Gillis is making rookie mistakes
In relationships, whether romantic, business, or otherwise, the key to health and longevity is honesty. When you make promises that you don’t live up to, that harms the bond that you are trying to build. Similarly, if you can’t own up to your mistakes, you lose credibility in the eyes of your partner.
Relationships are about give and take, and when you refuse to be accountable for your actions, it makes the other person feel as if they’re on an unequal playing field. I’m going to desire a quick exit from our relationship if I feel you’re evaluating the situation as “Heads, I win. Tails, you lose”.
This is where folks who are fans of “traditional values” might want to tune out. My relationship advice today concerns a non-traditional relationship, a poly-amorous triad, if you will. I’m talking of course about the relationship between Roberto Luongo, Mike Gillis, and the Canucks fan base.
For the sake of this conversation, we’ll consider the media to be a part of the fan base, as they are the fans conduit to Mike Gillis and Roberto Luongo.
In order to maintain your relationship with the Canucks fan base, or in other words: in order to keep your job, you have to be up front about your job performance. I’m a fan of yours, Mr. Gillis. But in the past year your performance has been less than stellar, and your handling of the goal-tending controversy has been horrible.
You did some damage to our relationship when you actually tried to sell us the idea that it was your plan all along to wait until the last minute, when New Jersey was on the clock, and trade Cory Schneider for the ninth overall pick.
You said that “Cory is our guy” and admitted publicly that you were trying to trade Roberto Luongo. You can’t backtrack from that – not with Roberto and not with us fans.
What you can do is admit that you failed
Soften the blow by couching the admission of failure in your rhetoric about the new CBA being a game-changer.
In order to salvage the relationship with Luongo, you need to tell the truth. Here’s a sample of how every interview needs to go:
“We planned to trade Roberto because Cory is the younger goaltender, but in all honesty we feel that both men are top five goaltenders in the NHL. As a general manager you try to go with the younger option in most cases, but the new CBA made it incredibly difficult if not impossible to move Roberto’s contract.
Instead of trading Roberto and getting nothing in return, we decided to move Cory in order to acquire a blue chip prospect in Bo Horvat, who will help this team tremendously in the future. I feel bad about making this situation more complicated than it needed to be. Roberto is justified in feeling less than ecstatic about how this whole situation went down.
Throughout the entire process he was nothing but professional, and was about the only member of the team to show up for us in last year’s playoffs. It’s unfortunate that the situation got dragged on for so long, but both men were consummate professionals and in the end we still have an all-star goaltender, and traded another all-star goaltender for a potential all-star centre.
As you know, centres of Bo’s calibre are tremendously hard to find and we usually don’t have the top ten picks required to acquire such players. So all in all we’re excited about the trade and our prospects moving forward.”
Tell the truth, Mr. Gillis. Admit that you bungled the situation and you just might earn the respect of Roberto Luongo and even your most strident critic.
As a supporter of your administration, I hope that you take my advice.