Canucks hiring ‘human performance director’

When Mike Gillis took over as general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, he pledged to “think outside the box” and bring a new philosophy to the organization’s front office.

So far, this philosophy has resulted in the hiring of a sleep doctor, a skills coach (and probably other behind-the-scenes innovations we’re simply not privy to).

Soon, we’ll be able to add a “human performance director” to that list.

Canucks Sports & Entertainment put out a job posting for the position last week; here’s most of it:

Working alongside NHL players, coaches, trainers and management personnel, the Director, Human Performance for the Vancouver Canucks provides advice and expertise in the field of sports scientific human performance in order to maximize team performance at a professional level. This position takes a holistic approach to human performance by enhancing all aspects of sport science (e.g. Physical, psychological etc.).

• Works closely with the General Manager, coaching/training staff as well as management personnel to deliver an integrated inter-disciplinary performance model to players and team staff
• Acts as an expert to players and staff on all aspects of human performance of professional athletes
• Develops a clear integrated performance model that links coaching alongside medical, sport science and player recruitment
• Oversees and manages the collection of daily performance data in sport science, psychology and neuro-psychology fields
• Works closely and mentors Club staff in the collection, analysis and use of medical, sport science and psychology related data

When you think about it, this new position in the Canucks’ hockey operations department should surprise no one. At the end of last season, Gillis revealed he had been working on a “human performance plan” to help deal with things like fatigue, the “highs and lows” during a season, and similar issues that could affect performance.

He said his goal was to have “the plan in place by next year.”

And, here we are.

Coincidentally (or not), the position’s start date is Dec. 1.

Do the Canucks know something we don’t? Is the start of the 2012-13 regular season just around the corner?

Probably not, but one can hope.

Farhan Devji
Farhan Devji is an author, journalist, and communications professional based in Ottawa. His work has appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, the Edmonton Journal, the Vancouver Sun, and the Montreal Gazette. Contact him directly at

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