Gillis getting the executive of the year last season was the biggest joke I have ever seen.
Lets recap Gillis's major contributions so far.
-Trading for Ehrhoff.
-Signing of Hamhuis.
-Trading for Higgins and Lapierre
-Re-Signing of Burrows at a discount.
-Signing of Tanev
Trading for Ehrhoff wasn't bad. It's too bad he got a big head and thought he was better than he actually is. Were you aware that in his two years here he barely out-pointed Edler? He had over 30 more games played in that time, and more opportunity in offensive situations, and he barely got a few points ahead of Edler.
Signing Hamhuis isn't a "good" depending on who you talk to around here. King would suggest that since Hamhuis wanted to come here regardless, that this shouldn't count as something in Gillis' favor. I would disagree in that Gillis helped to create the culture of this team which was a very significant factor in Hamhuis signing here. That "team culture" is also what brought Garrison here, and why a lot of the guys who you aren't giving Gillis any credit for have chosen to re-sign here. Also of note is that he signed these guys to hometown discount contracts that are very friendly to the team's cap.
Definitely good on Higgins and Lapierre.
Re-signing Burrows at a discount, re-signing Bieksa at a discount, re-signing Edler at a huge discount, re-signing the Sedins at a huge discount, and re-signing Lapierre, Higgns and Hansen to really great contracts because they wanted to play here on a Mike Gillis team, not a Dave Nonis team or a Brian Burke team.
Under the Gillis term the Canucks have had very high finishes which has made drafting good prospects somewhat difficult. You note that he is responsible for Tanev, but you should also include Lack (even if he hasn't seen any NHL time as yet).
-Re-Signing of Luongo to longterm contract after his first playoff meltdown against Chicago
-Trading Of Michael Grabner (and hence commitment to Mason Raymond) and a first round Pick(Howden) for Ballard and his bad contract
-Trading for David Booth and his bad contract
-Trading Cody Hodgson/Sulzer for Zack Kassian/Grags.
-Signing of Marco Sturm
-Not attempting to re-sign Willie Mitchell who you almost certainly would have re-signed here at a discount if the Canucks showed any interest in him.
-not one of his draft picks is playing in the NHL besides Cody Hodgson.
-signing of Mats Sundin
-trading a 2nd round pick for Steve Bernier
-trading a 3rd round pick for Andrew Alberts
The Luongo contract kept a great goalie in this town at a very friendly cap hit. Fell free to disagree, but at that time it was a great deal and it is still a great deal.
Grabner was under-performing and was unlikely to make the team. As he was waiver eligible he would either have to be kept here in the pressbox or likely lost when the team tried to send him to the AHL. You really believe that anyone would have kept Grabner and moved Raymond? This is a clear case of 20/20 hindsight, and even with Grabner's one good season, I'd still take Raymond. I do regret the loss of the 1st round pick, but that was the price for a top-4 d-man at that time.
Ballard was geared up to be in the Canucks' top-4 and the team was in need of blueliners. Lots of 20/20 hindsight from a lot of people when this is discussed. Hamhuis was not yet signed, and even if he said he wanted to come here, that was no guarantee that he would sign here (eg. Schultz). Bieksa was on shaky ground from injuries and less than stellar play, and could well have been moved. Salo was a solid d-man but was breakable as always. Mitchell had played barely half a season and was possibly going to retire.
Has Ballard played as well as hoped? Heck no. He has had injury issues and also has, until recently, had a revolving door of partners. I am hoping for good things from him this year, if only because it will improve the return the team gets for him when he is likely traded.
Booth is a good player and his contract isn't that bad. I would like to have seen more result for the money, and I think we will see it this year. Gillis traded two contracts and an equal amount of cap hit, so Booth was pretty much a saw off in that regard. He has had injury issues which has reduced his effectiveness.
I regret losing Sulzer. I think he's a solid d-man, but not particulary flashy or gifted with huge offensive talent. he would have been a great 7th or 8th d-man here. Gragnani was acquired for a look-see. The Canucks wanted to know if they could do anything with his offensive game while improving his defensive game. It was an experiment that didn't work out. It cost the team Sulzer, who was likely going to go UFA, so where's the loss?
I was good then with the Kassian trade. I am good now with the Kassian trade. I will likely continue to be good with the Kassian trade, unless he does something to make it a bad deal.
I agree about Sturm. He was good, once upon a time. I was surprised that he was signed, and signed at the cap hit he got.
Mitchell was offered a contract, and he refused it. He was offered a one year deal for as much as $2 million. This was a sensible thing for Gillis to do rather than try to sign Mitchell to a multi-year deal at considerably more. Mitchell chose to go for more money and term with LA, who were far more in need of Mitchell than were the Canucks (Hamhuis, Bieksa, Salo, Edler, Ehrhoff, Ballard, Tanev). Good for Mitchell winning a Cup with them.
And since Hodgson was the highest 1st round pick, and also the first 1st round pick or Gillis, what would you expect? I might not have drafted Schroeder (he was on the BPA list), but there hasn't been a huge amount of success from the guys who drafted after him. Jensen wasn't needed to be at the NHL level at this point, although with the injury issues on the team it would have been nice to have him around, in 20/20 hindsight of course.
Sundin was a great signing and he did more in his half season here to create a winning atmosphere than Messier did in three seasons. The contract was "a bit" high, and I'm not sure that I would have offered it to Sundin, but then he may well not have agreed to come here.
It was a 2nd AND a 3rd for Bernier. Not the best deal made by Gillis by a long shot. Once again, 202/20 hindsight.
Alberts for a 3rd was a great pick-up for a depth d-man.
Following the Canucks since before Don Cherry played here.