Skip to content

Canucks GM Gillis still likes ‘an upbeat, fast style of play’

May 23, 2013, 4:55 PM EDT

Mike Gillis

What kind of coach does Canucks general manager Mike Gillis want to hire?

That’s the big question Thursday in Vancouver, the day after Alain Vigneault was fired.

And at this point, the answer isn’t 100-percent clear.

Shortly after the Canucks were swept out of the playoffs by the Sharks, Gillis seemed to suggest the club would have a fairly different on-ice philosophy next season — one that was more about winning battles in the corners and in front of the net than using speed and skill to defeat the opposition.

“When I took this job we decided on a style of play that resulted in great success,” said Gillis. “Certainly the landscape has changed. We have to address those changes moving forward. We have no choice.

“It’s not something I necessarily, principally agree in. But that’s what we face. We have to make the changes and adjustments that are necessary to compete for a Stanley Cup. It’s my intention to do it, recognize what is going on and make sure we have a team that is better equipped.”

He added: “I don’t think the style of play is any longer a one-off; I think it’s a trend and we have to address it.”

Today on Vancouver radio, though, Gillis didn’t sound like a guy who wanted to change the style of the Canucks — at least, the 2010-11 version of the Canucks that came within a game of winning the Cup — all that much.

“I like an upbeat, fast style of play with quick transition,” he said on TEAM 1040. “We managed to do that and we were successful.”

But can a team employ that style and succeed in today’s NHL?

“I think you have to play both ways,” said Gillis. “You have to be very sound defensively and you have to be able to score goals. You need the full package, and I don’t think it’s fair to define it as one or the other.”

He added: “The L.A. Kings were a game away from missing the playoffs, and now suddenly they’re the template for everything good in hockey, and I don’t think that’s the case… The common threads for success in the playoffs are great goaltending, a little bit of luck, and having a really good, balanced hockey team.”

On that note, Gillis did say the Canucks needed more balance, and that they’ll be striving to get “a little bit younger and a little bit bigger” before next season.

Latest Posts
  1. Sabres ‘win’ latest tank war against Coyotes

    Mar 31, 2015, 12:48 AM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Feel free to change that to “lose.”

  2. Tarasenko left limping after Blues loss

    Mar 31, 2015, 12:22 AM EDT

    St Louis Blues v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    The overall damage is currently unclear.

  3. How bad are things for the Kings after Monday?

    Mar 30, 2015, 11:44 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    And how good is life for the Calgary Flames?

  4. A taste of revenge? Blackhawks deal blow to Kings’ playoff hopes

    Mar 30, 2015, 11:13 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Chicago ran Los Angeles out of the rink on Monday.

  5. WATCH LIVE: Kings at Blackhawks

    Mar 30, 2015, 8:02 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    A new wrinkle to the rivalry.

  6. Quick healer: Paquette’s playing for Lightning

    Mar 30, 2015, 7:35 PM EDT

    Cedric Paquette Cedric Paquette

    He shakes off Saturday’s scary crash.

  7. Blackhawks tease good injury news for Kane

    Mar 30, 2015, 7:03 PM EDT

    Patrick Kane AP

    Could he be ahead of schedule?

  8. Get your game notes: Kings at Blackhawks

    Mar 30, 2015, 5:33 PM EDT

    Jarret Stoll, Michal Handzus AP

    L.A.’s first time back in Chicago since Game 7 of last year’s Western Conference Final.

  9. Foley sees ‘advantage’ with no state income tax in Nevada

    Mar 30, 2015, 3:56 PM EDT

    Hockey Vision Las Vegas News Conference To Announce NHL Season Ticket Drive Getty Images

    Could be helpful in attracting and retaining free agents.

  10. Foley: NHL has ‘no objection’ as Vegas begins selling tickets to casinos

    Mar 30, 2015, 3:46 PM EDT

    Las Vegas Getty Images

    The drive began by focusing on individuals for season ticket packages.

  11. Jets could get Little back versus Rangers

    Mar 30, 2015, 3:06 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    “I think it’s going to come right down to the morning skate.”

  12. Habs preaching intensity, looking to avoid season sweep by Bolts

    Mar 30, 2015, 1:58 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

    “A win tonight would be good for our team, both physically and mentally.”

Featured video

Hammond leads Ottawa's turnaround
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Dubnyk (1893)
  2. H. Lundqvist (1771)
  3. A. Steen (1725)
  4. E. Malkin (1705)
  5. K. Letang (1596)