With unprecedented access to the Vancouver Canuck's General Manager, Mike Gillis, best-selling sports writer Bruce Dowbiggin provides a thorough investigation into one of hockey's most unique organizations.
Entering the league as part of the NHL's 1970 expansion, the Canucks have steadily built their organization into one of the best teams to play for in professional hockey. The ownership and the talented general manager, Mike Gillis, set out to develop an exciting, player-first franchise, in the process allowing Gillis to acquire top-tier talent at less than market value--all because the athletes were so eager to play for Vancouver. Further improvements, such as a state-of-the-art dressing room, personal nutritionists, skills experts, sleep specialists and a world-class medical team, have meant that the Canucks have the best team in the league, both on- and off-ice. And the club's new mandate has resulted in incredible success on the ice. Leading up to the 2013 playoffs, the Canucks played with focus and consistency, and they looked like they would again be a contender.... Shockingly, they were ousted after a first round ousting in four straight games.
Once the most disciplined team in the NHL, the Canucks 2014 season has seen them become the most penalized team in the league--playing a much more physical game as they have struggled to win. Best Practices not only shares with fans how the Canucks climbed their way to the top of the NHL, but also how they have addressed their drastic change in situation.
Best Practices shares an exciting narrative that includes detailed personal interviews with Mike Gillis and offers all fans of the game a behind-the-curtain look at the business of sport, the strategy of sport and the constant changes that professional sports clubs face.
The hockey world has followed the same path for decades -- but when those strategies continue to generate the same results, it is time to think differently. The rules haven't changed and the governance is the same, but how Canucks General Manager, Mike Gillis, has worked differently within the system is the truly unique story of the Vancouver Canucks.
BRUCE DOWBIGGIN is a critically acclaimed sports journalist whose many award-winning works include Money Players: How Hockey's Greatest Stars Beat the NHL at Its Own Game; Of Ice; Men and The Stick: A History, A Celebration, an Elegy; and The Meaning of Puck: How Hockey Explains Modern Canada. His work in radio and television has twice won him the Gemini Award for excellence in sports broadcasting.