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Press Round-Up - MAY.06.08

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
Press Round-Up: MAY.06.08

New boss still in feeling-out stage
After taking over the reins of the Vancouver Canucks as the general manager a little over two weeks ago, Mike Gillis, is starting to get settled in as he feels his way through the organization, reports Jim Jamieson.

"Gillis said he wants to build a more balanced style of team, one that doesn't put so much pressure on Luongo to be perfect every night."

"Gillis, who was hired to replace Dave Nonis three weeks ago, said he's been immersed in the process of getting to know the Canucks organization and the people who staff it. He said it's unfair to draw any conclusions about personnel until the process is finished."

"That process will be key to the future of head coach Alain Vigneault. Gillis said he has spoken at length with Vigneault and has appeared to support the coach in some of his statements, but stopped short of saying he would return next season."

"'I've spent four or five days talking to Alain on different issues,' Gillis told the radio station. 'To be consistent, he's going to go through a process to determine whether we're apart or we're the same. That process has just begun, so it's unfair to comment one way or the other.'"

So while it's too early to say anything definite, it doesn't hurt that he used to be Pavol Demitra's agent.

"Gillis said he was flattered that former client Pavol Demitra was reportedly in Vancouver on the weekend, with speculation that the impending unrestricted free agent forward may be looking at signing here after July 1."

"Demitra, 33, has played in Minnesota the last two seasons, but the Wild have apparently decided not to attempt to re-sign the highly skilled Slovak. Gillis has said he would resist favouring former clients, but also said he wouldn't hesitate to sign one if it made sense from a hockey standpoint."


Canucks Land a Money Man
The Vancouver Canucks added Laurence Gilman to the team as the new director of hockey administration, whose role is primarily to manage the team's salary cap. Brad Ziemer examines the hiring and the new position. "'Laurence's role is going to be to take all the financial issues off the table for [assistant GM] Steve Tambellini and myself,' Gillis said Monday. 'That includes contracts, CBA analysis, cap analysis and even things like budgeting that distract us from player-personnel issues.'"

"The Winnipeg-born Gilman said he was contacted by the Canucks two days after Gillis was hired on April 23 to replace Dave Nonis as Canuck GM."

"Gilman said his job will entail much more than simply managing the salary cap for a given season."

"'When you are laying out your business plan, that involves identifying your core asset players, ideally locking them up and building around them,' he said in a telephone interview. 'As you do that and you have young players in the system who will mature, you must contend with the things that happen organically in their careers. They will become Group 2 free agents, they will have arbitration rights, they will eventually become unrestricted free agents.'"

"Gilman will also be required to pay close attention to where other teams are in relation to the salary cap." Ziemer also speculates about Roberto Luongo's future.

"Gillis also said he has had discussions with goalie Roberto Luongo and is convinced Luongo is happy to be a Canuck."

""I've had a couple of opportunities to speak in detail with Roberto and I feel great about the conversations and his mindset about moving forward with this team,' Gillis said. 'He is completely devoted to the team, wants to be competitive, wants to be in the playoffs, wants to win, and he made absolutely clear to me that's his focus. The idea that he doesn't want to be here is the furthest thing from being accurate.'"
Salary-cap-era CBA requires executive with thinking cap
Jim Jamieson delves further into the role of a "capologist" upon the hiring of Laurence Gilman as the Canucks new director of hockey administration.

"Laurence Gilman says he doesn't really know what a 'capologist' is, although that's what he's essentially been hired for in his new job with the Vancouver Canucks."

"The Canucks confirmed that Gilman, 43, has joined the organization as director, hockey administration. As well as being a 'capologist' -- as new Canucks GM Mike Gillis described the position -- Gilman will assist in the operational and administrative aspects of running the hockey department that includes player contract negotiations, salary arbitrations, day to day transactions, liason with the league pertaining to player personnel decisions."

"'I don't really know what that means,' laughed Gilman, Gillis' first hire since taking over three weeks ago. 'I'm here to assist both Mike and Steve [assistant GM Tambellini] in running the hockey department.'"

It's not an easy role to take on but he's got examples and past precedents to follow, if he gets stuck.

"'The level of complexity of operating an NHL franchise has grown exponentially over the last 10 years and even moreso since the advent of the salary cap,' he said. 'There was a point in time hockey decisions were made with little regard for financial implications. Today, given that these businesses operate on budgets in excess of $50 million and you have to operate within a salary cap system, there needs to be greater emphasis on what the financial impact will be.'"

"'Most franchises have someone who serves in the same role as I will be here. The stakes are a lot bigger in terms of their economic impact.'"

"'He's extremely smart and articulate,' said Gillis. 'In a world where the CBA is 750 pages you've got to have a guy who can read it, so you're not dealing with it all day long.'"
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