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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Gillis gives Gagner the keys to Canucks future

    Ex-NHLer Gagner key in developing better Canuck prospects
    NHL team's director of player development makes sure top kids are kept on track

    VANCOUVER - Mike Gillis didn't have all the answers when he assumed command of the Vancouver Canucks 15 months ago, so he raised this question: How can the team better develop its draft picks?

    He first convinced owner Francesco Aquilini to triple the money for player development - it's about $1 million now - and then went out and hired former client Dave Gagner to run the new program.

    Gillis gave Gagner his own budget and the ability to bring aboard nutritionists and other specialists, whatever he needed, to push the draft picks along. One year into it, the GM said they are still tinkering.

    "We're evaluating things, so it's evolving and I think we're still aways away," Gillis explained this week during the team's prospects camp that concluded Friday. "One of the things we've talked about a lot is drafting kids who allow us to have a plan with them. Not just a plan when they finish where they are playing, but a plan from the moment we get them, and an ongoing relationship with their [current] team.

    "We don't want to have guys in places where we don't really have a whole lot of influence over what they're doing."

    This is where Gagner kicks in. As director of player development, he has been entrusted to monitor all the drafted players, communicate regularly with them, watch them play, either in person or on tape, and visit with them, preferably once a month or at least every six weeks.

    During the off-season, Gagner has the ability to bring players into his London, Ont., facility for personally supervised workouts. Cody Hodgson, major junior player of the year in 2008-09, was a dream pupil and will continue to spend three days a week this summer with Gagner. Others like '07 first-rounder Patrick White and '08 second-rounder Yann Sauve are considerable works in progress.

    "Overall, I think the first year went really well," said Gagner, who helped develop his own son Sam and send him to the NHL at age 18. "You're able to communicate with kids easily. They all have their phones so I text them quite often, at least on a weekly basis, and the communication I've had with every prospect has been really good.
    If we're all such great coaches why do we recruit so hard? You need players.

    ~ Jack Armstrong, ECF 2016

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Golden 1 Center
    nice article. Gillis has already made huge impact since joining this team as GM. This is just another example of his good work and it completely flew under the radar.

    When i first saw the thread title, i immediately thought that we traded for sam gagner.

    “Maybe one of these days I won't fail ” - Clayton Kershaw following Dodgers World Series loss

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants5518 View Post
    When i first saw the thread title, i immediately thought that we traded for sam gagner.

    I'm glad that Gillis realizes that you can only do some much by signing FA,you need to develop your own players

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