Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Hometown boy Taylor Hall scored the final goal in Canada's curb-stomping of Russia in the final of the world under-18 championship. Mike Gillis , a long-ago Kingston Canadian and a Queen's law grad, will soon be named the Vancouver Canucks general manager.

Not a bad day for Kingston-related hockey news, eh?

The TSN commentators were also very complimentary toward Frontenacs forward Josh Brittain, who threw some heavy bodychecks. (It's not an IIHF rule that any Frontenacs player on Team Canada must be consigned to the 13th forward rule; it just always seems to work out that way.) It's also crazy to consider that Taylor Hall won't go into the NHL draft until 2010.

Gillis taking over in Vancouver is bound to be fun to watch, especially if you're not emotionally invested in the Canucks (or any of the other 29 NHL teams, eh Sager, you self-loathing hockey hater?). The one question that keeps popping up with Gillis involves a little guilt-by-association over the nature of his relationship with the Rogue Agent, David Frost.

Their paths definitely crossed in the mid-'90s, when Gillis was getting established as a player agent and Frost had those notorious Quinte Mohawks teams in Deseronto, near Napanee. There's no way of confirming it, but there's a clear memory of a news story in the local weekly about Gillis speaking to a junior team -- it might have even been the Quinte team -- about what's in store for players who go pro. (This was after he'd had to fight to get the insurance money after a serious injury.)

Granted, all of this was more than 10 years ago. Every businessperson has probably has to deal with some less than reputable characters until they get established. Didn't all these hockey fans ever read The Apprecenticeship of Duddy Kravitz?


Tyler King said...

"Didn't all these hockey fans ever read..."

Stop right there. The answer is no, no matter what comes after that part.

sager said...

Hey, George Plimpton did a book on the Boston Bruins of the late '70s... he said he saw more books lying around than he did with all the NBA and NFL players who'd been to college ... Don Cherry was referencing Admiral Nelson in his talks to the players.

Dennis Prouse said...

This courtesy of Matt Sekeres in the Globe:

"Gillis, 49, has apparently offered advice and become a sounding board on hockey matters for Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini, whose family owns the club and General Motors Place."

So, let me get this straight -- Mike Gillis was still active as a player agent up until today, yet he spent last year as an advisor to Aquilini. Even if that position was unpaid, does that not put him in a serious conflict of interest? He is supposed to represent the interests of his clients, yet he was advising the employers of one of his biggest clients, Markus Naslund. Maybe I am being nitpicky, but I think the appearances of this do not pass the smell test.

sager said...

Nice catch ... aren't agents, though, really power brokers, aspiring to get more and more power. No lawyer working for the labour side would work both sides like that, but hockey's different.