Monday, June 23, 2008

Our GM went to Ottawa and all he got was this stupid tee shirt…

The Dave Gillis era is off to a rocky start with the Vancouver media.

Gillis who took over the Canuck's three months ago, participated in his first NHL draft from the other side of the agents table on the weekend.

Back when he was announced as the new Canuck GM, he intimated that he wasn’t impressed with the Canuck’s drafting success over the last few years, the tentativeness of their desire to pull the trigger on a trade and suggested that his era would be a little bit different.

After two days of poking and prodding of the young talent on the way up, the selections from Gillis and his new team (though the old scouts remained for one last draft) haven’t particularly impressed the Vancouver media hordes, who expected some wheeling and dealing and the claim to the draft day throne.

Resident curmudgeon Neil MacRae of CKNW let loose on Gillis, suggesting that other GM’s still bitter from his days as a player agent won’t be inclined to deal with the new GM boss, and in fact may have sewn a few seeds of distraction at this weekend’s draft, especially with the rumour that the Sedin’s were both on the market for the best deal offered.

(You can listen to MacRae’s editorial from the CKNW Audio vault, select today and then the 8-9 hour during the morning news package for his take on the draft day decision making. )

The backlash effect was a theme that the Vancouver Sun’s Iain McIntyre explored in today’s paper, besides providing some background on the state of the Canuck scouts, McIntyre traces the reasons why some of the league’s GM’s won’t be quick to pick up the phone to make a deal with Gillis it seems.

Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province was also quick to pick up the theme of Gillis as an outsider in the GM’s club. His is a place where more than one GM is suspected of hoping that he falls flat on his face as he takes to the task of rebuilding the Canuck’s from his blueprints and apparently more than a few set to go out of their way to make sure that happens.

Not to be lost in all the angst over the Canuck's management decisions and inside structure were the actual picks made on Friday and Saturday, which saw the first Canuck’s pick Cody Hodgson described as not quite a Mason Raymond, making Hodgson perhaps a work in progress destined for Manitoba for a few years before he finds his way to GM Place.

Whether Hodgson becomes a long time contributor to the Canucks one day will take time to shake out, what will be really interesting to watch will be to see if Gillis has that same amount of time in Vancouver to develop.

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