"I'm not sure I'll be back next season."
Those were Mike Gillis' words last week on Team 1040 radio. On Tuesday, they became a reality as the Vancouver Canucks announced they had relieved the general manager almost six years to the day of his hiring.
From the Canucks:
"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,” said Francesco Aquilini, Chairman, Canucks Sports & Entertainment. "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.”
"I also want to thank our fans for their support for the Vancouver Canucks through a difficult and frustrating season," continued Aquilini. "We haven’t met their expectations or ours. We are committed to bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver for our fans and we will continue to do everything possible to reach that goal."
No replacement or any other executive level moves have been announced. Maybe that's why Aquilini is holding a press conference Wednesday morning and not today?
On Monday night, the Canucks were officially eliminated from postseason contention for the first time under Gillis. During his tenure, Vancouver won two Presidents' Trophies and were a victory away from winning the 2011 Stanley Cup.
The talk Tuesday morning was that Canucks legend Trevor Linden would be brought on as team president in an organizational shakeup. Linden told Global News that he had not been approached by anyone regarding that position. “I have always said that if the opportunity is right and time is right, I’d have to seriously consider it,” he said.
Moving out Gillis instead of Tortorella is the cheaper option given the term left and money owed to the head coach. But something needed to change after the way this season was coming to an end. It was either the head coach or the general manager and Aquilini and (for now) thrown his support behind Tortorella.
And if what Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote on Sunday is true, could this move open the door for a Torts/Jay Feaster reunion in Vancouver?
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