The problem with this team has never been coaching, it's personnel and how poorly managed it it. We have 3 top-6 players that have been played into the ground because we have NOBODY else. Say what you want about Higgins and Burrows but neither are top-6 guys. Neither are Santorelli or Hansen. Burrows has the benefit of playing well with the twins but we see what happens when the twins are not going. He get's 0 in the way of offence. Higgins-Santo-Hansen is one of the best 3rd lines in the league in my opinion but these guys are not goal scorers they're hardworking players that can play a solid checking game but they aren't much else.
The no. 1 problem with this team is Mike Gillis. I don't know another GM (besides Paul Holmgren) that would still have his job after making such a mess of a team. It's sad but as long as attendance is guaranteed at Rogers arena, Mike Gillis will keep his job and the team will continue to fall apart. How he kept his job after last year is beyond me. Starting to think the only way this team will get better is with new ownership.
Honestly, can you imagine a team where our GM didn't trade away future top-6 all stars for a bag of pucks like Gillis did with Grabner and Hodgson? This entire problem would have been solved.
Honestly, who do we have for Torts to work with?
(*) NTC kicks in next year
Arguably, our bottom 6 is pretty clearly sorted out but the problem is that they're all playing middle 6 minutes. We don't have a second line (something we haven't ha din 2 years) and as a result we have our third line playing as a second line, despite having no consistent offensive ability. Our 4th line is playing as our third line and our bottom feeding AHL team is playing as our 4th line. The result is a team icing 1 line the majority of the time with the Sedins and Kesler (and we've seen FOR YEARS what happens when we lean on the Sedins too hard: they fall apart. It happens every year in the playoffs when they disappear). We have NO ONE. Considering the trend of teams icing three scoring lines and having their 4th line play more of a shutdown role. The Canucks under Mike Gillis have gone in the completely opposite direction.
Lack of cap space be damned, Mike Gillis' is the one that put us in this situation. Notice how this isn't an issue for San Jose, and Chicago, who have continued to get better and contend and in the case of Chicago won 2 Cups with the same core? See what happens when you have capable management? Heads should be rolling right now.
We need to get bigger and younger? Instead of keeping young players that are future stars in Hodgson and Grabner, Mike Gillis has solved this issue by signing aging players that nobody else will sign to long term deals with NTCs/NMCs. The result is the mess we are in. You think we're playing poorly now? Wait another season or two. It's only going downhill from here and we have NO ONE to fill the void that our aging core is leaving with us unless we plan on rushing prospects to in Shinkaruk and Horvat to the NHL years before they're ready like we have been doing with Kassian who is in no way an NHL calibre player.
I am honestly DONE with this team as long as Mike Gillis is in charge.