Question: What is Mike Gillis working on with regards to the Vancouver Canucks recently?
Excerpt: Apart from cleaning his Canucks office table, and getting a cup of coffee each morning, Mike Gillis is a busy man these days.
a) He must oversee the operations of his team working on the pre-season and training camp schedule. This year, the Canucks are hosting their training camp 2010 in Penticton B.C.
b) Gillis is in contact with the National Hockey League, Richard Bloch in conversation about the Roberto Luongo contract extension signed last September.
c) The Canucks are discussing all the possible young prospects making a jump into the NHL with Canucks. Cody Hodgson status is under review by Mike Gillis, and the Canucks player development team. Jordan Schroeder looks like a fine looking player right now, he signed to play professional hockey, now he’s ready to make a step forward. Cory Schneider will be mentored to become a full-time NHL backup this season. He will need Mike and coach Rollie’s advice. Anything would help.
UPDATE: The Vancouver Canucks signed highly sought-after offensive prospect Bill Sweatt. Younger brother of D Lee Sweatt who signed earlier.
d) Alex Burrows shoulder surgery and his recovery pattern is very crucial to the Canucks this season. If he sits out for over 2-3 months into the season, the Canucks are missing, not only a top-6 player, but their leading goal scorer from 2009-2010 season (35 goals).
e) According to my close friend Todd Cordell: Mike Gillis is continuing in discussion with NHL teams about the availability of defenseman Kevin Bieksa. Anaheim Ducks, Stars, LA Kings, SJ, Capitals, Blue Jackets are all in the running.
f) According to multiple sources including Todd Cordell, Willie Mitchell is really waiting for the Canucks to free up cap space for him to re-join the Canucks. The team has definitely given him a vote of confidence for him to be this patient waiting for his time to re-sign with his home province Canucks. He will be happy to join with Smithers, BC product Dan Hamhuis on the blue line.
g) The Canucks are evaluating and assessing their options with the bottom-6 forwards. In the system: Manny Malhotra, Jeff Tambellini, Victor Oreskovich, Joel Perrault, Rick Rypien, Darcy Hordichuk, Tanner Glass, Jannik Hansen, Mario Bliznak, Alex Bolduc, etc.
h) Mike Gillis will be working closely with training staff Roger Takahashi and Glenn Carnegie to ensure players are in tip-top shape come Game 1 vs. LA Kings
i) Gillis and his management team will be celebrating the beginning of the season, 40 years of celebration; Orlan Kurtenbach will be honoured, as well as Tom Larscheid retirement.
j) With Kevin Bieksa, Sami Salo, Christian Ehrhoff as well as Shane O’Brien and Andrew Alberts contract expiring July 1st 2011, the management team needs to discuss how they want to move forward. Mike may begin contract extension talks very soon with Christian Ehrhoff.
Also, most importantly, Mike Gillis will try and squeeze in a vacation before the pre-season and regular season gets underway. That is when he will really be in game shape.
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