Former Vancouver Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis made a rare public appearance earlier today on TSN 1040 and let his guard down for the first time since being relieved from his position(s) with the organization. In fact, Gillis let his guard down so much that he even tipped his hand and revealed some potential moves that never came to be during his tenure as Canucks GM. In particular, Gillis admitted that he went after former Nashville Predators captain and current Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber “really hard.”
Check out these quotes from Gillis:
Gillis: We went after Shea Weber really hard. We really wanted to get him, thought he would bring something we were missing, after losing Ehrhoff to Buffalo. Particularly being a BC guy. When we visited him, he was really receptive, but then he got that massive offer
Gillis went so far as to say that he personally visited Weber at his home in Kelowna in an attempt to woo him to the Canucks. Again, check out this quote:
When we visited him at his house in Kelowna, he was really receptive to the way we played and the way we did things, but then het got that offer and it really knocked us out of the box.
The offer, of course, is the insane 14 year, $110 million offer sheet that Weber received and signed from the Philadelphia Flyers. The Predators matched the offer and ultimately traded Weber to the Canadiens in exchange for superstar P.K. Subban less than four years into his 14 year deal.
Had the Canucks landed Weber for that 2012-13 season and beyond, the team’s roster would have been incredibly deep. Adding Weber to a blue line already featured Dan Hamhuis, Alex Elder, Kevin Bieksa and a young Chris Tanev would have likely vaulted the Canucks back into contender status. Of course, the Canucks were still backstopped by tandem of Roberto Luongo and Corey Schneider and featured prime Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows up front. Adding Weber, a Sicamous, BC native, would have absolutely put a strong team over the top.
Oh what could have been… sorry, Canucks fans.