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Press Round-Up - MAY.01.08

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
Press Round-Up: MAY.01.08

Brunnstrom sweepstakes up to 15 clubs
Jim Jamieson continutes the investigation towards where touted Swede, Fabian Brunnstrom, will end up next season. While Nonis may be out of the Canucks organization, they're not entirely out of the race for the talented 23-year-old forward.

"Vancouver isn't on Fabian Brunnstrom's travel itinerary, but that doesn't necessarily mean the Canucks are off the list of NHL teams with whom the Swedish free agent may potentially sign."

"The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Brunnstrom had 37 points [9-28] in 54 games this season with Farjestads of the Swedish Elite League. The Canucks had charmed him with the prospect of top-six ice time -- plus an opportunity to play alongside countrymen Henrik and Daniel Sedin," reports Jamieson.

Brunnstrom will be making his rounds, visiting other teams but where he will land is still very much up in the air.

"Brunnstrom was reported in Dallas on Tuesday and will also be travelling to Detroit and Montreal and likely Toronto for some mutual tire kicking, as the 23-year-old forward gets down to the nitty gritty of where he will play in the NHL this fall."


Gillman likely hire as Canucks capologist
When Mike Gillis said he would hire an assistant GM, who will look after the salary cap, speculation of the new hire began instantly. Tony Gallagher appears to have a lead and a name to add to the speculation.

"A blog by the Globe and Mail's Tim Wharnsby was reporting Wednesday night the Canucks are set to hire former Winnipeg Jets and Phoenix Coyotes assistant general manager Laurence Gillman, who was part of the Michael Barnett regime before it was swept out of power last summer."

"Canucks GM Mike Gillis, reached late Wednesday at his Vancouver home, would not confirm the hiring but said he expected an announcement shortly, which tends to indicate they have their man."

"A capologist is a man who keeps the organization aware of its financial position vis-a-vis the NHL salary cap as it tends to change on a daily basis depending upon what moves are made within an organization."

Vancouver columnists take sides in Nonis firing
William Houston examines the relationship between reporters and the people they cover and a power struggle to get the news out and have an opinion.

"In mid-April, the Vancouver Canucks suddenly fired general manager Dave Nonis and quickly replaced him with hockey agent Mike Gillis. Almost overnight, Vancouver Province hockey columnist Tony Gallagher, a long-time critic of Canucks management, threw his support behind the Gillis appointment."

"Then, last week, Ed Willes, another Province sports columnist, took holidays, and speculation, denied by The Province and Willes, quickly arose whether he had been pressed to stop criticizing Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini over his decision to dismiss Nonis."

"Wayne Moriarty, the editor-in-chief of The Province, confirmed Aquilini called the newspaper to complain about Willes."

"On April 15, the day the Canucks announced Nonis's dismissal, Willes wrote that Aquilini's ownership of the NHL club was a farce and the firing of Nonis a fiasco. He felt the Aquilini family was “as qualified to run a hockey team as they are to perform open-heart surgery.” Willes wasn't alone. Vancouver Sun hockey writer Iain MacIntyre wrote that Nonis's dismissal raised “troubling questions” about Aquilini's style of management – a style likely to inhibit top candidates from applying for Nonis's job."

"Aquilini responded by complaining to the Sun as well as The Province. At The Province, his call was taken by Jamie Pitbado, the newspaper's vice-president of promotions and community investment."

"Gallagher and Gillis, who moved to Vancouver from Kingston in 2007, have known each other for a long time and have a friendly relationship.

"But, in an interview, Gallagher denied any involvement in the Canucks' decision to hire Gillis. He said he rarely communicates with Aquilini."

"However, Gallagher enthusiastically supported the Canucks' making the general managing change and was also in favour of Gillis being hired."

"Gallagher wrote that firing Nonis was a no-lose situation for the club. Even if Nonis were replaced with a “drooling idiot,” Gallagher argued, there was an upside, because his incompetence would send the team to the bottom of the NHL standings and produce high draft choices."

"But Gallagher's opinion wasn't shared by many in the Vancouver news media. Most commentators felt sacking Nonis had been a mistake – a reckless move by an owner ill-qualified to judge the general manager's work."
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