As admiring as I was of Gillis's job last year; I called him out for not picking up a big , high quality, defender. In my view, with CoHo coming down the pipe, that was the only short & long term major piece needed by the team. We did do a decent job of picking up depth, but not get that defender. I also criticized AV for not putting a big forward, Kesler was my preference or Torres, with the Twins when they had match up problems. But this year, the buck does stop with MG!
Unfortunately, the team looked in every way like it was reserving its energy for the play off's.
I find it hard to blame AV, because he managed to scrap together a Presidents trophy when its four best players (Sedin, Sedin, Kesler & Lou) all had significant drop off's in their performance. Thats when the team needs young, invigorated, talent like Hodgson to push and make the difference, not get traded. And you trade for a Claude Lemieux type player, who had a cross to bear and would give anything for a ring on his finger, not some young guy who has not earned his spot yet? The team played like it was let down for weeks after the deadline!
And a Gaustad (or Pahlsson or Hodgson) would have been great to have in place to sit Kesler back on the 4th line. He scored no goals & 1 point in ten games, while playing very ordinary. The coach tried all kinds of combinations (Bitz, Lapierre, Kassian, Raymond) but really did not have the option he needed. Nothing motivates a guy like Kesler, resting on his laurels, better than a young gun getting his shifts. Even better if he blasts the game winner past the worlds best goalie. We let the team down by letting Hodgson go.
And even more important (as I suggested would be the case), our D was toooo small. Dustin's Penner & Brown ate up Tanev playing with Hamhuis in game 1. And kept us under pressure jumping into Bieksa (who played like he was injured) after. Edler was completely handcuffed. We needed a BIG smash mouth defender to equalize size problems, and someone to lug the puck up ice. The Kings clogged the neutral zone and our breakout passes. LA also managed to create pressure & turnovers with their fore-check. Its why our scoring was down. We never even got up ice to set up. From day 1 this year, we needed a big mobile defender (Hamhuis is a defensive D-man, a different talent) to take pressure off.
MG did not give AV the right players; and No crappy article will have much influence on that!
Just read Tony Gallagher's follwing article in the Province this morning,
In it is says this,
"And practically speaking, exchanging Samme Pahlsson for Cody Hodgson in a lineup already having trouble scoring? That was something Mike Gillis got talked into by his staff but the buck stops with him."
Really Tony? And how would you know that? In reality, this is Gillis realizing now that the Hodgson trade sucked and blaming his scouts and getting Tony to write about it in the paper.
Remember Tony was also the one who leaked the info about Hodsgon demanding more icetime.
Gallagher obviously is a complete shill for Mike Gillis.
Edited by Canuck Surfer, 23 April 2012 - 07:21 AM.