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Former Canucks GM Mike Gillis lands job teaching university course

Jared Clinton
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Mike Gillis (right) was the GM of the Vancouver Canucks for six seasons. Author: The Hockey News

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Former Canucks GM Mike Gillis lands job teaching university course

Jared Clinton
By:

Former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis will be teaching a sports law course at University of Victoria in spring 2016. Gillis, who was the Canucks’ GM from 2008 to 2014, built the team that made the 2011 Stanley Cup final, but also oversaw the club that missed the post-season in 2014.

Students enrolled in University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law might be grilling their sports law teacher about the Canucks in spring 2016.

According to Metro News, former Vancouver GM Mike Gillis, who was named the NHL’s GM of the Year in 2011, will be teaching a sports law course at University of Victoria in one of the upcoming semesters. And unless Gillis lays down the law early, he’ll certainly have a few hands raised and questions asked about his time running the Canucks.

During his time with the Canucks, a tenure that began in 2008, Gillis made a number of controversial moves, including trading away goaltender Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils and firing coach Alain Vigneault and replacing him with John Tortorella. The Canucks fired Gillis, now 56, in 2014 following a tumultuous season in which Vancouver missed the post-season for the first time in six seasons.

This won’t be Gillis’ first go-round at teaching, but it will be the first time he’s done so as such a public figure. According to a 2008 story from Canada.com, Gillis had previously taught sports law at Queen’s University, the school from which he received his law degree.

The course Gillis will oversee centers, “on the operation of sports leagues and the legal and business relationships between leagues, teams, players, agents and unions,” which will also give students the opportunity to participate in a mock arbitration, something Gillis would be fairly familiar with.

Gillis won’t be heading up the course alone, however. By Gillis’ side will be Vancouver lawyer Peter Gall, who counts Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke among his clients, according to the Metro News.

Before becoming the Canucks GM, Gillis was a first-round draft pick, fifth overall, of the Colorado Rockies in 1978 and had a short, six-year playing career before retiring in 1984. Shortly after his playing career ended, Gillis pursued his degree from Queen’s University, which he graduated with in 1990. Gillis then became a player agent, with a client list that included Markus Naslund, Pavel Bure, Mathieu Schneider, Pavol Demitra and Mike Richter.

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Former Canucks GM Mike Gillis lands job teaching university course