In this illustration, the three cannibals are the media.

Mike Gillis Attempts to Distract the Media


Mike Gillis looked calm, cool, and collected while he spoke to the media yesterday, but his words belied his Freeze-ian exterior. Like Howard Beale, Gillis is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. This is, of course, the Mike Gillis version of “mad as hell” that takes the form of a list of statistics rather than an impassioned diatribe. Clearly, Gillis could use a speech writer and some acting lessons (perhaps from Scott Rintoul).

Gillis, in his patented monotone, harangued the reffing in the series, pointing out the discrepancy between the penalty calls for and against the Canucks, particularly in the last four games. He even highlighted some particularly egregious missed calls and lambasted the officials for their inconsistency. Is he right? Does it matter?

Effectively, Gillis is attempting to change the story that is being told by the fans and media. It’s a classic distraction technique designed to make sure that the articles being written and therefore the questions being asked of his team are focussed more in the direction of the reffing and whether they agree with their GM, rather than on their performance. Instead of focusing on the Sedins’ defensive deficiencies, Ryan Kesler’s lack of scoring, or Roberto Luongo’s mental health, the media and thereby the fans can focus on the officiating and whether Mike Gillis is completely out of his gourd or not.

Cam Cole has even suggested that Gillis is simply stoking the fire of the fanbase and he may be correct. The crowd in Rogers Arena tonight will likely be full of energy to start the game, but it will be nervous energy, rather than pure, unadulterated raucousness. At the first sign of trouble, such as a Blackhawk powerplay, that nervous energy could turn ugly. Or, because of the primer applied by Gillis, it could turn into comparisons between the consistency of the officiating and the consistency of cow dung.

In any case, Gillis has been at least partially successful at deflecting attention from his team and onto himself. After all, I’m writing this post, Cam Cole wrote his morning article, and Ian Walker chipped in his take, and that’s just the Vancouver Sun.

For a full transcript of yesterday’s Gillis diatribe, click here.

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  1. chicken chick
    April 26, 2011

    perhaps this bears repeating:

    Since you didn’t I guess i should
    Just tell it like it really was
    I guess you are too sweet and good
    To truly set your fans abuzz

    I hate it when the reffing sucks
    And victimize the poor Canucks
    That blind side hit behind the net
    What Torres got it didn’t get

    A slash that breaks a Sedin stick
    Was good for two right double quick
    But both officials it ignored
    Because the Nucks just might have scored

    And trip it was but it was not
    A cause to call a penalty shot
    No way he gets a shot on goal
    Some line I need that ends with “stole”

    That’s what they did not unawares
    Took from the Nucks the win was theirs

    Chicken Chick

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  2. kim r
    April 26, 2011

    Mike Gillis is a rock star (and so are you fellows for your consistently funny and readable posts).

    1. He distracted the media.
    2. He ensured that tonight’s officiating will be given some consistency – or at least as much as these clowns can give. NHL’s head office doesn’t want to go into the second round with the attention on craptacular reffing.
    3. And, as you said, he distracted the fans and the team.

    Rock star. Won’t brown nose you again; one per day.

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  3. Matt
    April 26, 2011

    I am most impressed with your image from Monkey Island. I love that game.

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