Gillis Talks New Playing Style, Kesler And More On Team 1040

Rich Lam

Change is coming for the Canucks, and it may come in several forms

Mike Gillis provided an in-depth interview on the Team today. Here are some goodies from it.

"You know, John (Tortorella) like myself, like everybody will be..go through a thorough evaluation at the end of the year..."

"I really feel the last couple of seasons we have chased goal posts that have been moving and gone away from our core principles of how I want this team to play and how we want to perform and the tempo we want to play with. "

"We're gonna get back to that style that we played 6 years ago and we have the personnel to do it"

When asked if Torts will be back next season Gillis replied: "I'm not sure if I'll be back next season....everyone is under evaluation."

"Our problems are far-reaching and they will be addressed and if people don't want to get on side with how I view this team and how it's supposed to play then they won't be here. .." Gillis said this after complimenting Tortorella's resume and basically insinuating that Torts can change his style of coaching. But obviously, in my opinion, he is saying that if Torts can't change he's gone. And about that:

"When you have an entire team's level of performance drop off there has to be reasons for it." A ringing endorsement for the coach there!


"We will try our hardest to spend to the cap" mentioning that of course IF the right players are available at the right age, etc. You know he wants to get younger, especially in that 20-25 year-old range.

No negotiations with restricted free agents Zack Kassian and Chris Tanev yet.

Will meet with Ryan Kesler at the end of the season to discuss his goals and objectives. Meaning, there is substance to the rumors he wants out.

In regards to the goaltender situation: "You get people in Toronto who just love to carve the Vancouver Canucks and it's gonna be unending so we're used to it now."

"I feel strongly that we have 2 guys (goalies) that are in their prime."

Gillis said that Jacob Markstrom will be starting a game before the end of the season and that Rollie Melanson is working hard with him. "We have a lot of faith in this guy. He's a competitor, he's huge, he's athletic ....he's really moving in the right direction."

"I want us to play up-beat, puck possession, move-the-puck quickly, force teams into mistakes, high-transition game. I think we have the personnel to do it. If we don’t have the personnel to do it, they’ll be changed. That's my vision."

So, this makes me wonder which personnel will or won't be on board with this vision. Time will tell. With the goalie situation, it appears the team will stay with Lack and Markstrom, unless either of both goalies regress. A stern message from Gillis here. If he stays on as GM, let's hope he delivers.

It will be interesting to see how Tortorella changes the playing style with 5 games left in the Canucks' season.

RAY FERRARO CHIMES IN

He told the Vancouver Sun:

"That is as big a distancing from the coach as I've seen," Ferraro said in an interview Thursday. "That's pushing you to that side of the room and I'm on this side of the room and whoever is making the decision upstairs, you've got one or the other.

"I see it as totally unlikely that both are gone and totally unlikely that both are back."

Ray also mentioned that management knew Tortorella's coaching style when they hired him and wondered why they didn't clue in that this Canucks squad can't play Tort's uber-defensive, big forechecking style.


TWO CENTS

The finger-pointing should not be solely at Mike Gillis or John Tortorella. People that do that do not understand what's going on. The blame should fall on everybody, really. It's always easiest to point them at management. But the players have to shoulder some of the blame too. And they do. Henrik Sedin had a bit to say about the season to media today. You can read about that at The Province. Hank knows that he and Daniel need to be better. But when he was asked about John Tortorella overplaying them and having them takes less o-zone starts as a reason Henrik provided an interesting reply:

""Up to a few games after Christmas we were right there: close to a point a game. He (Torts) gives us enough days off to feel rested for the games. We felt good. We were a little down over Christmas where we didn't feel great, but after that I felt great for a few weeks. I might answer this after the season, but there's reasons why we are where we are. It's not on the coach or anyone around us."

I think we can assume that the Twins are playing hurt. How the hell else can Daniel Sedin not score a single goal in 20-something games or even Hank have a 12-game pointless drought? That's more than a coaching strategy problem. Alexandre Burrows' goalless drought was mind-numbing.

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