You may have already decided whether you love or hate new Canucks’ GM Mike Gillis.
Maybe you love him because he is brutally honest when he says the current crop of Canucks is nowhere near contending for the Cup.

Maybe you hate him because he’s decided to retain the services of Alain Vigneault, the coach that’s presided over a defensive-minded squad for the past two seasons.

But as much as he has invigorated some and infuriated others, Gillis has intrigued me more than anything.

The Aquilinis deviated from the norm when they hired a man with absolutely no front office experience to run their team, and fittingly, Gillis has acted in an unconventional manner.

Upon his acceptance of the job, popular opinion had Gillis firing anyone previously affiliated with former general manager Dave Nonis. But Gillis kept Nonis’ right hand man, Steve Tambellini, and has yet to fire any other members of the Canucks’ brass.

Most expected Gillis would either clean house behind the bench or keep Vigneault’s crew intact.
He took more than four weeks to determine that Vigneault was indeed the right coach for this team, calling it the “most important decision facing this club in the next two years.”

However, he didn’t give assistants Barry Smith and Mike Kelly that same vote of confidence, as his evaluation concluded that each significantly contributed to Vancouver’s problems last season.

And though NHL tradition dictates the coach hires his own staff, Gillis stated yesterday that he and Tambellini, not Vigneault, would be the ones to appoint a pair of replacements.

Gillis also led many to believe that changes in the scouting staff were imminent.

That may end up being the case, but yesterday he intimated the current scouts would be given a chance to perform at the upcoming draft before he delivered decisions on each of their futures. Hardly a shoot first, ask questions later approach.

In his final answer at yesterday’s media conference, Gillis said that he wasn’t much of a gambler when asked how he fared at the tables in Las Vegas last week. He does not make decisions on a whim; he has shown he will take whatever time necessary to reach a conclusion on important issues. Gillis may win or he may lose at the helm of the Canucks, but he won’t go down guessing. He’ll have done his due diligence.

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How to make a Scott Rintoul: Mix equal parts college athlete, sports fan and broadcaster. Shake vigorously. Serve chilled Monday-Friday on the TEAM 1040 from 6-9 a.m. or online at

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