Skip to content

Gillis says his comments weren’t a shot at Torts

Apr 7, 2014, 5:22 PM EDT

Mike Gillis

Remember last week when Canucks general manager Mike Gillis went on the radio and promised to “get back to the fundamentals and principles” in which he believes — specifically, an “up-beat, puck-possession, move-the-puck quickly, force-teams-into-mistakes, high-transition game” — and pretty much everyone took it as a direct shot at head coach John Tortorella?

Well, according to the Vancouver Sun, Gillis “privately asserted” the next day that “his comments were not intended as an attack or judgment on his coach.”

Which would tend to support the less-salacious argument we posed Thursday that Gillis was, in fact, admonishing the club’s ill-fated change of direction that started before Tortorella was even hired.

Now, that being said, Gillis definitely did send a message with his remarks that anyone who wasn’t on board with his new/old vision would be “changed.”

It’s also entirely possible that Gillis, upon watching the Canucks fall apart in January, approached Tortorella about adjusting the team’s style and the two didn’t see eye to eye.

Which would tend to support what the New York Post’s Larry Brooks wrote in a column that was penned while the Rangers were in Vancouver:

Tortorella’s narrow vision has done him and his team in this year. He has become the worst kind of zealot behind the bench, believing his way is the only way to win games regardless of his playing personnel, even if that means pounding square pegs into round holes. He is a zealot, a true believer that grinding, blocking shots and packing the defensive end is the one and only route to success.

Maybe that’s just Brooks’ opinion, and his alone. But we’d wager it was based on a few conversations he had with people in the know.

Bottom line: if Gillis isn’t fired at the end of the season (yes, a big if), Tortorella will have to be open to widening his vision; otherwise, it’s hard to see how he keeps his job.

Gillis did make sure to mention Thursday that “everyone thought Alain Vigneault couldn’t change from a defensive-style coach to an offensive-style coach. If given the resources and if the players are committed to it, I think any coach can coach the team that he has.”

Related: On Canucks’ style of play, Torts accuses critics of ignorance

Latest Posts
  1. Despite ‘nightmare’ season, Clarkson excited for future

    Aug 27, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    David Clarkson Getty Images

    He’ll enter the second season of his seven-year, $36.75 million contract.

  2. It’s Detroit Red Wings day on PHT

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Henrik Zetterberg Getty Images

    They have made it to the playoffs for 23 straight seasons.

  3. NHL-to-Vegas talks gaining steam

    Aug 26, 2014, 9:57 PM EDT

    NHL Awards - Show Getty Images

    A recent report has added new fuel to the speculation on that subject.

  4. Johnston will enter camp looking for wingers for Malkin

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

    Dupuis and Hornqvist are two of the main options.

  5. Poll: Who should be Columbus’ next captain?

    Aug 26, 2014, 7:23 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One Getty Images

    Will they go another season without one?

  6. No Vezina repeat, but Bobrovsky remains Jackets’ MVP

    Aug 26, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets' goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, of Russia, is silhouetted as he stands in front of his net before an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) AP

    He’s going into the final season of his bridge contract.

  7. Bishop not 100 percent, aims to be ‘close’ before opener

    Aug 26, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

    Ben Bishop AP

    He’s looking to build off of his breakout campaign.

  8. Oilers remain hopeful Schultz will sign before camp

    Aug 26, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT

    Justin Schultz Getty Images

    The restricted free agent is likely to get a one or two-year deal.

  9. Under Pressure: Nathan Horton

    Aug 26, 2014, 2:49 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Injuries prevented him from doing much in the first season of his seven-year, $37.1 million deal.

  10. Looking to make the leap: Alexander Wennberg

    Aug 26, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

    Sweden v United States - 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp Getty Images

    He could follow in Boone Jenner’s footsteps.

  11. Berube: Lecavalier needs to ‘get over’ trade rumors

    Aug 26, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

    LecavalierPhilly Getty Images

    “I have to do a little bit better job managing him and he’s got to buy into the team.”

  12. Report: Moore, Bertuzzi still negotiating confidentiality pact

    Aug 26, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

    Bertuzzi Moore

    But per Bertuzzi’s lawyer, the settlement has been agreed upon.

  13. Will Johansen be the latest Overhardt holdout?

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:54 AM EDT

    Ryan Johansen Getty Images

    Player agent has a bit of history with his clients missing camp.

  14. After first playoff win, the bar’s been raised in Columbus

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

    Ryan Johansen, James Wisniewski AP

    Can they live up to the heightened expectations?

  15. Penguins aren’t in rush to re-sign Fleury

    Aug 26, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Marc-Andre Fleury AP

    Rutherford thinks highly of the goaltender though.

  16. It’s Columbus Blue Jackets day on PHT

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Brandon Dubinsky Getty Images

    They earned their first playoff win in 2014.

  17. Lidstrom passes on Wings’ coaching gig for now

    Aug 25, 2014, 10:57 PM EDT

    Nicklas Lidstrom Getty Images

    He doesn’t want to move his family at this time.

  18. Leafs going all-in on advanced stats

    Aug 25, 2014, 9:46 PM EDT

    Dubas

    But will there be resistance within the organization?

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Price (1841)
  2. J. Harding (1776)
  3. J. Thornton (1750)
  4. J. Giguere (1544)
  5. A. Semin (1512)
  1. J. Spezza (1511)
  2. C. MacArthur (1496)
  3. M. Staal (1415)
  4. R. Johansen (1116)
  5. S. Crosby (1106)