Laurence Gilman

Gilman believes he’s qualified to be Canucks GM


Laurence Gilman never played hockey at a high level. And if there’s one thing that could be held against him as a candidate to become the next general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, it’s probably that.

But Gilman — currently Vancouver’s assistant GM — doesn’t believe his perceived shortcomings should outweigh all the things he does bring to the table.

“I didn’t play the game at the NHL level and didn’t get to this position through the scouting ranks,” Gilman told the Vancouver Sun. “But I’m an educated guy who has worked for NHL teams for 20 years, the last 13 as an assistant general manager. I understand every facet of this business implicitly. To suggest I don’t understand the key components of a competitive team is laughable to me. But that’s for others to judge. I’ve been around long enough to know the value of a third-line center or a shutdown defenseman or having character guys on your fourth line.”

Gilman is best known as Vancouver’s adept manager of the salary cap. And while he doesn’t particularly like being typecast as a “capologist,” there’s nothing wrong these days with being known as a numbers guy. Not in the age of analytics.

In fact, analytics promises to be a main pillar of the new Flyers regime with general manager Ron Hextall, who before today’s announcement in Philadelphia was considered a prime candidate for the Vancouver job.

Now, all that being said, the favorite to replace Mike Gillis remains Bruins assistant GM Jim Benning, a former NHL defenseman who started his post-playing career in scouting. (Given Vancouver’s new president of hockey operations, Trevor Linden, has identified the club’s dearth of NHL-ready prospects as a weakness, it’s safe to say that scouting will be a main pillar of the new Canucks regime.)

Gilman may also suffer from his association with Gillis, who became the main target of fan dissatisfaction before he was fired.

Related: Linden wants new Canucks GM by end of May

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
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On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.