Mike Gillis Interview With Team 1040

I'll keep this in quick point form and try to keep up with the interview.

-Gillis said that he is not concerned about Pavol Demitra's injury and that he is not surprised by it given the nature of the injury. He said the team isn't thinking about the injury as a cap-saver, but more as a chance for someone else to step into the top 6 role.

-On Alain Vigneault: Gillis called him a hard-working and bright coach. He is extremely confident in his abilities. He liked how Vigneault adjusted to style of play that Gillis wanted last season and stated that we can expect an even more up-tempo style this year.

-On Ryan Kesler's extension: They are just getting started with that, and that he won't talk about contracts. He said that Kesler is an integral part of the club and that he is going to get a chance to have an even greater leadership role this season. Gillis said that last season he wanted 2 guys to jump up to a greater scoring level, which he got in Kesler and Alexandre Burrows. This year he wants that from 2 more players.

-On Hodgson's back: It was more serious when it first happened than Dave Gagner thought it was. Hodgson is almost fully recovered and it's not a degenerative problem.

-Gillis then talked about the atmosphere that he is building in Vancouver; about how management treats players like adults and how he believes in communication which is something he learned from being an agent and seeing things from the other side of the fence. Gillis said management is a "partner" in players' development here. The team is going in the direction that he envisioned. Players want to play here and stay here because of management's attitude and because they believe that this is a winning organization. This will help the team draw big names in the future.

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