Not even 24 hours after Vancouver Canucks fans chanted “Fire Gillis!”, they have gotten their wish. The Canucks announced today that Gillis has been relieved from his role of General Manager and Team President.
In a press release, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini stated:
On behalf of my entire family, I would like to sincerely thank Mike Gillis for his hard work and the many contributions he made on and off the ice during his tenure. The Vancouver Canucks had success under Mike’s leadership, and we nearly reached our ultimate goal; but I believe we have reached a point where a change in leadership and new voice is needed.
Just last week Gillis had speculated on a radio interview that he could possibly be fired. He expressed a different vision in how the Canucks should play and called for a return to the upbeat, puck possession hockey the team used to be known for. That vision directly contradicted the system that John Tortorella has implemented since being hired before the 2013-14 season as head coach. It was just the latest look into the growing dysfunction in the Canucks front office. If there was any hope of Gillis keeping his job before that interview, he likely sealed his fate when he candidly shared his opinion.
During this same interview, Gillis hinted that Tortorella was ownership’s choice for coaching the team, not his.
For now, Tortorella’s job appears to be safe and Canucks ownership will likely elect to give him another season. However, Tortorella could be on a short leash as new management will likely have their own ideas as to how Vancouver should play.
The Canucks flourished under Gillis and were one game away from winning the Stanley Cup. This is the first time in six seasons that the team has not qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After a tumultuous circus of a season, ownership felt that a fresh coat of paint is needed for the Canucks.
Tags: Vancouver Canucks