time gets worn out and makes poor decisions."

 

Ideally, Gillis said, an NHL team would employ four assistant GMs, similar to the setup many elite soccer clubs in England have adopted. That would shift some pressure away from the GM and allow for a group of people - not a single person - to influence the club's direction.

 

Hockey's scouting system is ripe for modernization, according to Gillis. "It needs to be transformed," he said, because "there's too much groupthink. There's not enough evidence. The analytics are poor. There's no real predictiveness in drafting. If you're bad enough to (draft) in the top 10, you're probably getting a good player, but you might not because you picked the wrong one."

 

What's more, the combine interview, a fixture of the annual scouting process, is "absolutely useless" by Gillis' estimation. The conversation between a teenager and representatives from his prospective employer frequently includes more canned than candid answers. Alternatively, the 2011 GM of the Year thinks teams should be spending draft capital on vision analysis and cognitive awareness testing.

 

cropped_GettyImages-850438812.jpg?ts=1563720557 Jeff Vinnick / Getty Images

 

As for a pet peeve, Gillis can barely contain his frustration with the NHL's late-morning practice.

 

Games and workouts start at opposite times of the day for no logical reason, he said, suggesting 4 p.m. as an alternative practice time. "When I played in 1978, we practiced at 11 o'clock in the morning. Why?" he added. "There's nothing to support that practice time. No science, no data."

 

When asked to look into his crystal ball, Gillis served up another tradition-bucking idea. Sure, in 2019 the odd coach will throw five forwards over the boards on the power play. But Gillis said that in the not-too-distant future, perhaps we'll see someone toss out an all-forwards formation in even-strength situations.

 

"I can envision teams playing with five forwards all the time to increase that speed and opportunity for offense," Gillis said. "Defensively, players now are learning defensive responsibilities at such an early age that I think it's really detrimental to the game. I just see this push toward more offense."

Canucks, in hindsight

The Gillis era in Vancouver was highly successful. It featured Alain Vigneault and John Tortorella behind the bench, and with the Sedin twins and Roberto Luongo in their primes, the Canucks amassed a 261-146-51 record while winning two Presidents' trophies and making a trip to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

 

Although Gillis said his tenure wasn't perfect, the Canucks were undoubtedly ahead of the curve with their use of sports science and analytics, tracking players' sleeping patterns off the ice and zone starts on the ice to gain competitive edges. Generally, that approach worked, leading to wins for the team, and fat contracts for the players.

 

"We decided to create a culture that was borne out of science," Gillis said of Vancouver's solution to the travel challenge facing west-coast franchises. The staff, he recalled, convinced players "that we would prolong their careers and they'd have better careers because we used technology and science. And, to their credit, the top guys were very eager to get to that upper echelon of play and very eager to win."

 

cropped_GettyImages-72838157.jpg?ts=1563720797 Jeff Vinnick / Getty Images

 

Gillis shared an interesting sports science note about Luongo, a surefire Hall of Famer. The recently retired netminder dealt with "a degree of performance anxiety" and, based off his hormone levels, the club would notice him go through "almost a physical change" ahead of certain games.

 

"We were always trying to figure out a way to get him over that hurdle," Gillis said. "We went to a lot of different places and talked to a lot of different people ... He's a really sensitive guy with a great sense of humor, and his sense of humor would go away and his sensitivity would increase."

 

Another example of Vancouver going against the grain late last decade was naming Luongo the captain during a period when teams didn't even think about giving the "C" to the goalie. The non-traditional choice was mocked endlessly, and the experiment lasted just two years. Would Gillis do it again?

 

"We got benefit out of it," he said. "I didn't like all the scrutiny and the difficulty it caused, in hindsight. So, not sure. I would think about it a lot harder and a lot longer, knowing what I know now. But we didn't know that, that we'd get a reaction like that. We were just trying to help our team and make it better, and help our goalie."

 

cropped_07.19.2019_-_173915-0400_-_6183_-_07.19_-_F10SPORTS.CA_-_2019_TeamSnap_Hockey_Coaches_Conference.jpg?ts=1563727436 The Coaches Site / TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference

 

"It wasn't a problem between (Luongo) and the organization," Gillis continued. "It was certain guys in the media made a big deal out of it, and they also made a big deal out of (the Canucks) signing Mats Sundin. You can't even calculate the benefit we got out of that guy. He was such a professional. He was Swedish. We had (Alex) Edler, the Sedins, we had other European content, and they all respected this guy, had huge admiration for him. They got to see how he lived his daily life."

 

On several occasions Friday, Gillis mentioned that leaders are made, not born. Even though he might have been talking about Sundin, the Sedins, rugby's All Blacks team, or NFL head coach Pete Carroll, the assessment also applies to Gillis himself.

 

It's clear the journey he's been on since being fired as Canucks GM - ending a decades-long run of playing, representing, or managing in pro hockey - has helped him see the forest before the trees.

 

"Leadership comes in the form of how you run your life," Gillis said. "It’s a determination to be the best. How you display that on a daily basis. Your preparation. Your willingness to perform. And it also comes in understanding that everything’s a process."

 

John Matisz is theScore's national hockey writer.

 

https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/1800457

Edited by nuckin_futz
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3 hours ago, peaches5 said:

Back to back President Trophies and almost a Stanley Cup and people rag on the guy. He made one mistake and that was handing out Full NTC. I think the team should have been blown up as well and the ownership clearly did not think so and once Gillis and Aquilini didn't see eye to eye the team fell apart.

one mistake lol he made several mistakes , he handed out several  full ntc   threw away draft picks, left the prospect cupboard bare  left a stale core  we are still paying for his mistakes  today   . and there is no denying that , wonder why mike gillis isn't in nhl and why the nhl hated Vancouver ,  because of gillis's pompous attitude , if he was such a great hockey guy why hasn't any other team  made an offer?  5 years  and still hasn't gotten an nhl job   

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42 minutes ago, the grinder said:

one mistake lol he made several mistakes , he handed out several  full ntc   threw away draft picks, left the prospect cupboard bare  left a stale core  we are still paying for his mistakes  today   . and there is no denying that , wonder why mike gillis isn't in nhl and why the nhl hated Vancouver ,  because of gillis's pompous attitude , if he was such a great hockey guy why hasn't any other team  made an offer?  5 years  and still hasn't gotten an nhl job   

He didn't throw away draft picks. He doesn't build a back to back presidents trophy team without making those trades. If Aquilini let Gillis do what he wanted the team never would have been as bad as it was. Gillis knew the team needed to rebuild. It took Aquilini 5 more years to come to that conclusion. Also, there is no guarantee that the players who signed here would have signed here if they didn't get those full NTC. The only reason people like you bitch about it is because there is no cup which Gillis was extremely close to getting. 

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I'd hire him. 

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loldid I say anything about the cup   no    your blinded by the light you put mike gillis in ,   im just pointing to the fact he did make mistakes just not one mistake , it wasn't one ntc he handed out . it was every contract he signed, so don't sit there and try to tell me  that hasn't affected  the team 5 years later and for another 2 more years to come   yep that is sure an imprint alright   then kindly explain why he hasn't had a nhl job since ?    yep gillis is pompous ,you hear him blaming the media for everything  ,  did you ever hear the gillis and the moj from team 1040  famous phone call ?    that's the kinda guy gillis is   

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21 minutes ago, peaches5 said:

He didn't throw away draft picks. He doesn't build a back to back presidents trophy team without making those trades. If Aquilini let Gillis do what he wanted the team never would have been as bad as it was. Gillis knew the team needed to rebuild. It took Aquilini 5 more years to come to that conclusion. Also, there is no guarantee that the players who signed here would have signed here if they didn't get those full NTC. The only reason people like you bitch about it is because there is no cup which Gillis was extremely close to getting. 

lol  did  I mention the cup no  your blinded by the light you put gillis in , one mistake  lol he has made several mistakes , he handed out ntc on every contract he signed heck we are still paying for his mistakes today and for another 2 years . so don't sit there and tell me he didn't make those, that a hell of imprint  he left . it taken 5 years to recover from the the mess he left  ,    another thing  gillis sure liked to blame the media for everything , ever hear the famous gillis and the moj  from team 1040 phone call  ?   I lost all respect for gillis when I heard that . I have never heard anything more childish coming from a grown man , and you wonder why he never worked in the nhl since 

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18 hours ago, debluvscanucks said:

He's a good hockey mind and I wish him the very best of luck.

 

People tend to judge things in hindsight but, in the moment, often things that don't appear to be a good decision long term are necessity in the here and now in considering not only what's available, but what the current situation is.   When you have a team capable of coming SOOO close, it's hard to dismantle it until you do see signs of depletion, fatigue, burn out, etc.  Takes a toll to do the grind and walk away with nothing.  The mental game is important, but it's not always obvious in order to gauge.

 

We had some pretty good  (some of our best) years under Gillis despite it all

Gillis may have been more under the pump with ownership more than anything? Lost that room...

 

Became handcuffed. If intervention rumours are true, but who knows? I do believe it was time to move on when he was let go.  But he made great decisions to fill out our team in 2010. Was innovative & ran a great organization.  

 

Would be more settled if he had a new chance & I believe he deserves one.

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