Monty Posted December 7, 2016 Share Posted December 7, 2016 First off. Gillis. The average hockey fan always, ALWAYS focuses on the weaknesses of a GM, not the strengths. So did Gillis not draft well? Absolutely. Did he trade much? Not really. However, his strengths tend to get overlooked. And even the positives he did during the "win now" phase, like the amount of NTC have been spun years later to ONLY be a negative. Nobody was complaining when the team was winning and those NTC helped to lock guy's up to cheaper contracts than the market was asking for those players, or players like them. The biggest positive was all the internal things that Gillis implemented. The amount of travel the Canucks have endured every year is unlike any team in the NHL. This effects injuries, sleep, and fatigue that have always plagued Vancouver, simply due to where the team is located. He invested a lot of resources into ensuring that players were treated well when they were off the ice (dressing room, sleep doctors, etc). Vancouver really transformed under his watch for all the "behind the scenes" stuff that only players see. Obviously he mismanaged certain things, most notably Luongo/Schneider. Now, we do not know how much (if at all) ownership tied his hands with that situation. Luongo's contract ("My contract sucks" ) is just as much his agent and ownerships fault as it is Gillis. You don't hand out that much money and term without checking with the guys who write the cheque; nor does a GM say "Here's your contract, sign it." However, as much as I've always said that getting a 9th overall pick for a backup goaltender (at the time) who had never played a full season was a great return, and that Horvat is terrific, trading Schneider was a mistake. Being in Winnipeg, and playing goalie myself from the ages of 6-16, I studied the position as much as any "fan" can. Schneider was special and trading him was an error. That is on Gillis and ownership. Now, that was just on Gillis. As for Benning, most of his moves I have not been a fan of. Right at the time it happened, drafting Virtanen reeked of "He's from Vancouver. Having a local kid to sell to the fanbase is important." It was clear at the time that both Nylander and Ehlers were the better players. Drafting someone because you needed more sandpaper but was clearly not as talented, nor did he have as High hockey IQ (as was the scouting report on him) was really bad. Also, for a team that any knowledgable fan could see needed to rebuild, trading certain picks for "meh" young players was a huge error as well. To me, the Baertschi trade never made sense and will end up being a huge mistake. A lot of people (definitely not me), loved it at the time and loved it last year. However, wait until defenseman Rasmus Andersson (who the Flames drafted with that 2nd round pick), starts playing next year for the Flames. As a 20 year old in his first season in the AHL, his 12 points in 18 games and his +10 (2nd on the team) have him poised to likely get a call up this year alone. Once Wideman's gone next year, look for Andersson to take his spot on as the third pairing RHD. Now, I will say that Boeser looks to be a solid pick, and "dropping" to the 5th overall pick this last year and selecting a defenseman in Juolevi was needed (they hadn't selected a defenseman in the first two rounds since 2008). He looks to be correcting some of those drafting errors he made, which is terrific to see. However, botching those selections and signing Eriksson, who I've always loved, to a $6M x 6 contract was atrocious. This signing vaulted the Canucks from finishing 15th in the West to finishing 11th in the West. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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