Canucks GM Mike Gillis took a grilling from reporters this morning in Vancouver, two days after his Presidents’ Trophy-winning team couldn’t advance past the first round, losing in five games to the Los Angeles Kings.
A recap of the major points:
—-Gillis says the Canucks never “collectively got their emotions together” after beating the Bruins in Boston on Jan. 7 in a game that was “almost like playing a Stanley Cup final game in the middle of the season.”
—-Gillis says he has “every bit of confidence” in coach Alain Vigneault and that the media criticism “gets exasperating sometimes” given Vigneault is “the winningest coach in this team’s history, we just won two Presidents’ Trophies, lost in the seventh game on the Stanley Cup final.” That said, he fell short of guaranteeing Vigneault would be back next season.
—-Before any decisions can be made about coaches or players, Gillis says his own performance and future will need to be discussed: “I am the president of this team and the general manager, it is my responsibility what happens on this team. So before we get to anybody else we are going to discuss my role and how I have done.”
—-On the goaltending front, Gillis thinks Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider can continue to co-exist on the same team. However, he needs to meet with them and the coaching staff to see if it can be a “workable relationship moving forward.”
—-The Canucks won’t resort to a defensive philosophy, even after defense-first teams like the Blues, Kings and Predators beat offensive-minded teams like the Sharks, Canucks and Red Wings in the first round.
—-Based on what he heard at the GMs meetings, Gills says the league wants the game to be offensive, so that’s how he’ll try to build his team: “I believe in offense and I think the league does too. If not, they should change the name of the game to ‘goalie'”
—-On why he traded Cody Hodgson at the deadline: “There clearly were issues that were ongoing. I spent more time on Cody’s issues than every other player combined on our team the last three years. We made a determination that he didn’t want to be here, we built him into something we could move. There were six young players that I would have traded him for if any of them were ever made available. One was made available at the trade deadline and it was Zack [Kassian].”
Here’s more from Gillis about the coaching situation: