Stick in Link: Mike Gillis wants uptempo hockey; ex-ref calls out Alex Burrows for ‘cowardice’

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)


  • Mike Gillis’s interview on the Team 1040, as covered by Harrison already here at PITB, is getting plenty of attention in the media. Mark “Moon Knight” Spector gives his thoughts, pointing out that Gillis is distancing himself from John Tortorella, but would likely distance himself from the Canucks’ GM as well, if it weren’t him. I would argue that he is distancing himself from the GM of the last couple seasons, saying he wants to get back to his view on what wins hockey games from six years ago. [Sportsnet]
  • Thomas Drance saw the interview as Gillis pitching the fans on a return to exciting, uptempo hockey. [Canucks Army]
  • Greg Wyshynski sees it as an ultimatum: Gillis or Tortorella. [Puck Daddy]
  • These guys fall pretty solidly on the fire Gillis side of things. How do I know? Probably those signs they’re carrying that say “Fire Gillis” on them. [CTV News]
  • Former referee Paul Stewart takes a run at Burrows for a cheap shot borne of “opportunistic cowardice” and completely misses the irony. [Hockey Buzz]
  • Henrik Sedin says he’ll reveal the reasons why he and Daniel had such a poor season once the season is over, but that it has nothing to do with John Tortorella or the increase in minutes. My theory? They had their hands amputated and have had to adapt to playing with advanced prosthetics. Pretty impressive season, when you keep that in mind. [Vancouver Sun]
  • Ben Kuzma’s story from Monday on the connection between Alex Burrows and Alain Vigneault has some great quotes. This one terrifies me: “The biggest thing is, Alain was more rational in his decisions and they were based on the past or stats. Torts is more gut feeling, and he’ll tell you he has a feeling in his stomach and ‘I’m going to shake up my lines’ or call this play.” [The Province]
  • Comparing the Tortorella Canucks to the Vigneault Canucks. This isn’t going to go well. [VanCity Buzz]
  • Do the Canucks miss Vigneault? Well, sure. But arguing that the Canucks should have kept him is ignoring history. [CBC]
  • Dan Hamhuis is set to become a part-owner of his former WHL team, the Prince George Cougars. [The Canuck Way]
  • Wyatt Arndt has a love/hate relationship with Ryan Kesler, but thinks the Canucks shouldn’t trade him this off-season if they’re serious about a retool as opposed to a rebuild. [Canucks Army]
  • This is a nice breakdown of all the happenings around the game on Tuesday, from the TSN panel giving Tortorella the vote of confidence to Ryan Kesler’s comments on special teams. [VanCity Buzz]
  • New Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom has a brand new Canucks-themed goalie mask which is pretty neat. Who knows, maybe he’ll even get a chance to wear it in a game someday… [In Goal Mag]
  • This is the best King of the Rink the Canucks have given us for some time. Plenty of good moments here. Of course The Lion King is Jannik Hansen’s favourite kids movie: it’s based on Hamlet, which is set in Denmark. [CanucksTV]



  1. Chris the Curmudgeon
    April 3, 2014

    Seems to me like Paul Stewart is just another member of the refereeing fraternity who’s still sore over the Burrows-Auger incident. How else to explain such a biased take? I don’t always agree with Kerry Fraser’s refereeing blog at, but to his credit, he tries to approach his subject matter objectively. Stewart’s talking about Burrows’ reputation, which admittedly isn’t sterling, but conveniently avoids mentioning that he’s never been given any supplementary discipline (ie: a pest, but a clean pest). He talks about how goons should be held accountable while ignoring the fact that Burrows is actually a star player in the league, albeit one in a down year, who’s a 4 time 28+ goal scorer and on his team’s top line. He’s talking about how the players have a “code” and should have stuck up for him, which I think is pretty strange for a (former) official who should be talking about how it’s the official’s job to enforce the rules. And he’s talking about how no attempt was made to play the puck, ignoring the fact that “taking the man” is a perfectly legitimate way to separate it from the carrier. I sure hope this guy doesn’t get a bigger forum, because his opinions are pretty suspect.

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    • Lemming
      April 3, 2014

      It’s like I got in a time machine and went back to the 70s and 80s. I wasn’t alive for most of that time, but I assume that’s what hockey discourse was like before people actually tried to figure out how to win hockey games beyond HITS FIGHT SCORE BLAAAAUGH.

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    • iain
      April 4, 2014

      i would have liked to see Kerry Fraser’s take on this. I’m sure it would be different to Paul Stewart’s. I have a lot of time for Fraser, and often read his column because:

      i) he comes off as trying to be as objective as possible (+1)
      ii) he quotes the rules as they are written (+1) – this is probably why he had to retire, since it seems (as Johnny G always points out) calling the rulebook is optional for officials these days, if not actively discouraged
      iii) he is not afraid to call out his colleagues and/or the director of player discipline (or whatever Shanny’s title is) when he thinks they made a mistake (+1)
      iv) he owns up to having made mistakes himself (+1)

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  2. Neil B
    April 3, 2014

    I’m just going out on a limb here, but perhaps the Sedins’ lack of production has something to do with Burrows going from averaging 29 goals & 23 assists per 82 games played to averaging 9 goals and 17 assists per 82 games played. Take 27 points away from one person’s production, and the rest of the line will suffer.

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    • Matt
      April 4, 2014

      It’s not just Burrows. Everyone on the top line has missed significant time with injury this year, and Burrows and Henrik both probably came back too soon from injuries or tried to play through injuries they shouldn’t have. They’re all well into their 30s now and their production’s going to suffer a bit for that, but broken jaw, broken finger, broken ribs, playing with that stupid jaw guard, and so on couldn’t’ have helped any of them.

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  3. shoes
    April 6, 2014

    Hahahaha LOL at Paul Stewart……crap like this is what Burrows has put up with since he alledgedly faked “going down after a hard hit in the numbers” And you can bet that Paul Stewarts fellow ‘unbiased officials’ that are still active are tweeting and emailing each other garbage like this all the time. I often wonder if there is even one honest ref in the game? Or is this the standard and is it all about pleasing Collie to get that extra 70 grand in playoff money? Sad really

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