Score one for Mike Gillis.Hey all Canuck fans. I think after listening to this 30 min MP3 of Gillis you should be more than confident that the helm is in far more informed hands. I like this decision and I like what this man had to say. I like that he's taking an approach in which people are going to be evaluated on performance. Some of the questions from the reporters are tough to hear but you get an excellent idea of this mans thought process.
Things I liked: He has an even keel personality. Seems like a clear thinker. He's not under any allusions of this team and whom is on it. He sees Luongo as the teams number one asset and one which must be utilized in the now and not the later. He sees this team as one which needs more than meets the eye. He likes it's defense. He feels it needs to be a gritter and faster club. He even made reference to where goals are scored at this time of year, "Those dirty places". This guy sees it. And he knows just about everyone....He even talks about the dissolving of his business which reps players I believe.
A very informative listen and I think after hearing him speak this team is in some of the best hands it's been in for some time. And ultimately, it wont be long before we see the proof, or not. This is the choice the Aqualini's made and I've said it earlier, I don't think you acquire the wealth and success they have by making bad decisions. They've done well and know what they're doing. In that alone I trust.
And another key he mentioned. The Aqualini's have basically given him cart blanch where decisions for this teams needs are concerned.
As a new manager coming in to take over an established company or organization, the first goal is to ensure that the paying customer remains confident that the company is still the best place for those customers to come and spend their money for that product. Gillis obviously spent a lot of time paying attention to what was being said by the fans and the media in Vancouver over the last month, and he did a brilliant job of telling everyone exactly what they wanted to hear.
So what did I take away from his first press conference? That Mike Gillis is an effective salesman. And of course, he would have to be, other wise his family doesn't eat.
Consider that he said a number of things that Dave Nonis said. That they have to do a better job of drafting...that he would make any deal that he felt would make the hockey team better.
Now, did I like his reference to what kind of hockey was being played in the playoffs? Sure. They do need to get faster, and Nonis pointed that out as well. Hello Mason Raymond, Ryan Shannon, Matt Pettinger and Michael Grabner.
Did I like the fact that he admitted that this team was not close to being a Stanley Cup contender? Yes. But even though Nonis said otherwise after he was fired, he obviously didn't really believe it, or he would have made more significant moves at the trade deadline.
Listening to yet another lawyer manipulate the media yesterday, I couldn't help but remember what Brian Burke said at his first press conference when asked about Mike Keenan. Burke said that he had a good working relationship with Mike, that Keenan was his coach and that Keenan would get every opportunity to coach the team after the return for Pavel Bure was acquired. Keenan didn't last the season and was fired less than a week after the Bure trade was finally completed.
I hate to be coming off as Mr. Negativity yet again, and I will give Mike Gillis the benefit of the doubt (really, I have little choice in the matter). But I'm not going to gulp the blue and green kool-aid down just because someone else is serving it to me.
For me, Gillis won't get any more leash than I gave Dave Nonis. Point this team in the direction of a championship, and he has my support all the way. But stray from the path just a little bit, and I'll offer him no quarter.
What a GM can and does do for a hockey team is not up for judgment at his first press conference. What matters are the results, and if he is different from the previous 9 that have failed horribly here, then it will present itself in the only way that really matters, at least to me. On the ice.