Vancouver GM Mike Gillis spoke at the Canucks Summer Summit, a town hall Q&A with season ticket holders, and talked about how his meeting with Roberto Luongo went. Turns out things are going just fine.
“Roberto is great,” Gillis said with a smile. “Ironically we spent about half the conversation going through his Twitter account. He thinks he’s so witty.”
Gillis says one thing they could’ve worked better on with Luongo was his emotions. He said Luongo often felt guarded and the way he conducts himself on Twitter shows there’s a funny, approachable guy.
“We all could’ve worked harder at helping him but he’s really enthused about the next steps… We’re pleased he’s going to be our No. 1 goalie.”
All right, but seriously: How does he feel about moving on with Luongo after two summers of not trading him? After all, dealing Cory Schneider to New Jersey during the draft was perhaps the last thing Luongo expected to happen.
“I was comfortable there. We have a really good relationship. It isn’t strained or adversarial at all. I think he’s going to be fine. He’s a consummate professional. I think he’ll wind up being Canada’s No. 1 goalie and Roberto will be our No. 1 goalie. I feel very optimistic about it.”
It might be the league’s worst kept secret, but it appears John Tortorella is set to become the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Hotstove last night that Tortorella would be announced sometime this week he’ll be the new Canucks coach.
Friedman also said the Canucks and GM Mike Gillis have done their due diligence in making sure he’s the right fit.
Assistant GM Laurence Gilman, who worked with Tortorella in Phoenix, was consulted as were former Rangers players Markus Naslund and Chris Higgins. The Canucks’ window for winning a Stanley Cup with this lineup is closing soon and, as Friedman notes, the feeling is that Tortorella will be the guy that will help make Vancouver’s dreams come true rather than someone like L.A. Kings assistant John Stevens.
Related: Report: Canucks offer head-coaching job to Tortorella
Canucks GM says Tortorella is a ‘very strong candidate’
Tortorella arrives in Vancouver, gets swamped by eager media
Things are wild and crazy in Vancouver now with John Tortorella in town to speak with the Canucks again.
This afternoon, GM Mike Gillis spoke with Team 1040 in Vancouver about how the process is going and while he wouldn’t confirm Tortorella is their guy, he said all the right things pointing towards him.
“We’re trying to finish off the process,” Gillis said. “I can’t say at this point, but John (Tortorella) is a very strong candidate.”
Obviously with Tortorella there’s the aspect of working peaceably with the media that comes into question. Gillis was eager to tip-toe around that part of the job when it comes to the new coach.
“It’s important (to work with the media). We’re under the microscope all the time. We’re in the spotlight, we accept that.”
He also stressed that it’s not a one-way relationship as well.
“I think you (media) guys have an obligation to work with us as best you can. It’s a two-way street.”
It might be a two-way street, but Tortorella was a MACK truck in his dealings with the press in New York. If it’s true the Canucks are about to offer him the job, business is about to pick up.
The list of candidates to be the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks continues to grow.
Renaud Lavoie of RDS reports former Montreal Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin has interviewed for the job in Vancouver. Martin joins a list featuring John Tortorella, Kings assistant John Stevens, and up until he was hired by Edmonton, Dallas Eakins.
Martin last coached during the 2011-2012 season with the Montreal Canadiens when he was fired mid-season by then Habs GM Pierre Gauthier. Since 1995-1996, Martin has coached three teams: Montreal, Florida for three seasons, and Ottawa for eight-plus seasons.
Aside from Eakins, it appears Canucks GM Mike Gillis is gunning for someone with NHL experience to replace Alain Vigneault. Perhaps the talk of the Canucks’ Stanley Cup window closing has everything to do with that.
Vancouver’s offseason is almost certainly going to be a fascinating one to watch. The team has cap worries next season and they could deal Roberto Luongo and buy out either Keith Ballard or David Booth for added space.
As Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun shares, one thing they’ll have to contend with are players with no-trade clauses. They have six players currently with one and three more due to get them on July 1 when their extensions begin. GM Mike Gillis says that won’t be easy to do.
“In order to get players to play for less than market value, you have to give them something they can rely upon,” Gillis explained. “I think if a player was unhappy here, he’d waive his no-trade. If we were unhappy with him, it would be obvious and he would waive his no-trade. But that’s not a path we’re looking to right now. I think we need to supplement our core group of players that are here as best we can, and then look at possibilities down the road.”
Drama in Vancouver won’t be lacking with so many things needed to happen and that’s not even going into what could happen with coach Alain Vigneault. Canucks fans might want to buckle up because the summer could get rough.