Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gillis gets down to work

With little in the way of kind words for the state of his new project, former player agent and now General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks Mike Gillis addressed the media on Wednesday to give his state of the Canucks address from day one.

Stating that he didn't think that Canucks were even close yet to fielding a potential Stanley Cup winner he outlined a number of areas of concern that he wanted to address.

High among them was to make sure that franchise goaltender Roberto Luongo was a happy Canuck, rumblings in the always paranoid state of hockey in Vancouver was that Luongo was less than content with the state of his new club, leaving the anxious Canuck fans worried that he may want to leave the team at the first possible opportunity. This despite a contract that will make him a Canuck for a few years yet.

Other concerns for Gillis were the team scouting which he doesn't feel has been up to a high standard (and something that ran contrary to former GM Dave Nonis' comments last week after his firing) he also didn't know if the Sedin's were the two key playes to build an offence around, a statement which will have the rumour mills flying with potential trade possibilities all through the off season.

The path to running the Canucks is still a bit of a mystery, with Gillis not volunteering too much about his relationship with the Canuck owners the Aquillini's nor would they provide a time line as to how they contacted him and when.

All this secrecy coming out of the GM Place bunkers is going to make for a very interesting off season as the traditionally inquisitive Vancouver media seeks out more details about the teams new GM and his plans.

His arrival hasn't been universally praised by the fans of the Canucks, who have been quick to flood the sports talk shows wondering if he's up to the job and if the Aquillini's have any idea as to how they are running their team.

A sample of the feedback can be found on Wednesday morning's Bill Good Show on Vancouver radio station CKNW, which featured feedback on the Canuck announcement for the 8:30 - 9:30 hour.

From listening to he program, Mr. Gillis might need the thickest of skins should he wish to survive the full term of his five year contract.

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