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.
By your own admission all of these great players were brought in before Gillis. Yet I dont recall the Canucks getting to the finals with these same players before Gillis, do you? In fact they couldnt get past the 2nd round.
Gillis has come in and done what needed to be done. He saw the issue with our blue line always being depleted because of injury so he went out and made sure it wouldnt be an issue. You can easily sit there it your high chair and knock Gillis for Ballards contract, but the fact is Gillis did not make that contract. Ballard and his contract were acquired in a trade. On top of that who could know that Ballard would under perform to the level he has? Are you trying to say you did?
Gillis managed to bring in Samuelsson, Ehrhoff, Hamhuis, Malhotra, Lapierre, Booth and Ballard.
When the team needed defence he went and got the best free agents available. When they needed another center he got Malhotra (its no coincidence Kesler emergence as a star happened to come when the defensive specialist arrived). This city was clamoring for a big body to play next to Kesler, he went and got Booth for some spare parts.
He also resigned Kesler, Burrows (4 year, 8 million.contract), negotiated the deal with the Sedins (a steal a 6 mil per) and got Schnieder signed to his current contract.
This team couldnt cut it before Gillis came in.The core might have already been here but he kept it intact and at a very managable Cap hit. He also brought in the depth, and that is what got us to the finals.
GM's are not psychics. They make mistakes, all of them. But Gillis has made far more good moves than bad ones, and at least he has made moves to address the issues that this team has had. So yes he inherited some great talent, but what exactly did Nonis manage to do with it?