Canucks GM Mike Gillis questions own future
Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
At least Mike Gillis saw the light Thursday.
Speaking with Team 1040's morning show, the Vancouver Canucks general manager described his vision for the club next season — assuming he's still around.
Of course, how he wants "this team to play" come the following year is more or less the opposite of the style head coach John Tortorella implemented in his first campaign behind the Canucks bench.
"I want to play upbeat puck possession, move the puck quickly, force the other team into mistakes, high-transition game," Gillis told the radio station. "If we don't have the personnel to do it then they'll be changed. That's my vision, that's how I believe you're going to win in the Western Conference and National Hockey League."
When asked if Tortorella will be back next season, Gillis said everyone is up for evaluation.
"I'm not sure if I'll be back next season," he said. "Our team has underperformed.
"It would be fair to say that we will all be under scrutiny and evaluation come the end of this season, which is deserved."
The Canucks host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, and with five games left to go in the regular season, they are virtually out of playoff contention. The team has lost three straight and is expected to miss the post-season for the first time since 2008.
"The running of this team is my responsibility," the GM added. "I really feel the last couple of season we've … got away from the principles that I want this team to play and how we perform and the tempo that we want to play with. People like to pick someone to blame, but the reality is that as an organization, we've deviated from some of the things that have made us successful and some of the things that I know will be successful. We're going to get back to the style of play that we started six years ago and we have the personnel to do it and we just need to have the guts to carry it out."
Gillis alluded to the fact that the Canucks will have more cap space to work with this time around and plans to spend to the limit. He also feels pending restricted free agent forward Zack Kassian and defenceman Chris Tanev will re-sign with the club.
But in the end, Gillis admits fans have every right to voice their displeasure, after a campaign that has Vancouver currently sitting 10th in the Western Conference.
"It's been an incredibly frustrating season on a variety of different levels and I’m committed on getting back to the levels that we expect," he said. "It's my responsibility to get us back on top and that's what I intend to do."