...and here I thought people were generally fired on Fridays.
Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations, Trevor Linden announced today that the club has relieved Vice President, Hockey Operations and Assistant General Manager, Laurence Gilman, Assistant General Manager, Lorne Henning and Director, Player Personnel, Eric Crawford of their duties.
"On behalf of our entire organization I would like to sincerely thank Laurence, Lorne and Eric for their commitment and dedication to the Vancouver Canucks," said Trevor Linden. "They have been important members of our staff for a long time and made significant contributions to the success of this team. Further still, they are great people and respected members of the hockey community."
"We have made some difficult decisions to our roster and staff recently after a thorough review of the team," continued Linden. "These are not easy decisions, nor were they taken lightly. But they’re important as we transition this team and build for the future."
The news, inadvertently, hits the press just as news that Martin St. Louis is retiring so good timing on Vancouver's end.
One the one hand you have to hand it to the Linden logic here: he's been the voice of every move this week that has been unpopular, so the bet that the lean times will be better communicated through a local legend is getting its thorough test.
The front office moves makes total sense as Benning and Linden fully begin to put their mark on the franchise. You had to wonder what conversations were had with the Gillis guys on everything from the Lack trade to moving Bieksa to the question marks surrounding giving up on Kassian, something noted in the Botchford piece on the trade yesterday.
That said, these were behind the scenes guys that were instrumental in the most recent successes (now far in the rear view) that the team enjoyed. Gilman was the invisible hand behind so many of the moves and contracts in the last seven seasons and was often rumored to be lured away by other clubs to be tapped as GM (he served as an assistant GM in Arizona prior to arriving in Vancouver). Henning has been with the club since 2005 and has survived three GMs and four coaches until today.
It'll be interesting to see who Benning taps to replace Gilman and Henning, especially if that means calling up Boston and selling a few folks on a cross country move.