"For me, I’d like to be the guy that looks at Mike Gillis and says, ‘You’re a moron,' Roberts told the Buffalo News
. "It doesn’t really do anybody any good other than the fact that Mike Gillis looks like, as they say on TSN, a dud.” Roberts did not clarify why Gillis, whose Vancouver Canucks came a game away from winning the Stanley Cup in 2010-11, was worthy of the epithet "dud."
Hockey Fight: Gary Roberts vs. Mike Gillis
Gillis' crime, in Roberts eyes, was having told reporters at his season-ending press conference
that he "spent more time on Cody’s issues than every other player combined on our team the last three years." The verbal attack from Roberts, who trains Hodgson, relates to an injury Hodgson has suffered and which took time to fully diagnose. Gillis did not say directly that he was criticizing the time it took for Hodgson to recover, but Roberts thinks he was.
“I listened to Mike Gillis the other day and my impression was, ‘Are you kidding me?’" Roberts said over the phone to a Buffalo News reporter. "If anybody knew this kid, this young man, to know what he went through mentally and physically for two summers trying to find out what the heck was wrong with him - of course they dealt with his issues more than anybody else in the organization because he was injured and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him.
“It almost was like they thought he didn’t want to work. Well, I can tell you that this kid, out of all the kids that I train, he’s up there in the Stamkos group as far as commitment and determination. What I tell him, he does, so I know he’s coachable and I love working with him.”
Hodgson on Vancouver Canucks
Gillis also said that the Canucks gave Hodgson every chance to succeed, even keeping him from having to take defensive zone face-offs so his offensive abilities would be highlighted. With Vancouver this season, Hodgson had 16 goals and 17 assists for 33 points in 63 games and was a plus8. With Buffalo he had 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points in 20 games and was a minus7.
The Canucks' GM has not responded to Roberts' attack.