Citing a 27-16 disparity in penalty calls through the first six games of his team’s series against the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis had enough. Gillis spoke out to the media before Game 7, calling for an “even playing field” while griping about a Bryan Bickell hit on Kevin Bieska.
It seemed like Gillis was going to get off the hook for his remarks, but the NHL changed its mind today and handed him a fine for an undisclosed amount, according to various sources.
Obviously it’s tough to know how much Gillis regrets his remarks without knowing the amount of the fine, but my guess is that he’s fine with his decision. Especially with the bottom line reality being that his team survived a serious scare to make it to the second round of the playoffs.
Both the Canucks and Blackhawks received two penalties each in the game. Even with a rare penalty on Alex Burrows very early in the overtime period, it seemed like the referees “let them play the game” last night. It’s much more likely that they did so because of the stakes in a Game 7 rather than the criticisms laid out by Gillis, but you never know. Maybe his comments shined just that extra bit of spotlight on the officials’ performance.
Either way, something tells me that Gillis is in a good mood today, even if his wallet is a little lighter.