It was expected to chalked full of Gillisisms and it was. Much of what he said being predictable. Of course it's too soon to fully analyze the team or announce anything except that this season was "messed up" and "terrible" (especially in regards to shortness of the season and injuries and abilities to make deals) and that all aspects of the team would be looked at, including Mike Gillis himself, which he also said last year. But there were a few nuggets.
If you missed the press conference here it is:
The most intriguing / my favorite parts were:
- When asked about the size of the teams that have beaten the Canucks in recent playoff series, Gillis said that since he had first taken on the team that the landscape has changed and that he now needs to adjust to the new landscape. What he is saying there is that the NHL was basically vowing to crack down on obstruction so that there would be more goals scored. This would favor faster players, of course. But not only are these rules not being called in the playoffs enough, but I think the bigger players that may be a bit slower have adjusted to the new rules and adapted through positioning. So now it seems Gillis will target more size. Probably just in time for the landscape to change again!
- Gillis said there are a couple significant changes that need to be made to the team in order to compete. Keep in mind that the GM was targeting Ryane Clowe and Raffi Torres at the trade deadline.
- It is "unlikely" that Roberto Luongo is still on this the Canucks this fall. He can't say "no" to that question. But he will do his damndest to make a trade happen, and he really has no choice but to make it happen, because he makes it very clear in this presser that Cory Schneider is the man.
- About Alain Vigneault, Gillis said that he is an excellent hockey coach but that it was too early to make any decisions this soon after the series was over. Vigneault would be evaluated like Gillis himself would be evaluated. (I hate that line). He then passed the buck to ownership, in that Gillis and crew would present a plan to Canucks ownership and that if they don't agree with that plan.....well then...yea. Maybe ownership will want Vigneault fired. We don't know.
- In regards to the core players of the team: Gillis singled out Schneider, Kesler, Hansen in the prime of their careers and that the Sedins are still among the top players in the league, but they need more support. Yes, they do. Gillis then said "We are going to have to get younger." I agree with that fully. So say hello to Jordan Schroeder (who is quite possibly going to have shoulder surgery, by the way), Nicklas Jensen and maybe a look at Brendan Gaunce. When I think of Vigneault coaching kids, I see them on the 3rd line. I don't like that. I want to see more of these youngsters in the top 6. I understand that he wants to bring them in slowly, but if Gillis wants the team to get younger, then AV will have to play the kids MORE.
- Gillis talked about losing draft picks at the trade deadline over the past few years in order to acquire help for a Cup run. That worked super well in 2011 when they got Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins (gold) but as failed in the last 2 years (Pahlsson and Roy). Gillis said that they will address and possibly change that philosophy. In Gillis' defence, I really thought Derek Roy was going to be better than what he showed us. His nose dive came as a complete surprise to me. Hindsight is 20/20.
- "We are going to go through another process of resetting things again." Read into that what you will.
- At the 21:21 mark of the presser Gillis is asked if Alain Vigneault has his support. Gillis didn't say "yes" to that question. But he pointed out that given what the team has gone through in recent years with the tragedies and what-not that AV has done a remarkable job. However, he pointed out again that everyone is going to be evaluated and that no one is going to be immune to the "review".
- Has Mason Raymond played his last game as a Canuck? "Not sure".
- Gillis refused to shit talk the refereeing in the Canucks-Sharks series. I liked that. He told the media to report the reffing as they see it.
The burning question in Canucksville is whether or not Vigneault gets fired. I'm sure the majority thinks it is the best route. Listening to Gillis, I am not so sure he's gonna pull the plug yet. Maybe not even this summer.
Tony "Gollum Gollum!" Gallagher thinks the AV party is over. Yea he is generally a negative old fart. But what I found intriguing about his Alain Vigneault piece were his quotes from 2 Canucks defencemen in regards to "a new voice in the room:
Alex Edler: "I don’t know. For all the time I’ve been here those guys have been here. I have nothing else to compare it to."
Dan Hamhuis: "That’s a difficult question to answer."
Both hesitated before answering. Gallagher could just be putting a spin on things. But those players didn't jump to AV's defence after the question either.
Time will tell.
Did you miss the player interviews? Here ya go: