This guy is grossly overrated.
He has come up with bad contracts after bad contracts.
Overpaying Ballard, Booth, Sundin (thank goodness he did not take the 2-year $20mil contract), Demitra (RIP), and Luongo. These are good players, but definitely not at the salary that they are making. Now they are really stuck with Luongo, an older goalie with more and more mileage. This guy was overused in Florida, and you just don't see him playing at the same level 2 or 3 years down the road. This situation has caused the whole Schneider thing. Schneider looks like a young solid number one that could carry the Canucks into the next decade. He has solid moves, unlike the Sieve Cloutier. He's a calming presence. Because of the no-trade clause to Luongo, Schneider has to be moved.
People defend Gillis and say that he had got the Canucks into the finals. The main pieces, i.e. Kesler, Sedins, Edler, Bieksa, Salo, Burrows were all pieces from the past regimes. The only guy that Gillis could truly claim to be a valuable asset was ehrhoff.
Gillis is really sacrifing the future of the team for immediate gains. It's really sad to see.
That's how it works in the business. If you're the guy who comes in to re-build a team, more often or not you won't get to reap the success for the foundation that you built. You are usually fired before it happens. It's the next guy that gets the credit because he is also the next guy that makes that move that puts you over the top.
That's what Gillis did. He could have easily blow this team after it failed to make the playoffs 2 out of 3 years. It looked like the window of this core of players has closed. The GM can always ask to do that to make "his own team". Moves that he didn't make might as well be considered the moves that he did. He re-signed the twins, kept Kesler, Burrows, Salo, Bieksa, found a way to keep his star (at the time) long-term. He kept them instead of moving them. Credit to him for that. He was able to fit every piece of the puzzle together. If they didn't fit, he found a piece that did. That's what a good GM does. I don't understand how someone can find fault with that.
Sacrificing the future? You know what he was brought in to do? Make this team a winner now and that's what he has done. Again, he could have blown up the team and got more draft picks and younger players. You know why he can't because the owners and fans don't allow it. Canuck fans don't want to win another 5-6 years for prospects to round out. We've already been doing that with the Sedins, Keslers, Burrows, Bieksa, etc. It's their time now, the only way to see the fruits of our patience is to stick with these guys and find the extra pieces that put the team over the top and that's exactly what Gillis has been doing.