Stick in Link: Mike Gillis got fired; who’s next?

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 passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

***

• The good news: Laurence Gilman survived the Mike Gillis firing. The bad news: Jay Feaster is a rumoured replacement. No. No. No. [Vancouver Sun]

• “We’re told Tortorella is quietly spreading the word that Feaster, who was in place for the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup victory, is a GM he can work with.” [NY Post]

• Thankfully, Feaster appears to have heard nothing from the Canucks. Meanwhile, Markus Naslund declines comment on whether or not he has, so congratulations to Markus Naslund on his new job, probably. [The Province]

• And perhaps congratulations are in order for Bob Nicholson as well. Hockey Canada’s former head is reportedly negotiation with the Aquilinis from his Penticton home as we speak. If I were a betting man, I’d say the Canucks announce Nicholson as president, and Naslund and Laurence Gilman as GM and assistant GM, in either order, in the next 48 hours. [The Hockey News]

• Pierre Lebrun explains that Gillis’s dismissal had to do with him becoming a lightning rod for criticism. A big head had to roll, and who had a bigger head than Mike Gillis? [ESPN]

• Trevor Linden is rumoured to be joining the Canucks’ front-office. Would his presence fix anything? [The Hockey News]

• Thomas Drance on the end of the Mike Gillis era, which died the way it lived — swirling with spectacular drama: “Now we close the book on the Gillis era and enter a new Canucks age, one of uncertainty. While it’s tough to make the argument that Gillis was totally undeserving of this outcome, his tenure represents a successful stretch basically unparalleled in franchise history. I’d comfortably wager that Canucks fans will regard Gillis’ tenure more fondly with the passage of time.” [Canucks Army]

• The Hockey Central panel breaks down the news of the day.

• Greg Wyshynski asks if Mike Gillis deserved his fate. [Puck Daddy]

• Justin Bourne feels he did, even despite doing a good job for Vancouver. It was time. [Backhand Shelf]

• Eric Duhatschek feels he did, and goes for the throat with this probably-too-harsh sum-up of Gillis’s tenure: “But most worrisome of all has to be the reality of Gillis’s moves as a general manager. He failed repeatedly to fill in the necessary supporting pieces, when the primary tools were already in place. What exactly will be his legacy? Signing Pavol Demitra, one of his former clients, as a free agent back in 2008? Signing Mats Sundin? His signature moment has to be one of two transactions – getting Dan Hamhuis to leave Nashville and sign with the Canucks as a free agent in 2010, or acquiring Christian Ehrhoff in a San Jose Sharks’ salary dump in 2009. But Hamhuis wanted to come home, so that transaction needs an asterisk. It’s the same as Zach Parise and Ryan Suter wanting to go to Minnesota for family reasons or Scott Niedermayer joining the Ducks in 2005 so he could play with his brother Rob. That’s an accident of geography, not astute planning. In Ehrhoff’s case, they got two good seasons out of him before the Canucks let him go for salary-cap reasons of their own. And that really was it.” [The Globe & Mail]

• This is sort of fun: rank the lowest points of the Mike Gillis era. [The Globe & Mail]

• Or just remember them all, thanks to this in-depth timeline. [Nucks Misconduct]

• Meanwhile, Tony Gallagher thinks Tortorella needs to go too, and for once, I agree with his hyperbolic approach to columnizing: ”Any thoughts of bringing him back should be banished permanently because any attempt to sell this unwatchable crap next season will result in the total evacuation of Rogers Arena.” [The Province]

• Tortorella may have steered the Canucks off a cliff this season, but he did a great job navigating Amy Fulton through the five stages of grief. [Canucks Australia]

14 comments

  1. Ex NHL player
    April 8, 2014

    Hi
    Mike gillis should not be involved in any NHL Hockey position , bad attitude, he does not know anything about pro hockey , should go into. Different job nothing to do with hockey

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -23 (from 25 votes)
    • peanutflower
      April 8, 2014

      you don’t know anything about English grammar.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
    • Lemming
      April 8, 2014

      …an ex-NHL player? Who am I to argue!

      +1,000,000

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  2. Noodle
    April 8, 2014

    I’m shocked to say this, but I agree with Gallagher. Tortorella should be fired. Now, I will admit that I say this for selfish reasons – I miss the up-tempo style of the old Canucks and find Tortorella’s system to be boring to watch.

    On another note, if Feaster is hired than the Aquilini’s have lost their minds. They think the Canucks “brand” is damaged now? Hire Feaster and watch respect for this franchise sink even lower.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +29 (from 29 votes)
  3. clutch fan
    April 8, 2014

    Obviously, they need to get the next GM right… Bowman/Shero/Chirelli level guy… if they go with a Feaster level or even a middle level guy, nobody’s going to go to the games at the prices they’re asking…

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  4. peanutflower
    April 8, 2014

    God, now they’re talking like Nicholson will be president and Linden GM. talk about a bunch of inexperienced dudes. Sigh. throw the baby out with the bathwater once again…

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
    • Phileo99
      April 8, 2014

      Great hockey player, but why would the Aquilinis want to hire him ? The timing of all this smells like a tactic to retain the season ticket holders.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
  5. ikillchicken
    April 8, 2014

    I’m not sorry to see Gillis go. I wasn’t calling for his head either. I think he’s made a lot of really good moves despite some really brutal ones. And some of his supposedly bad ones like the Hodgson trade really weren’t bad at all. That said, his record seems to be trending more and more towards the bad. And while he’s always been good at making the little moves and finding diamonds in the rough, he is not so good at making the big moves. Acting from a position of strength, when he can just sit back and wait for the right deal, he does well. But he can’t operate from a position of weakness. And that is precisely what we are in right now. So yeah. I’m not against this move at all in itself. That said, I’m mostly just curious what happens next. I’m trying to interpret this firing wat it means going forward and it seems like there are two possible scenarios here. They’re radically different from one another though and while one I think is pretty good, the other is disastrously bad:

    #1) This is the start of them cleaning house. They recognize that this organization is a mess. They’ve lost direction and they need an overhaul. Soon enough, they’ll can Torts too. But as much as Torts was a mistake, they see Gillis as also a problem. Perhaps because he was actually quite responsible for the Torts hiring and shift in direction (hence their libel suits). Or perhaps because he just made such a mess of the goalie situation and his other errors in judgement. Anyway, they’ll bring in a whole new management team from the top down. Put the team in the hands of someone who, unlike Gillis, they have faith in and back off and let them run the team.

    #2) Essentially, they chose Torts over Gillis. Which is basically what they’ve been doing all year. They wanted Torts despite Gillis having reservations. They wanted to play a shut down/dump in system despite Gillis being inclined toward uptempo puck control. Maybe they even wanted to keep Kesler and make a playoff push despite Gillis wanting to trade him and retool. Gillis gave them an ultimatum “Fire me or let me do my job” and they chose to fire him. They’ll keep Torts and hire a new GM but he’ll probably be nothing but a puppet. (Goodness knows they won’t get anyone decent if they’re forcing Torts on him.) They’ll continue to run this team into the ground under Torts’ misguided tutelage. We’ll sink further and further into the mire we’re in, embark on a half decade (or longer) decline and ground up rebuild, become the new Calgary and all happiness will die forever. This, just in case it wasn’t clear, is the bad scenario.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
    • akidd
      April 9, 2014

      nice post! if it were #1 they would’ve fired torts already(season ticket renewal deadline.) i fear it’s #2. exactly like you put it. we’re doomed.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
    • Pavo
      April 9, 2014

      Got to go with #2 and akidd.

      I’m afraid Torts is Aqualini’s man. Gillis may not be the most competent GM in the NHL but Tortorella has literally turned this team into complete rubbish in less than a season. And yet he is still here.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  6. iain
    April 9, 2014

    Brian Burke as President, Randy Carlyle as coach.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  7. Gored 1970
    April 9, 2014

    The Globe and Mail offers 10 Mike Gillis Moments and polls us to rank them. Unfortunately, they include Torts charging the Flames dressing room, Torts not starting Lu in the heritage game and the Torts coached Canucks giving up 7 third period goals to the Islanders as Gillis moments. Just shows how bad the coach is when 3 of 10 worst Gillis moments over 6 years are attributed to Torts in his first year.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  8. Amor de Cosmos
    April 9, 2014

    The firing of Tortorella seems inevitable, it’s only a case of when. The creation of another level of management, among other things, serves to distance the owners from the coach, which is no bad thing in itself. It also means that when the axe does fall — this summer or sometime next season in all likelihood — the blood won’t be on the family’s hands, or not as much of it. Of course the team might go on a twenty game winning tear in October, or they might hire Feaster this morning, in which case all bets are off.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  9. Brent
    April 9, 2014

    Based on Aqualinils comment in the presser, Torts is gone. It is just a question of when. Probably let him finish the season, then pack up his dogs and go home.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)