Canucks' new GM has his eye on ball
With a brand new General Manager at the helm of the Vancouver Canucks, Iain MacIntyre finds out a surprising model in which Mike Gillis takes from.
“As Gillis talked Friday about management models, it wasn't Sam Pollock or Bill Torrey or Glen Sather or Brian Burke he cited, but Sandy Alderson.”
“Alderson is the former U.S. marine who had no baseball management experience when he was named general manager of the Oakland Athletics in 1982. His hiring was ridiculed by many in the baseball establishment, but Alderson revolutionized the game.”
“He relied on data and detached analysis rather than experience and emotion to choose players and build his team, which became the best in baseball.”
“’When I look at Sandy Alderson, he was the guy who basically reinvented baseball management,’ Gillis said. ‘He was a marine. Billy Beane doesn't attend games; he listens on the radio. How unconventional is that?’”
"I think people will see more non-conventional management people [in hockey]. I'm hoping to bring that here -- a philosophy like that. I don't think this is without precedent."
Right now, it’s a matter of waiting and seeing what Gillis will bring to Vancouver’s team and there’s no doubt that everyone’s watching.
“What is obvious is that Gillis's unconventional background and approach doesn't spook Aquilini, who is highly involved in the operation of his franchise.”
“’It appears to me the entire city of Vancouver is highly involved in this team, so he seems to be like them,’ Gillis joked. ‘They're the owners of the team. I would never look at an opportunity like this unless it was right. I'm 49 years old. I could have flown under the radar and lived very comfortably the rest of my career. They said all the right things. They want to win. They said: 'What can you do?'’” “We're going to find out”, says MacIntyre.
Respect is key to GM trade powers
While Ben Kuzma hasn’t had experience from the seat of a General Manager of a professional hockey team, former Columbus Blue Jackets GM, Doug MacLean, does. Kuzma asked him for some advice he would give to Mike Gillis, who’s in his rookie year as GM with Vancouver.
"’When you get a GM job and another GM calls, it's a respect factor because I know how hard it is to get those jobs,’ MacLean said of his 172-258-62 record with the Blue Jackets.”
"’The one thing I heard from a lot of guys is: 'Don't insult me if you want to make a trade.'
"’If you're trading a player, don't ask for a player and plus, plus, plus. I'd get the odd call like that and I'd say: 'You're not serious? You don't really think I'd do that?’ That's one thing that bothers guys.’"
Former Canuck and current GM for the New York Islanders also contributed his two cents.
As much as Snow has turned a 388-game NHL career and a savvy business acumen into a GM job, he believes his background in the game pales in comparison to Gillis.
"’Mike is a lot more qualified and had more of a resume than I had when I took this position,’ he said.”
"’I found him a very up-front and honest guy to work with,’ said Snow, who isn't surprised that the Canucks went out of the box to hire their new GM.”
"’Whatever person is most qualified and ownership feels it can have an open dialogue with and trust -- that person is going to steer the ship,’ said Snow. ‘It doesn't matter if that person is a 15-year veteran as a GM, an agent or player.’"
Mess reflects on glory years in Vancouver
Gordon McIntyre reflects on one of the most notorious players ever to wear a Canucks sweater, Mark Messier after a recent radio appearance by, the now retired hall-of-famer.
“It's called counter-history and it's even better than revisionism. You don't just reinterpret history, you invent a history that never occurred, like, ‘What would have happened if Germany had won the Second World War?’”
Through such a lens -- or kaleidoscope -- Mark Messier's three years as Canucks captain were a success. It's not a memory shared by most Canucks fans, but the Moose himself, a Hall of Fame talent and leader of leaders, remembers it that way.”
“But Messier looks at his time with the team as laying down the foundation for the glory years, such as they were, under Marc Crawford and Brian Burke.”
One thing Vancouver fans will remember of Messier isn’t necessarily what he did on the ice – while that was an impressive showing of 162 points in 207 games – there’s one thing that really gets to the hearts of Canucks fans.
“TEAM 1040 host David Pratt spoke for a lot of Canucks fans when he recently called Messier's tenure an unmitigated disaster and the ripping of the C off Trevor Linden's chest as the franchise's darkest day.”
“But many players who were here during the Mess mess -- Ed Jovanovski, Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi, Trent Klatt -- have said he brought a lot to a dressing room in disarray.”