Mikael Samuelsson, on Canucks: ‘I didn’t think very highly of management”

Earlier this month, we celebrated when Mikael Samuelsson signed a contract to re-assimilate into the Borg in Detroit. The Red Wings are, after all, going to be featured on HBO’s 24/7, and something tells us that Samuelsson’s brutal honesty will make his interviews indispensable segments of the program.

If you don’t share our excitement, perhaps you need an example of this brutal honesty. Look no further than a recent interview Samuelsson did with Ronnie Johansson of HockeySvierge.Se, which can be found in the original Swedish here and originally translated by Canucks Army here. During the chat, the former Canuck made it clear that he wasn’t a fan of the Canucks’ front office.

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From GM of the Year to ‘moron’ in one season; what’s the deal with Mike Gillis?

If I were David Poile, Doug Armstrong, or Dale Tallon, this year’s nominees for GM of the Year, I’d be praying that the award goes to someone else. All you have to do is take one look at the season Mike Gillis has had to suspect that, maybe, the NHL General Manager of the Year award is cursed.

Gillis deserved the award after 2010-11 but, since winning it, nothing has gone right for him. He couldn’t sell Christian Ehrhoff on taking a haircut and forgoing free agency. All he could rustle up on July 1 was a clunky old Marco Sturm, hockey’s equivalent of snagging a boot while fishing. Six games into Sturm’s tenure, he was moved to Florida along with Mikael Samuelsson for David Booth, who underwhelmed. Samme Pahlsson, acquired at the trade deadline, earned praise during the regular season, then withered in an arduous, 5-game postseason.

But Gillis’s worst move on the surface — the one that really hurt his approval rating — was the Cody Hodgson trade. Not only did many, many fans fall out of love with Gillis over this one, which yielded no immediate payoffs, but on Monday, Gary Roberts, trainer to the young stars, called the Canucks’ GM a moron and a dud.

Last year, it was all accolades for Gillis. This year, the Quinoa King of the East is calling him names. What the Hell happened?

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Drance Numbers: Did the Canucks really change after the Boston game?

There were plenty of interesting statements in Mike Gillis’s epic season wrapup press conference Tuesday morning, but one of the most jarring came in response to the very first question posed to him by the press. To kick things off, David Ebner of The Globe & Mail asked Gillis when the “issues” that ultimately led to the Canucks’ early exit first began to surface.

As a disciple of the extremist “Church of Hockey Math” (trademark, Blake Price), I’m always skeptical of a statement that lends this much power to an “intangible” force like “collective team emotion.” It’s a pretty dubious claim when you stop to think about it: a veteran team, one of the league’s best over the past two seasons, saw their season derailed by a regular-season win in early January?

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The Canucks gave Cody Hodgson two makeovers this year

Considering when news of Cody Hodgson’s trade to Buffalo broke — at around 12:30 PST, well after the trade deadline had passed — you could be forgiven for thinking it was a last-minute deal, like the one that brought Chris Higgins to the team at the 2011 cutoff. And, after Hodgson’s agent Ritch Winter claimed in the aftermath that he and Hodgson had met with the Canucks the weekend prior about icetime, you might even think it was a kneejerk move.

But on Tuesday morning at Mike Gillis’s season wrap-up presser, the Canucks’ GM had some interesting things to say about the circumstances surrounding Hodgson’s departure. Most notably, while he never quite said it, it’s apparent that even if Buffalo didn’t get onboard until later, the team had been working on a Hodgson deal since December at least.

Remember how Hodgson’s teammates gave him an off-ice makeover? Turns out the coaching staff gave him one too.

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Yesterday, we broke down a Province news editorial that espoused a trade sending Roberto Luongo to the Tampa Bay Lighting for Vincent Lecavalier.

It was an odd thing, this unexpected newspaper-endorsed trade proposal, and not just because a paper’s editorial board doesn’t usually weigh in on rosters like they were playing “Fantasy GM mode” in NHL 12: it was also just a bad trade. Either the editorial board’s hockey knowledge is scant, Mike Milbury is on said board, or both. One assumes that, if the Province were an Ottawa-based newspaper, they would have espoused keeping Redden over Chara, too.

Needless to say, we didn’t like it.

It turns out we weren’t alone, however, as Mike Gillis unexpectedly called in to the Team 1040 Friday afternoon like he was freaking Troy from White Rock in order to express his dislike for the piece.

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Third Man In is a feature that reminds the world that PITB actually has three writers and occasionally, that third writer comes flying into the fray with his gloves off, looking for a piece of the action. Usually on Friday. This week, Qris talks about boredom, experience, and the fact that Dave Nonis’s signature is no longer on any of Mike Gillis’s contracts.

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Third Man In is a feature that reminds the world that PITB actually has three writers and occasionally, that third writer comes flying into the fray with his gloves off, looking for a piece of the action. Usually on Friday. This week, Qris examines why Keith Ballard can’t get out of AV’s doghouse and admits he knows nothing about Marco Sturm.

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Canucks news comes fast and furious, and sometimes we find ourselves playing catchup. Thankfully, the Dreaded Two Goal Lead–often called “the worst lead in hockey”–is super easy to come back from. Everybody knows it’s a guaranteed death sentence for those that hold it. Well, much like an ice hockey team coming from two goals down, PITB will now effortlessly catch up.

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Third Man In is a feature that reminds the world that PITB actually has three writers and occasionally, that third writer comes flying into the fray with his gloves off, looking for a piece of the action. Usually on Friday. This week, Qris tackles Mike Gillis’s offseason plans, why 15 postseason wins is a good reason to to keep this team together, and which Sedin has the more impressive case.

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