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Mike Gillis Speaks

Mike Gillis addressed the media Friday and answered questions about the Sundin offer, his plans for Bernier, why he didn't make Naslund a contract offer, and bringing Morrison back.

Friday, 04.07.2008 / 10:04 PM / Features
Vancouver Canucks
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Mike Gillis Speaks
On trading a second and third round pick for Steve Bernier:

“We were looking for a large forward, who was right-handed shot, and was younger. When his availability came to my attention we jumped on it really quickly and got something done.”

“We thought we could make a very good hockey trade for our team. We gave away a 3rd round pick that was Los Angeles’ and our 2010 second round pick to get a player who we feel is just about to enter some really prime years and be a major contributor.

On whether Bernier would play with the Sedin Twins:

“I think we’ll have to wait for the coaching staff on that. It’s early, we just acquired him. I’ve spoken to him today, and we’re going to talk to him again on Monday and go through his training routine for the summer. When the coaches evaluate him, we’ll have a much better sense of where he’s going to fit. ”

When asked about Bernier’s fitness level:

“For young players, sometimes it takes a little bit of time for them to understand how detailed they have to be in their preparation. That’s always a concern and that’s why we had such a detailed development camp this year. We want to educate these guys and get them into pro level thinking about fitness and attitude as quickly as possible, and that was the first thing I asked him: how his training was going.”

On whether the free agency frenzy has been more difficult than he thought:

“It’s been about what I thought it would be. We were very specific in the targets that we had and we went after those players. Some of them got to the point where we just felt there wasn’t a value there that we had hoped for and we moved on.”

“We made a sig offer to Mats Sundin which we’re still working on. We’ve got our fourth line established with Darcy Hordichuk and Craig Johnson so we feel really good about that - we’ve added some grit and toughness to our team and there’s still a lot of things left to play out.”

“There are a lot of things on the burner. We’re going to be patient and try and make smart moves and not put ourselves in a position where were boxed in with long-term contracts with players that might not fit with the profile of where we’re going.”

On the Sundin offer:

“There are a lot of things that are going on that aren’t in the public domain that I’m not going to speak about concerning Mats. I think that [regarding] the only public statement he’s made, it’s easy for the media and public to take a certain way.”

“We’re confident that we made a significant offer to a really top-notch player in the National Hockey League. We felt he was the best free agent out there in this crop of free agents and still feel that way and we’re prepared to maintain our position to get it done.

On whether he still feels optimistic that Sundin will sign in Vancouver:

“Yes, I am [optimistic]. Give him a little time and let him get his head around player here and the team that we have’ and the fact that we’re well positioned with Roberto [Luongo] and our defence. We haven’t lost any players other than Markus or Brendan, and Brendan is still a possibility. We’ve added four players. We’re pretty happy with where we are right now.”

On why he didn’t attempt to re-sign Markus Naslund:

“I said from the outset that if we didn’t have the right fit here for Markus, it didn’t make sense for him to be here. I’ve repeated that throughout my entire time here. Currently we don’t have the right pieces. He was aware of that, I was aware of it, we had that understanding… it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. We tried to attract him and it didn’t work within the time frame that we had.”

On whether Markus would have re-signed if Sundin had agreed to a contract early:

“Perhaps.”

On whether he feel he’s being treated differently than other general managers because of his past as a player agent:

“I think that I’m being treated like any new general manager would be treated and we could trade all of you guys [the media] and trade everybody, but we’re being patient and trying to make the right moves for the long-term viability and competitiveness of this club. It’s challenging because you have 29 other teams trying to do the same thing.”

On the free-agency hysteria:

“Why panic? We’ve become a grittier team and tougher team. We added young player who scored 16 goals in limited ice time in top our top six, who is a big body player who can play. Kyle Wellwood? I got a call from John Ferguson Jr. who said he [Wellwood- is a point-a-game player in the NHL, in his opinion. And that’s a piece that we’ve added for depth. We’ve got group of players now who are physically prepared to meet the challenges out there and we’ve kept all our defence and Roberto, so I don’t see any reason to panic.”

On whether the Canucks will re-sign Morrison:

“There’s a chance. We’ve had a discussion with his agent and he was exploring other opportunities. He and I had a great meeting. We talked about his desire to stay in Vancouver, but we have to see how this plays out.”

On who will replace Markus Naslund as team captain:

“That will be decided at training camp by the coaching staff and the leadership group on this team.”





Gillis on Sundin/Naslund

Gillis on Bernier




Bernier highlights
Baumgartner highlights
Sanford highlights 
Sanford one-on-one
Hordichuk highlights
Wellwood highlights

Bernier Interview
Gillis Interview
Hordichuk Interview
Wellwood Interview
Sanford Interview
Johnson Interview

Bernier Gallery
Sanford Gallery
Hordichuk Gallery