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  1. #1
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    Gillis blames Tortorella for this fail of a season


    It began with a question from our friend in Vancouver radio, David Pratt, to the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, Mike Gillis: “Do you expect John Tortorella to be back next season?”

    “David, I’m not sure if I’ll be back,” began Gillis, ripping the top off a cauldron that will bubble through the final 11 days of this dysfunctional season in Vancouver. It’s been boiling for a while now, and finally on Thursday, it became an every-man-for-himself game.

    Three weeks ago, at the general managers meetings in Boca Raton, Gillis had his coach’s back when asked about Tortorella’s possible firing. “For me to comment on it would lend some degree of credibility to it, which is not something that’s good for anybody,” said Gillis. “I think right now we have to get behind our team and behind our players and behind our coaching staff and try and win some hockey games.”

    Well, that didn’t happen. So on Thursday Gillis unveiled Plan B: The team isn’t a playoff team because his vision is no longer the guiding light.

    “I’m tired of chasing a moving target,” Gillis told the TEAM 1040 on Thursday. “We’re going to get back to the fundamentals and principles that I believe in, and that’s how we’re going to play. If people don’t want to comply… We did this six years ago. We made hard choices. Those hard choices are going to come again if we don’t see people get on the same page.”

    Six years ago though, those “hard choices” fell to Alain Vigneault. It was the defensive-minded former Canadiens coach who, after just one year behind the Canucks’ bench, was asked to open up his game and play Gillis’ preferred style. He complied, kept his gig, and it worked out pretty well for the next seven seasons.

    Then came Tortorella, who coached a style that is nothing like the one Gillis laid out for public consumption on Thursday. And the result?

    “Players have severely under-performed. Our team has under-performed,” Gillis said.

    “Our problems are far reaching, and they will be addressed. If people don’t want to get onside with how I view this team and how it is supposed to play, then they won’t be here.”

    Write this date down, Canucks fans, because April 3, 2014 was the day that Gillis officially and purposely distanced himself from Tortorella. Gillis’ words said to ownership that his vision as GM wasn’t being carried out, and by extension, that’s why there are no playoff gates at Rogers Arena in the coming weeks.

    So either the Aquilini brothers fire Gillis at the understood rate of $2 million per season for four more seasons, or they fire Tortorella at the same price. It’s a deal that Gillis can’t lose: Either he gets to hire a new coach — and no one really knows how much of a say he had in hiring the current one — or he gets relieved of his duties with full pay.

    On Thursday Gillis also positioned himself with the fans, telling them exactly what any fan base wants to hear. The Canucks will play more exciting hockey, and win while doing it.

    “I want us to play upbeat, puck possession (hockey). Move the puck quickly, force teams into mistakes, (play a) high transition game,” Gillis said. “I think we have the personnel to do it. If we don’t … they’ll be changed. That’s my vision. That’s how I believe you’re going to win in the Western Conference.

    “The top teams play that way. That’s the way we played.”

    It all sounded quite appetizing compared to the current fare, as it reverberated around the West Coast on Thursday. When you’re losing, and playing dull hockey, any promise of changing that to exciting, winning hockey is going to be well met.

    But here are the realities. Vancouver can’t beat Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose these days because those teams are bigger, deeper and play a more physical game. Plus, they draft better, and have over time developed far more good NHL players.

    Gillis still has nine No Trade Clauses on his roster that inhibit trading, and even if they didn’t exist, Gillis’ trade record is poor. And don’t even talk about getting big, Top 6 forwards or sturdy top-pairing defencemen on the free agent market, because you’d have a better chance of finding a pterodactyl in the birdbath on your deck.

    Then there’s the question of whether the Sedins still have the foot speed to play this wide-open game of which Gillis speaks. Or, if the goaltending tandem of Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom can hold water behind a more freewheeling system.

    Gillis covered his derriere well on Thursday, distancing himself from Tortorella considerably. He’d likely do the same with the GM that put the Canucks in this mess.

    If only that GM weren’t him.
    Really interesting article. Sounds like Gillis trying to find another scapegoat to keep his job as GM.
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/c...nce-to-fix-it/
    "We earned this ****ing burn. It doesn’t matter how you get from A to B. Our goal at the beginning of this ****ing season is to win a ****ing World Series, and guess what, boys, we’re going to the ****ing dance." - The Reverend Hunter Pence


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  2. #2
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    It's amazing to read the articles from Vancouver sports reporters. They contain the same quotes as this article but have a completely different tone. I could be wrong but I don't think Spector is Vancouver-based. He's critical of Gillis and rightly so in this article. The Vancouver writers seem intimidated or owned by Gillis and their articles are all very tame by comparison.

    I think we may find out in the next few years that the damage from the Gillis train wreck is much bigger than we thought it was. Aquilini really needs to ignore the Vancouver media and have his eyes opened to what others are saying in the industry or else he will be the owner of a sad franchise, not the money-printing machine he inherited from previous management.

    In this interview Gillis just comes across as completely delusional, as if he just had a big jug of his own koolaid before the interview.

  3. #3
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    Gillis blames Tortorella for this fail of a season

    This bleacher report article has a poll about who should go - http://m.bleacherreport.com/articles/2016381-mike-gillis-must-go-john-tortorella-should-stay-for-sinking-vancouver-canucks

    Gillis is the one 56% of readers want to be fired.

  4. #4
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    I think gillis should go but I agree with his logic on the situation. I personally want Torts to coach that high tempo style with grit but not have gillis as GM. On the other hand I wonder how many decisions were made by the Aquilini family and not MG.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pfeifer View Post
    I think gillis should go but I agree with his logic on the situation. I personally want Torts to coach that high tempo style with grit but not have gillis as GM. On the other hand I wonder how many decisions were made by the Aquilini family and not MG.
    The option people aren't considering is that Aquilini lost faith gradually and began interfering because they questioned gillis' abilities. If that's the case, just fire him.

  6. #6
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    Tortorella responded by saying Gillis should have brought in more depth.
    "We earned this ****ing burn. It doesn’t matter how you get from A to B. Our goal at the beginning of this ****ing season is to win a ****ing World Series, and guess what, boys, we’re going to the ****ing dance." - The Reverend Hunter Pence


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    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck

  7. #7
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    Gillis blames Tortorella for this fail of a season

    Just reading the out of touch Vancouver sports media fraternity about Torts' firing. Just laughable reaction. They obviously bought deeply into gillis' beliefs and blame Torts for the downfall of a noble team.

    Horsebleep.

    Typical that they'd confuse the symptom for the cause. Torts was pretty rank here but the team has increasingly stunk up the place ever since the SC finals.

    The fan base started to decline BEFORE Torts arrived and thus team has been unwatchable for at least 2-3 years. Unwatchable because they simply didn't have the talent they believed they did, and they definitely did not have the heart. They also lacked the pieces in combination to succeed.

    It's over now but I have no faith in the insight of the media here. The downfall was going to happen one way or another. Torts just exposed the fact that the Canucks weren't capable of competing at an elite level anymore. If you can't dominate 5on5, you're not going to win much.
    Last edited by ink; 05-02-2014 at 11:50 AM.

  8. #8
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    I listen to the team 1040 a lot and find less insight and more personal attacks on every show until BMac and Taylor hit the airwaves at 2:00 pm. The morning show is entertaining, but I'm listening for the Bob Mackenzies, Pierre Lebruns et al and guess what? None of them are from Vancouver. Too bad Ian MacIntyre can't rub off on the rest of them, or maybe a little Tony G.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueandgreen View Post
    I listen to the team 1040 a lot and find less insight and more personal attacks on every show until BMac and Taylor hit the airwaves at 2:00 pm. The morning show is entertaining, but I'm listening for the Bob Mackenzies, Pierre Lebruns et al and guess what? None of them are from Vancouver. Too bad Ian MacIntyre can't rub off on the rest of them, or maybe a little Tony G.
    McIntyre is definitely the best of a pretty bad lot. At least he can keep his distance from the GM's press release thinking. That's what I don't get. It's as if Vancouver writers are afraid if they don't toe the line they won't be given access to the team or something. IMac wrote the best and fairest article about the firing of the coach and that's pretty much par for the course for him. He unfailingly has great insights.

    Interest in this team really started falling off over the last few years. I actually disliked the composition of this team so much I could barely watch a full game for quite a while. I didn't find Torts' teams to be worse I just found them to be another variation on a pretty ugly uninspired roster.

    I really hope Linden and whoever ends up as GM and coach want to shake things up. The last thing I want to see after all this is someone say that these players can do it if they're given the chance. Please end it. We need some big change to breathe life back into this stagnant franchise. Amazing how stagnant a team can get when people don't pay attention to the warning signs.

  10. #10
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    I'm actually excited to see who we draft. Maybe he can step right in with Horvat and Shinkaruk.

  11. #11
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    Agreed, go youth now. Gaunce, Horvat, and Shinkaruk to replace Hansen, Booth, and ? Leave the two Swedes to mind the net, because we don't know what we truly have yet...could be a fantastic 1-1A tandem. Maybe trade Garrison, a prospect, and a Hansen to get a big, fast, mean SOB on the back end...I do not care if we lose if I know we have a goal in mind!

  12. #12
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    Gillis blames Tortorella for this fail of a season

    Yes to youth. What I wanted last year.

  13. #13
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    Daniel - Henrik - Kassian
    Shinkaruk - Horvat - Jensen
    Higgins - Kesler - Hansen
    4th line garbage
    "We earned this ****ing burn. It doesn’t matter how you get from A to B. Our goal at the beginning of this ****ing season is to win a ****ing World Series, and guess what, boys, we’re going to the ****ing dance." - The Reverend Hunter Pence


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    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants1213 View Post
    Daniel - Henrik - Kassian
    Shinkaruk - Horvat - Jensen
    Higgins - Kesler - Hansen
    4th line garbage
    I'm okay with the Sedin line as long as they're not the top line...
    First line should be Kesler's replacement between Burrows and Jensen
    Third line Horvat centering Shinkaruk and Higgins
    Sestito-Hansen centred by Richardson on the 4th...wanting Gaunce to fit in somewhere

    Hamhuis-Tanev
    Edler's replacement-Bieksa
    Stanton-Corrado
    Weber/Sauve

    Edler's replacement gained from trading Garrison, Edler and ? for a top 6 D

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueandgreen View Post
    I'm okay with the Sedin line as long as they're not the top line...
    First line should be Kesler's replacement between Burrows and Jensen
    Third line Horvat centering Shinkaruk and Higgins
    Sestito-Hansen centred by Richardson on the 4th...wanting Gaunce to fit in somewhere

    Hamhuis-Tanev
    Edler's replacement-Bieksa
    Stanton-Corrado
    Weber/Sauve

    Edler's replacement gained from trading Garrison, Edler and ? for a top 6 D
    So Burrows - ? - Jensen
    Daniel - Henrik - Kassian
    Higgins - Horvat - Shinkaruk
    Sestito - Richardson - Hansen

    Problem with that is why not just keep Kesler? Why couldn't Kesler work on the top line, but his replacement could? Are you expecting us to bring back a 1st line player for him?
    "We earned this ****ing burn. It doesn’t matter how you get from A to B. Our goal at the beginning of this ****ing season is to win a ****ing World Series, and guess what, boys, we’re going to the ****ing dance." - The Reverend Hunter Pence


    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck

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