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Rookie GM Mistake - Nearly Costs the Sedins?

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Old
07-02-2009, 03:55 PM
  #1
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Rookie GM Mistake - Nearly Costs the Sedins?

I was just reading an article on what the Sedins had to say about their decision to re-sign with Vancouver and I thought back to Mike Gillis' first public statements.

Do you recall Gillis' introduction as GM and his first press conference? He had this to say about the Sedins:

"They are front-line players but I don't know if they're players that the team will be built around going forward."
http://www2.canada.com/theprovince/n...3-226232cf24f4

Gillis would backtrack and subsequently try to patch the quote up claiming that the words did not mean what they sounded like. It seems he was not that successful at the time.

Today in the Vancouver Sun:
Quote:
On the verge of leaving the Vancouver Canucks as unrestricted free agents, Daniel and Henrik Sedin re-signed Wednesday with the National Hockey League team because they were finally convinced by general manager Mike Gillis during an extraordinary Tuesday-morning summit in Stockholm that the Canucks valued them and wanted them at their core.
http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/h...289/story.html

Daniel:
“We’ve been in Sweden and you hear things, so it was nice to talk face to face. They made it very clear that we were a big part of their team going forward, so it was a good meeting. Mike was very direct with us that he wanted us there in Vancouver.”

JP Barry:
“I think they needed to know that both sides were sincere. You want to feel that both sides are compromising and being fair. The meeting really helped. Daniel and Henrik were waiting for a sign that they were really wanted, and Mike’s visit reinforced that.”


Mike Gillis:
“The most significant part about going over there was not the money. It was committing to one another and the idea they were becoming our partners.

It’s great for us. They’re core players here. They’re key guys and now we can begin to build around them. Any day you head into free agency and sign the top two guys who are out there, it’s got to be a pretty good day.”


One remark in April 2009 by a rookie GM in his first public appearance without thinking through the consequences could have cost the Canucks their two top forwards.

It was a very near thing and if they had not signed it could be traced back to that careless remark. Gillis thankfully can take a mulligan on this one.

At least Gillis did not have to drive the Sedins to the airport.

Couple this with Sundin taking a one year deal at reduced money rather than two years at full freight that would have handcuffed the Canucks this season and Gillis seems to have horseshoes stuffed somewhere.

Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

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07-02-2009, 03:57 PM
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He clarified his comment by saying players that are a year away from UFA with no deals in place can not be thought of as "players to build around", because you can't build around something you don't know you'll have. It didn't make a great soundbyte in his first presser if you're the Sedins, but I don't think they were offended by it.

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07-02-2009, 03:59 PM
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I think Gillis words were taken a bit out of context. At the time the Sedins had the 1 year left on their deal and maybe he thought the Canucks wouldn't be able to sign them?

The only mistake Gillis has made is giving Sundin the 20 million/2 year offer. If he took that we'd be screwed royally.

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07-02-2009, 03:59 PM
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I agree with most of your post. I thought the most telling part of the whole saga was when Barry stated that after the conversation Gillis and Barry had at the deadline, Barry was sure there would be no contract before July 1st.


Something changed Gillis' mind between the trade deadline and July 1 that the Sedins were worth flying all the way to Sweden for.

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07-02-2009, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripwyre View Post
He clarified his comment by saying players that are a year away from UFA with no deals in place can not be thought of as "players to build around", because you can't build around something you don't know you'll have. It didn't make a great soundbyte in his first presser if you're the Sedins, but I don't think they were offended by it.


Really? You dont think the two best forwards on our team were offended by some rookie asshat coming to the podium and dissing them publicly in his first presser?

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07-02-2009, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripwyre View Post
He clarified his comment by saying players that are a year away from UFA with no deals in place can not be thought of as "players to build around", because you can't build around something you don't know you'll have. It didn't make a great soundbyte in his first presser if you're the Sedins, but I don't think they were offended by it.
It seems his clarifications did not work.

I read the comments otherwise and it took some extraordinary measures on Gillis' part to overcome the first impression. I give him credit for that

Remember the old saying?

You do not get a second chance to make a good first impression.

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07-02-2009, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripwyre View Post
He clarified his comment by saying players that are a year away from UFA with no deals in place can not be thought of as "players to build around", because you can't build around something you don't know you'll have. It didn't make a great soundbyte in his first presser if you're the Sedins, but I don't think they were offended by it.
Every politician will spin their comments if given the chance. Gillis was rightfully criticized for making ambiguous comments on sensitive topics.

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07-02-2009, 04:07 PM
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It was a dumb move, one of the few that Gillis has made and very uncharacteristic since he usually chooses his words so carefully.

Obviously he wanted to present himself as an agent of change (which he was) and of course he wasn't going to be sold on the Sedins moving forward until he knew a bit more about what the options were. But saying so wasn't smart.

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07-02-2009, 04:07 PM
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So lets not just complain that he signed them, but also cry that he almost didn't? Who cares. They signed. This is a non-issue.

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07-02-2009, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Wetcoaster View Post
Remember the old saying?

You do not get a second chance to make a good first impression.
first impressions aren't everything

as the sedins and gillis so politely proved yesterday

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07-02-2009, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Kingfisher View Post
first impressions aren't everything

as the sedins and gillis so politely proved yesterday
You don't think that a better first impression would have led to a much earlier signing, and probably a cheaper one at that?

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07-02-2009, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Tripwyre View Post
So lets not just complain that he signed them, but also cry that he almost didn't? Who cares. They signed. This is a non-issue.
Ok, I'll open the can of worms. Did Gillis' sunny disposition and questionable comments cost the Canucks money? Many have suggested Nonis would have had them locked up last summer, and the implication is for much less than 6.1m.

It's purely hypothetical, but it's not like we have some other big acquisitions to discuss.

Let's not forget, this is a GM who puts a lot of emphasis on doing all the little things right.

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07-02-2009, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostMyGlasses View Post
You don't think that a better first impression would have led to a much earlier signing, and probably a cheaper one at that?
Ah so that's where the extra 100k came from.

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07-02-2009, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostMyGlasses View Post
You don't think that a better first impression would have led to a much earlier signing, and probably a cheaper one at that?
By all accounts, they did sign at a discount.

It just wasn't enough of a discount - for people here, anyways.

(Okay, Doug Maclean also thought they were not worth their reported amount, and proceeded to go on a HFBoardish rant.)

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07-02-2009, 04:15 PM
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Ah so that's where the extra 100k came from.
No, that's so they can look at themselves in the mirror and say "I'm better than Naslund."

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07-02-2009, 04:20 PM
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In Gillis' introductory press conference, he said that following the statement of "As GM I will evaluate every level of the organization".

It was a good "lawyer" answer as he didn't want to paint himself into a corner by saying they were franchise players without properly evaluating them as players.

If he had said they were for certain going to sign them and build around them, and later decided he didn't want to, he would have had even more egg on his face.

At the end of the day, he got the deal done for a great term and reasonable cap hit.

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07-02-2009, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MS View Post
It was a dumb move, one of the few that Gillis has made and very uncharacteristic since he usually chooses his words so carefully.

Obviously he wanted to present himself as an agent of change (which he was) and of course he wasn't going to be sold on the Sedins moving forward until he knew a bit more about what the options were. But saying so wasn't smart.
I think his whole introduction to the Canucks organization was done very poorly... he said a lot of dumb things when he first arrived, I thought.

And when you put them all together, it's hard not to take his comments on the Sedins for what they were - like he did with every area of the Canucks organization, he didn't give any respect to the Sedins at that stage either.

If I'm a Sedin, I'd feel the same way then - does this guy really want me on this team? I think this cost him a lot of money as well... if he put the same faith in them last summer, that he has now, I'm sure they would have signed for less back then.

Gillis though came in and basically criticized the entire organization... Nonis left with him with nothing, and he had a lot of work to do to bring talent to the organization.... and his message about the Sedins was no less flattering at that point.

Since then, he's hyped up most of the prospects that Nonis brought here... and he's changed his tune about the Sedins. IMO he came in believing everything said initially - he even said himself that he thought the Sedins were both much better players than he thought they were when he joined the organization... he even said that other people and players that have come into the organization think more highly of the Sedins since they've been closer to the situation.

I think Gillis has basically learned a lot on the job - including the impression he gives to the media and fans in a hockey-mad market... when he first arrived though, his first impression was just terrible, at least to me.

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07-02-2009, 04:25 PM
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Gillis should have listened to his own original thoughts, because the Sedins are not the players the Canucks should be built around moving forward.

His mistake was not his Sedin comments in his first presser, it was failing to back them up by moving in a new direction.

Gillis has now handcuffed himself, when it comes to improving the Canucks. The Twins had 9 years to get it done in Vancouver. Is almost doubling thier salary and having less depth around them going to change that? I highly doubt it!

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07-02-2009, 04:26 PM
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I think giving them 30 million dollars apiece to stay in vancouver makes up for it.

At this point it really doesn't matter that it took until the last minute. It got done.

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07-02-2009, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by digger18 View Post
Gillis should have listened to his own original thoughts, because the Sedins are not the players the Canucks should be built around moving forward.

His mistake was not his Sedin comments in his first presser, it was failing to back them up by moving in a new direction.

Gillis has now handcuffed himself, when it comes to improving the Canucks. The Twins had 9 years to get it done in Vancouver. Is almost doubling thier salary and having less depth around them going to change that? I highly doubt it!
So what was your plan?

What would have satisfied the endlessly negative Digger?

oh right, you wanted to go with giving guys like Kesler and Burrows the top line jobs and letter the youth in. Great plan, ensures you can whine about the team for another few years, you'd be justified in your compaining too since they wouldn't be getting anywhere near the playoffs.

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07-02-2009, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digger18 View Post
Gillis should have listened to his own original thoughts, because the Sedins are not the players the Canucks should be built around moving forward.

His mistake was not his Sedin comments in his first presser, it was failing to back them up by moving in a new direction.

Gillis has now handcuffed himself, when it comes to improving the Canucks. The Twins had 9 years to get it done in Vancouver. Is almost doubling thier salary and having less depth around them going to change that? I highly doubt it!
Hey I think I saw you say this before, your net slow or something? Uber late double post?

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07-02-2009, 04:31 PM
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So what was your plan?

What would have satisfied the endlessly negative Digger?

oh right, you wanted to go with giving guys like Kesler and Burrows the top line jobs and letter the youth in. Great plan, ensures you can whine about the team for another few years, you'd be justified in your compaining too since they wouldn't be getting anywhere near the playoffs.
How do you know????

Afraid of change???

Were forced to include young players into the roster now anyway. Because our cap space will all be tied up in The Twins.

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07-02-2009, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by nuckfan in TO View Post

If I'm a Sedin, I'd feel the same way then - does this guy really want me on this team? I think this cost him a lot of money as well... if he put the same faith in them last summer, that he has now, I'm sure they would have signed for less back then.


Great post, and you know what, it really got me thinking.

You have to assume that the Sedins watched that press conference. I mean, they had to have. After watching it, and knowing their status as UFA's on July 1st the year after, how could they not question their future with the franchise.

In light of that, the Sedins had an unreal year, with great uncertainty hanging over their heads. Coupled with a clearly frosty relationship ongoing through out the year between Gillis and Barry the Sedins showed very good mental fortitude and maintained a steady keel throughout the season.

Compare this with the apparent Montreal Canadiens situation this past winter...It had become known inside the locker room that Gainey had offered a couple of the players in a trade for Lecavalier. This in turn had a terrible mental effect on these players who had awful seasons, one of which is now wearing a Rangers jersey.

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07-02-2009, 04:36 PM
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In light of that, the Sedins had an unreal year, with great uncertainty hanging over their heads. Coupled with a clearly frosty relationship ongoing through out the year between Gillis and Barry the Sedins showed very good mental fortitude and maintained a steady keel throughout the season.
This.

Good to see credit given where credit is deserved.

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07-02-2009, 04:36 PM
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How do you know????

Afraid of change???

Were forced to include young players into the roster now anyway. Because our cap space will all be tied up in The Twins.
Yes, but we still have primary scoring which means those young players get the luxury of growing more at their own pace and don't have the pressure of being relied upon as the teams only scoring.

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