The rest of the NHL, it seems, isn't keen to have Gillis succeed. More to the point, they'd love to see him fail.Life on the other side of the fence. Is this going to be a hindrance more than a positive with Gillis as our GM? If YOU were any other GM in the League, would you care to do business with this guy? He was on the other "evil" side of the fence not so long ago, being a thorn in your side. I'd let him rot too. That's the fun side of business. But is Gillis the kind of guy to kiss ass? To apologize? Hard to tell. All I can see is a pompous hardass. But who am I to judge?
Moving forward, then, the question isn't so much who the Canucks will bring in as their first-line centre but who will do business with the Gillis administration. That question will also bear repeating in the next little while because the early indications are troubling for Canucks fans.
By now, the circumstances of Gillis's hiring are common knowledge around the NHL, and let's just say there are mixed feelings about him. Dave Nonis, for starters, was a popular figure in hockey circles. He's also a member in good standing of the Pat Quinn-Brian Burke confederacy, and the influence of those two men can be found in several organizations.
But this goes beyond Gillis making enemies among a faction of hockey men. The new GM didn't do himself any favours at his opening press conference when he denigrated Nonis's work in Vancouver and left the distinct impression that, if he didn't have all the answers, he certainly knew where to find them. He also has a track record as an agent who crossed several of the men -- Kevin Lowe in Edmonton pops to mind -- with whom he's now trying make deals.
Gillis could further tarnish his image in the free agency season. There are 2 sides to the coin. If he's being duped by the other GM's, why not be the Booby Clarke-type of jackass and throw a bunch of money at other teams' restricted free agents?
Either way, Gillis needs to assemble a lot of offence this summer no matter what the cost. Are GM's going to refuse to do business with him? Maybe initially. But if a business decision on a trade looks pretty damned good, then why wouldn't these guys make a deal with Gillis?
Another huge possibility is that Gillis represented so many players so well that he may be able to lure them in easier. (Pavol Demitra? NO! Brian Rolston? HELL YEAH!)
Bottom line to me is: this stuff is just too controversial. I wish Nonis was never fired. It never should have happened. But if Gillis pulls a rabbit out of his ass this summer, I just may change my tone a little bit.
More on this from Orland Kurtenblog and the CDC Forums.
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