FAN wrote:Those are good points. When Nonis was dealing from a position of strength so to speak he made better deals (Sopel and Smolinski). And I can agree that Nonis and Gillis operated under different trade deadlines. But that still doesn't excuse Nonis for acquiring players who turned out to be pure rentals. Gillis acquired players he managed to keep. I don't think Nonis even acquired one player at the deadline he managed to keep. And the different era argument didn't apply here. Take the 2006 trade deadline. Besides Nonis' acquisitions, every player acquired for a 3rd round pick or higher were not pure rentals.
Southern Canuck actually started a thread about the 2006: Nonis Olympic Panic. He recounts that time quite accurately I think.
Nonis knew this was probably the last time he was going to have the WCE together and along with the Sedin/Carter line. He had Linden, Cooke rounding out the 3rd lines and he was working in a couple of young guns in Kesler and Burrows. He probably thought if he can get his team into the playoffs and if his top injured D-men could come back sometimes in the playoffs (ie: jovo, ohlund, salo), his team could be a darkhorse team, really surprise some ppl and make a pretty good run. Yes, he gambled and lost. If I were him, I probably would of done the same thing though. Sacrifice some picks on some rentals just to try to get into the dance, but for the most part, those picks didn't amount to anything. (see other thread).
Seriously though, would you agree there was a marked change in the Canucks' style of play right after Gillis took over? And what were the players that Gillis added in the offseason and in the beginning of the season?
Yeah, I would agree that Gillis wanted his team to play a more uptempo offensive style of game than Nonis. Good for him.
Of course the system and style matters. It's all about organizational philosophy. The Red Wings and Devils were successful for years because they employed a similar system throughout the years even with coaching changes and they drafted and acquired players who were good fits for the system. To be successful, you got to figure out beforehand the style of hockey you want the team to play and stick with it. When the Devils beat Detroit and won their first Cup, you didn't see Detroit go to a trap system. Neither did the Avalanche. You adjust the system and playstyle to suit today's game, but the overarching philosophy is still there. That's why you see that even though Gillis has emphasized size recently, the bigger players were still guys who can play a puck possession game.
If I were the Avalanche and had Sakic/Forsberg or the Wings and had Yzerman/Fedorov, I would want my team to play a more offensive uptempo system for sure. If I had the Devils with Stevens/Brodeur or the Preds with Weber/Rinne, I would want my team to play a more defensive trap like system. Sometimes u gotta go with a system based on the players u have, the system that would make your players most successful.
As for Nonis, he actually had 2 bad years and one good year and didn't really have a philosophy on the type of playing style he wants the team to play or the culture he wants to have.
I didn't count 2006 cuz that was the year he had the team still playing offensived minded hockey with the WCE and Sedins/Carter and with high flying Coach Crawford @ the helm. I only counted the team performance when the team was more defensive minded post WCE with AV @ the helm cuz I thought we were talking only about when Nonis brought in defensive tight checking hockey.
Not that it matters, but I would have re-signed Naslund if I was the GM at the time (I think most people would have), I would have drafted Kopitar (I think most people here would have) and I would have traded Jovanovski for futures knowing that I couldn't re-sign him. And if I still ended up fielding a team that missed the playoffs two out of three years and I had traded 2nd and 3rd round picks in the process, I would deserve blame just as Nonis deserves blame.
Yeah, Kopitar would of been sweet. Imagine having Hank, Kopitar and Kesler down the middle. Lot of ppl here or the old CC board realy wanted Kopitar that year too. I think Bourdon would of still been pretty good, a top 4 guy for sure, but probably not as impactful as Kopitar. With Jovo, he was injured, so Nonis couldn't move him anyways. Nonis also probably would of kept him just to try to make a run as well.
The problem isn't that Nonis failed to bring in good players. It's that he failed to build a long-term contender. There is a reason why the team went no where under Nonis. Nonis' idea of building a team is to hand out one year contracts to reclamation projects. Gillis, on the other hand, is all about identifying the team's core players and getting them signed and surrounding them with quality players and wait for young players to come along. Nonis didn't do that. Nonis was all about rolling the dice on players like Anson Carter, Pyatt, Bullis, and Brunnstrom and when a player took that one year deal and proved to be a good fit (Anson Carter) Nonis lowballed him (according to Carter). The fact that you have to name Krajicek and Baumgartner as decent acquisitions shows how bad things were under Nonis.
But u look at every GM, whether it be Quinn, Burke, Nonis to Gillis they all take on reclamation projects, basically sifting though other ppl's trash, hoping to find a diamond in the ruff. With Nonis it was guys like Bulis, Cowen, Isbister types. With Gillis it was Wellwood, Glass, Barker, Sesitito types. Sometimes u find a diamond in the rough like a Marty Gelinas. More often than not, u get what u pay for. I'll give u the fact that Gillis is doing a good job in identifying the core and surrounding them with good players like Hamhuis, Garrison and Higgy. However, I think Gillis also hurt the team a bit by bringing on Booth and Ballard, 2 players making like $4 mill each and a bit of term (2 years each still I think). Me and u can probably find some players for like $1.5 mill each and they would contribute as much if not more to the team than those 2 guys. This has been brought up before too, but MG shot himself in the foot more ways than 1 in the Ballard deal. If MG stayed away from Ballard, he would of been able to keep his assets (Grabner/1st pick) and he could of used that money to hold on to Ehrhoff (1 of his best acquisitions).
MG misread his goaltending situation as well by giving Lou that long term fat contract. With Lou making like $5 mill and $8mill on those 2 other guys, $13 mill of cap space can get u 2 pretty good players who can help the Canucks right now in this cup run. If I were the owner, I wouldn't be very happy to see those kind of dollars being wasted on guys who barely play. Say what u want about Nonis, at least he didn't have this kind of waste on the payroll hampering his teams. I guess MG still has a chance to turn Lou into a good prospect or 2 that might be good for the franchise, but it doesn't do much to help us this year. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on MG not getting much for Lou; he'd be lucky just for someone willing to take on that contract. If he wants something in return (a hockey deal), he's going to have to eat up some of that contract. As for those other 2? MG might have to buy them out.