My Pretend Interview With Canucks GM Mike Gillis
As a long time Canucks fan, it’s been hard to understand a number of the moves that Vancouver General Manager Mike Gillis has made. The team has quickly changed from one that won back to back Presidents’ Trophies and was within a game of winning the Stanley Cup, to a team that not only can’t win, but can’t do anything without creating drama. Like when John Tortorella was justifiably angry at the Calgary Flames tactics when they initiated fights at the opening faceoff; rather than talk to the media about it and let the league handle the situation, he decided to charge down the hallway to try to get into the Flames dressing room, which is not only insane, but hilarious because John Tortorella is about as intimidating as a tired puppy.
How did the Canucks go from one of the best teams in the league to a complete laughing stock so fast? It’s like watching the popular kid in high school that everyone wants to be like go home for the summer and come back with a mullet and obsession with My Little Pony. The responsibility falls mainly on Gillis, who has made a number of questionable moves and has handled delicate situations with the grace and sensibility of a gorilla performing brain surgery. You know, because gorillas shouldn’t be surgeons. And player agents shouldn’t be general managers.
I decided that the best way to get answers would be to speak to the man himself. Since there was absolutely no way that would ever happen, I decided that the next best way to get answers would be to pretend like I spoke to him and make up answers. That way we can get a clear, unbiased explanation for the idiotic, insane decisions he made. I pretended to sit down with Gillis, and here’s what I pretended he said.
Me: Mike, it’s clear that the Vancouver Canucks are on the downswing and are looking to re-build or re-tool. Why is a team that saw great success so recently forced to start over?
Mike Gillis: We need to get younger and faster. Other teams are faster than us, and we need to inject young talent into our lineup.
Me: That makes sense, although you let Mason Raymond walk and traded Michael Grabner for Keith Ballard, who is older and slower and so bad that you paid him to go away. Both Raymond and Grabner are in their 20s, which is still fairly young in this league. Do you think that if you kept these young, fast players you wouldn’t have to get younger and faster?
Mike Gillis: Well we didn’t have any young, high-end players…
Me: Because you traded Cody Hodgson.
Mike Gillis: …well, right. But if Zack Kassian turns out to be the player we think he can be, people may think differently about that trade.
Me: So if he ends up being completely different than the player he has been for the past two years?
Mike Gillis: Essentially, yes.
Me: It’s great that you share Canucks fans’ desire that Zack Kassian turn into someone else. Let’s talk about the Cory Schneider trade. Roberto Luongo, your former team captain who you signed to a 12 year contract, requests a trade because your franchise has shown a desire to go with the younger Schneider. Instead, you trade away Schneider. Why does that make sense?
Mike Gillis: Roberto’s contract was incredibly hard to move…
Me: I guess you’d know that, since you wrote it.
Mike Gillis: …and we didn’t find any deals we liked. Our plan was always to move Schneider for younger talent. We really like Bo Horvat and think he’s going to be a great player for us some day.
Me: But you apparently made the deal the day before the draft, so you would have had no idea what player would have been available by the time your turn came up.
Mike Gillis: No matter what, we wanted to get a young, top ten player because we need to get younger and faster. And we did that by trading Cory.
Me: Then you traded Luongo.
Mike Gillis: Right, because the plan was to move Roberto once we decided to go with Cory… who we traded to get younger and faster. Like Anaheim. They’re an example of a team that has gotten younger and faster and rebuilt.
Me: But they haven’t gotten past the quarter finals since 2009.
Mike Gillis: True, but they’re younger and faster. And stronger.
Me: Is your strategy simply to make random trades then quote Kanye West in interviews?
Mike Gillis: I once won GM of the Year.
Me: And none of us know how that happened. Thanks for what fans can expect to be a high draft pick this year, Mike. Please don’t trade it for a sandwich.
Do you think Mike Gillis has been criticized unfairly? If so, thanks for reading, Mike. Comment or Tweet.