December 1, 1958 |
Sudbury, ON, CAN
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
|Played for||Colorado Rockies
|NHL Draft||5th overall, 1978
Mike Gillis spent his junior hockey career with the Kingston Canadians of the OMJHL from 1975–1978, playing in 111 games, and scoring 132 points (39 goals-93 assists). He added on 18 points (4G-14A) in 12 playoff games. Gillis missed most of the 1976–77 season due to a leg injury. He was drafted in the 1st round, 5th overall by the Colorado Rockies in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft.
In 1978-79, Gillis played 2 games with the Philadelphia Firebirds of the AHL, getting no points, and spent 30 games with the Rockies, getting 8 points (1G-7A). He split the 1979–80 season with the Rockies, getting 9 points (4G-5A) in 40 games, and the Fort Worth Texans of the CHL, with 22 points (9G-13A) in 29 games. Gillis started the 1980–81 season with Colorado, and had 18 points (11G-7A) in 51 games before being sent to the Boston Bruins for Bob Miller. Gillis then had 6 points (2G-4A) in 17 games, for a total of 24 points (13G-11A), which would be his career high. Gillis also appeared in a playoff game, going pointless.
In 1981–82, Gillis then registered 17 points (9G-8A) in 53 games, and earned 3 points (1G-2A) in 11 playoff games. He spent the majority of the 1982–83 season with the Baltimore Skipjacks of the AHL, getting 113 points (32G-81A) in 74 games, good for 4th in AHL league scoring. He also played 5 games with Boston, earning an assist, then played 12 playoff games for the Bruins, earning 4 points (1G-3A). Gillis split the 1983–84 season with the Bruins, getting 17 points (6G-11A) in 50 games, and with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, getting 29 points (8G-21A) in 26 games. He played 3 playoff games with Boston, getting no points.
Gillis retired from hockey in the summer of 1984.
Upon retiring from playing hockey, Mike Gillis coached the Queen's University Golden Gaels hockey team in 1985–86. He earned a law degree from Queen's University in 1990, and became a player agent. His clientele over the years included Pavel Bure, Markus Näslund, Bobby Holík, and Mike Richter among others.
With the firing of Vancouver Canucks general manager Dave Nonis at the end of the 2007–08 season, Gillis was introduced by the organization as Nonis' successor on April 23, 2008. Entering into the free agent market as a general manager for the first time in July 2008, Gillis made immediate changes. He chose not to re-sign former client and longtime Canucks captain Markus Naslund, nor forward Brendan Morrison. He made an aggressive pitch for unrestricted free agent center Mats Sundin with a two-year, $20 million offer. The deal would have made him the highest paid player in the league. Sundin decided against signing with any team until midway through the subsequent season, but eventually accepted a one-year, pro-rated $8.6 million offer on December 18, 2008. Several months later, before the 2008–09 NHL trade deadline, Gillis re-signed emerging forward Alexandre Burrows to a four-year, $8 million contract on March 3, 2009, substantially raising his $525,000 salary. Burrows was, at the time, in the midst of a career-season where he scored 28 goals and 51 points, only to follow-up with a career season the next year by scoring 35 goals and 67 points.
After winning a Northwest Division title and making it as far as game six of the second round in 2009, Gillis continued to re-sign key players. With the Canucks' leading scorers Daniel and Henrik Sedin set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, 2009, Gillis flew to Sweden to negotiate with the twins, signing them to identical five-year, $30.5 million deals hours before free agency period was set to begin. Soon thereafter, negotiations began with star goaltender Roberto Luongo, who was entering the final year of his original four-year deal with the Canucks, signed with Gillis' predecessor, Nonis. Several days after Luongo gave the Canucks a September 13 deadline to come to an agreement before ceasing negotiations for the upcoming season, Gillis signed him to a 12-year, $64 million contract extension on September 2. Other significant signings in the 2009 off-season included unrestricted free agent Mikael Samuelsson from the Detroit Red Wings and Canucks prospect Sergei Shirokov from the Kontinental Hockey League. His first noteworthy trade occurred on August 28, 2009, when he sent prospect forwards Patrick White and Daniel Rahimi to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defencemen Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich. Of the two defencemen acquired, the younger Ehrhoff proved to be the centerpiece of the deal. San Jose's primary motivation to send him away was to clear salary cap space in anticipation of the their acquisition of star forward Dany Heatley from the Ottawa Senators. For the Canucks, Ehrhoff's acquisition addressed the need for a puck-moving defenceman to move play out of the defensive zone. Ehrhoff went on to lead the Canucks defencemen in scoring that season.
In the midst of Gillis' off-season transactions, the Canucks were involved in a pair of tampering incidents with Toronto Maple Leafs management. The first incident occurred in late June 2009 when Leafs head coach Ron Wilson publicized the club's intentions to pursue the Sedin twins if Gillis could not re-sign them before the free agency period began. Several months later in September, a Leafs TV documentary covering June's 2009 NHL Entry Draft featured Leafs general manager Brian Burke indicating that Gillis had pursued the Tampa Bay Lightning's second overall pick for a package consisting defenceman Kevin Bieksa, forward Alex Burrows and their first-round selection. Although the segment was eventually pulled off the air, Gillis filed tampering charges against the Leafs near the beginning of the 2009–10 season for both incidents. The NHL fined Wilson US$10,000 for his part in tampering with the Sedins, while Burke and the Leafs management were given a warning for the draft incident.
The Canucks went on to win the Northwest Division title, but lost in the second round to the Blackhawks in 2009–10, both for the second consecutive year under Gillis. In the off-season, Gillis made significant defensive acquisitions, trading for Keith Ballard from the Florida Panthers (in exchange for a first-round draft pick, Michael Grabner and Steve Bernier), and signing Dan Hamhuis ($27 million over six years). Gillis also signed third-line centre Manny Malhotra. While Hamhuis and Malhotra became integral parts of the Canucks' successful season in 2010–11, Ballard struggled to remain in the lineup with injuries and numerous bouts of healthy scratches. Meanwhile, Grabner became a Calder Memorial Trophy nominee that season as the league's top rookie. In goal, Gillis had re-signed prosect Cory Schneider in the off-season, as well. Backing up Luongo as a rookie, the duo won the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltending tandem with the least goals against in the league. Gillis' transactions were instrumental in the Canucks' first Presidents' Trophy, leading the NHL with the best regular season record in 2010–11. He was awarded with the league's inaugural NHL General Manager of the Year Award.
|1979–80||Fort Worth Texans||CHL||29||9||13||22||43||—||—||—||—||—|
- "Canucks choose Gillis as general manager". CBC Sports. 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- "Sundin needs more time to decide future". NHL. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-07-05.[dead link]
- "Sundin giving Canucks $1.4m discount". Vancouver Sun. 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- "Canucks lock up Burrows ahead of deadline". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- "Canucks commit $61M to Sedins". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- "Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks agree to 12-year, $64 million contract extension". ESPN. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- "Canucks sign Red Wings' Samuelsson". Vancouver Sun. 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
- "Canucks sign winger Shirokov". Globe and Mail. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- "Ehrhoff earning rave reviews on canucks defense". National Hockey League. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- "No love lost between GMs Burke and Gillis". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-10-24. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- "Report: Canucks to file tampering charges against Maple Leafs". The Sports Network. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- Mike Gillis's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Mike Gillis's biography at Legends of Hockey