I'm Mike Gillis' biggest fan. Unlike his predecessor Dave Nonis he has the cojones to take risks. Contrary to Brian Burke he doesn't wreak of whiskey and pugnacity. Truculence even. He is even keeled, bold but not risky, level headed, intelligent and all class. Just look at how he's handled the Malhotra incident...
What I like most about Gillis though is his refusal to be bullied by the absurdity often spewed from the mouths of supposed fans in this city. Believe it or not, fan bases have the ability to influence decisions. Tim Tebow starting in Denver two years ago is the best example coming to mind, the Portland Blazers drafting Odom instead of Durant (they actually had a fan poll, not sure how much played into the decision but..) etc. etc. Such is not the case in Vancouver. If it was Daniel and Henrik would be on different lines - that sure does make a lot of sense. Roberto Luongo would have been traded for a 9th rounder in the 2168 draft to avoid our supposed goalie controversy. Kevin Bieksa would have been traded before the Canucks made their cup run. The list goes on.. and on... and on... and on... You'd almost think the Canucks hadn't won two straight Presidents' Trophy's, or made it to game seven of the Stanley Cup Final. We as Canucks fans are so spoiled and we don't even know it.
This has been a week with much being made of Gillis' refusal to adopt the Vancouver "sky is falling" mindset. Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province mentioned it on Wednesday saying that "When Mike Gillis first took his job as general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, one of the things he had the most difficulty understanding was the feeling of impending dread which seemed to overcome every fan and member of the media when it came to the fortunes of the team". You can read the entire article using this link. This was brought up again on After Hours following the Canucks victory over the Kings last night. His resolve has held firm apparently. Below is a video of the interview.
He's not wrong. We have it so good as Canucks fans and we don't even know it. I listen to the TEAM 1040 post game show after every game. Win or loss. I don't do it to stay informed. I don't do it because I need to have the game I've already seen and written about broken down player by player and goal by goal. I do it for the sheer comedic value. If we lose, the sky is falling. Somebody has to be traded, somebody has to be fired, and split up the Sedins. If we win, we're contenders again. Just like that.
Since the beginning of the 2009-10 season the Canucks record is 165-74-29. If I didn't have a life I would take the time to compare that to other teams, but since I do all I will say of the record is that it's good. Very good. The winning percentage of the Canucks over that time period is almost 62%. Even more impressive, the Canucks are getting points out of 72.3% of their games over this period. Hardly cause for dread.
All I'm trying to say is, maybe we shouldn't panic after every loss. Think you have it bad as a Canucks fan? Try watching a Calgary Flames game. Hell, just looking at their roster is enough to make me poor a little liquor for another dying season. This team is riddled with franchise record holders, has the best coach in the history of the franchise and I'll be damned if Gillis isn't the best GM the Canucks have ever had. It's always sunny in Vancouver, at least where it's hockey club is concerned.
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