Stick in Link: Hello Trevor Linden, farewell Mike Gillis, whither John Tortorella?

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.)


  • When Trevor Linden was hired, he sought out advice from Cam Neely, who had the benefit of three years as vice-president before stepping into the same role that Linden now occupies. [Vancouver Sun]
  • Under Alain Vigneault, the Sedins became offensive specialists who never started a shift in the defensive zone, winning two Art Ross Trophies, a Hart, and a Ted Lindsay Award in the process. Under John Tortorella, they became sub-50-point two-way forwards. What does the future hold for the Sedins with Trevor Linden in the front office? [The Province]
  • Jason Botchford busts out a non-game-day edition of the Provies and there’s a lot there to mull over. [The White Towel]
  • The most terrifying part of The Provies? That the Aquilinis may still be chasing “the Boston model.” [That's Offside]
  • David Ebner’s five-point plan for Linden to fix the Canucks starts with firing Tortorella and ends with tanking for Connor McDavid. [The Globe and Mail]
  • Lets hold off on waving the pom-poms for Trevor Linden, simply because there’s so much that can go wrong. [Canucks Hockey Blog]
  • On the other hand: “Canucks fans want to win.  And there is nobody else in the world we want to win with more than Trevor Linden.” [Brianstorm]
  • The aftermath of the Linden hire. This covers a lot of ground. [Nucks Misconduct]
  • Thomas Drance looks back at the Mike Gillis era with an objective eye: “While Gillis inherited a talented core of players, he pushed the right buttons to supplement that group and elevate his ingredients…He deserves credit for that, not scorn. While Gillis’ fine work at the margins was enough to sustain success for six years, eventually the big picture caught up to him.” [Canucks Army]
  • Francesco Aquilini called a reporter a “prick” and Deadspin took notice, while also pointing out what the outsider’s perspective is of this whole thing: “Because a GM who made the finals, won a couple of Presidents Trophies, and iced a competitive roster for five seasons didn’t build up enough good will to save his job after a disappointing sixth.” [Deadspin]
  • So, Trevor Linden is the President. Who does he hire as General Manager? [VanCity Buzz]
  • I need a palate cleanser from all this front office news. How about some sassy Kevin Bieksa gifs? [Tumblr]
  • There’s a part of the world that Cam Charron thinks the Canucks need to start drafting from again and it’s not British Columbia. [Canucks Army]
  • Hey, the Canucks still have some games left to play. Here’s a preview of tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, which should finally feature Jacob Markstrom’s first start as a Canuck. [VanCity Buzz]
  • Well, this is depressing. Thanks a lot, Sportscentre. [YouTube]


  1. Chris the Curmudgeon
    April 10, 2014

    People seem to think that pre-Cup Finals Gills and post-Cup Finals Gillis were the same guy. To me, it was clear that they weren’t. That game 7 loss (and the way the preceding six games played out) was traumatic for all of us, but I think they really fostered a permanent change in Gillis, or alternately perhaps marked the end of Aquilini’s laissez-faire days. Pre-Finals Gillis was dedicated to up-tempo hockey and innovation. He stuck with Vigneault’s recipe for offensive hockey, acquired Ehrhoff, drafted Cody Hodgson over Kyle Beach and generally had the team pointed in the right direction. After the Finals, Gillis seemed to think that the rough-em-up Boston model was what lost us the Cup (I’d argue that it was a combination of Tim Thomas outplaying Luongo, Norris Trophy calibre defensive work by Zdeno Chara, extreme fatigue/numerous injured stars from a tougher Western schedule, extremely underrated skill on the Bruins’ top 2 lines, and the occasional dose of questionable officiating thrown in). He set about making the team bigger and tougher at the expense of skill, and that frame of mind has been a major factor in the team’s decline in my view.

    He may have claimed last week to want to go back to what made the team successful back then, and without knowing how much truth there is to the claims of Aquilini meddling and for how long, it’s hard to know how much stock to put in anything either of them has said. However, one thing that’s clear is that when looking back on Gillis’s tenure, one has to treat it as two separate eras with two very different trends in outcome.

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  2. Rob Robertson
    April 10, 2014

    Drance’s article on Canucks Army resonates the most with me. I have mixed feeling about Gillis getting fired.

    The fact that he was never able to replace Sami Salo and Christian Ehrhoff I feel has been overlooked. It’s clear that Gillis knew how crucial it was to have a premier offensive defenceman considering what he gave up for Ballard and how much he paid Jason Garrison but unfortunately for him, they didn’t pan out (jury is still out on Garrison I guess).

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