Mike Gillis was interviewed on the Team 1040 this morning, and he had tons to say on the current state of the team.
He said the Canucks have gotten away from his vision and from the core values he wants them to have.
What does he want?
“I want us to play an up-beat, puck possession, move the puck quickly, force teams into mistakes, high-transition game.”
Gillis said other successful teams in the Western Conference play this way, and the Canucks have the personnel for it.
“We’re going to get back to that style of play that we had six years ago. We have the personnel to do it. We just have to be committed and have the guts to be able to carry it out.”
The next question, of course, is whether John Tortorella can coach that style. Asked about this, Gillis said good coaches can adapt. He said six years ago everyone thought Alain Vigneault was a defensive coach, but he changed when asked to.
Then Gillis dropped this:
“If people don’t want to get on side with how I view this team and how I think it’s supposed to play, then they won’t be here, just like six years ago.”
Asked point blank about Tortorella’s future with the team:
“John, like myself and like everyone in this organization will go through a thorough evaluation at the end of the year, and decisions will be made.”
It’s not much, but it’s also not the ringing endorsement he gave Alain Vigneault every time his former head coach was being hammered by the media.
So is Gillis a fan of Torts?
It’s clear Gillis isn’t happy with the way the Canucks have been coached this season, and he wants a new style next year.
Will Tortorella agree to change, and if he says he will (which is a big ask), does Gillis give him another chance?
One thing’s for sure: if Gillis was writing a report card for Torts’ first year coaching the Canucks, it would show a big red ‘F’.
Gillis also added some tidbits on his goalies. On Eddie Lack:
“If we had given Eddie any run support this season, he would certainly be in the running for the Calder.”
He added that we will see Jacob Markstrom start a game this season.