I don't argue that there are some moves that Gillis seems to have failed to make. I have never argued that, and I have often stated that there are some moves he's made that I don't like. In light of your post, Zamboni, I started this thread to compare both of these guys.Zamboni Driver wrote: I'll disagree with you RD, I don't think that AV has done a great job.
In fact, I think BOTH Meds & RD are correct in parts: 1.) GMMG has screwed the pooch, and hasn't gotten the right parts to get the job done, and 2.) AV hasn't done a great job of managing & motivating the assets he has. We went from top 3 in both PP and PK to a powerplay that looks like crap. (although a little better lately) Maybe it isn't all his fault, regardless, if he can't get the team game working or if the players have tuned him out, he's overstayed his effectivness.
I do not think Edler should have been extended. I think Gillis should have pushed hard to include him in a package that would have secured the rights to Shea Weber. I'm not sure if he did try this or not. Maybe he did and that is why the extension for Edler came when it did.
I think that Ballard has not fit in here (obviously), and he should have been moved. That being said, I do believe that some of the reason he didn't fit is because Vigneault had issues with him and didn't utilize him effectively. Regardless, he was injured a fair amount during his first season here and I can see any GM giving him another chance. But when it became apparent that things weren't working and Vigneault clearly did not like him, Gillis should have been actively trying to move him for something usable. Again, maybe Gillis did try and the returns just weren't there.
Booth has been a bust. Literally. He's been hurt more than he's been healthy. Initially the move was a good one, giving up Sturm (useless) and Samuelsson (old and not meeting expectations), for a young power forward with good speed who wasn't afraid to go to the net and has a decent shot. That was no brainer. Booth being injured as much as he has been was unforeseeable. It also made it VERY difficult to trade him. This is just the breaks of hockey.
If the rumors surrounding Hodgson being moved are true, then you can't fault any GM or coach for what happened. Hodgson was utilized effectively in his last few months here, granted they were showcasing and sheltering him. But that was an effective way to develop a young player and let him gain confidence. Kesler's 2nd line was used in the defensive shutdown role more often, and the team was doing well. But if Hodgson didn't want to be here, and I don't blame him for not wanting to wait 5 years to get the minutes he could get elsewhere, and if his dad was really the pain in the ass we've heard he was, then the move was forced. If Kassian develops, then the move will be a success.
As it stands today signing Lou to that contract was not a good move, but at the time it was necessary, and it was on par with what other GM's were doing for franchise players. If Schneider had not developed it would have been a great signing, Schneider turning into what we hoped when he was drafted, coupled with Luongo's playoff collapse in Boston, that made things difficult. Lou should have been traded already, but circumstances being what they have been, it has been difficult and no GM is going to give up a goaltender like Luongo for Scrivens and a couple of 2nd rounders. The bad blood between Gillis and Burke and Nonis has just made the situation much worse.
The Malhotra situation was awkward to say the least. It appears to have been badly handled, and it looks as if Gillis really screwed Manny over. However, the lack of any action on the part of the PA, the rumors that this was a decision made with Manny's agent and family, if these are true then it was handled properly. Regardless, it had a negative effect on the team, and we've had a few players getting time in the line up who Malhotra was a better option than.
These are the only moves/non-moves that I think there can be fault found with Gillis, and obviously there have been some extenuating circumstances surrounding most of them.
Here are some good moves.....
Gillis brought in Higgins and Lapierre in 2011, both contributed to the success down the stretch and the run to game 7 of the finals. Both fit in quickly and have done all that has been asked of them. Lapierre has even attempted to change his game and be less of a pest.....he's still a pest, but he talks back to the officials much less than he used to. Regardless, he is an effective 4th line center.
He signed Jason Garrison last year. This has been a VERY good move. Garrison has replaced Salo on the point, and he is far more durable. It was an easy signing because Garrison wanted to come home to Vancouver, but nonetheless, it was still a move he made.
Gillis signed Dan Hamhuis. Another good signing for the Canucks. Also easy as Hamhuis is from BC and was happy to come home to play.
Gillis signed Chris Tanev. Tanev has been one of our steadiest defensemen this season and has taken some very big strides as a player.
Gillis signed Eddie Lack, who is looking like he will turn into a player of starting goalie caliber in the NHL.
Gillis drafted Jordan Schroeder. Schroeder has taken some strides and will likely become a top 6 forward. At the very least he will bring a return in a trade.
Gillis drafted Brendan Gaunce. Gaunce appears to be developing nicely and has been a real playoff performer for his junior team this year.
Gillis drafted Niklas Jensen. Jensen has potential to be a top 6 forward and in his recent call-up appeared to be a fairly responsible player in his own end, something not common among young players.
So Gillis has hardly been idle, and it can't be said that he has done nothing worthwhile as GM.
Let's have a look at Vigneault.
There is no question that he has done a good job in Vancouver. He took the reigns of a team that was on the back side of some great years that were always capped off with playoff disappointment. His team defense approach paid off and an under-achieving team suddenly became an over-achieving team that won the division and made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs, of course Luongo landing here definitely made his job much easier in that first season. The Sedins had also just matured into premiere forwards as well, so he wasn't given a team bereft of talent. Nonetheless, he did a good job in establishing a team philosophy that seemed to be lacking under Crawford.
In his second year the team failed to qualify for the playoffs.
In his third year they won their division and returned to the playoffs and again went to the second round. In his fourth year it was the same story as the 3rd year.
They then won consecutive President's Trophies and a trip to the finals. Though they were bounced in 5 games of the first round last year.
Since February of 2012 the team has been on a steady decline and has lacked focus and consistency. Players have been unable to find their groove and whenever a lineup boasts a trio that is finding chemistry they are inexplicably broken up among the other lines in an effort to get them all going. The results are usually not what one would hope.
Clearly Vigneault has done a good job in Vancouver, but since the 2011 SFC where Boston completely shut the Canucks down, more and more teams have taken that approach against Vancouver, and the Canucks have faltered badly. They have lacked intensity and often play spineless hockey. This "pay them back on the PP" mentality has backfired. The team lacks fire. The coach has been unable to inspire them. Their offense has dried up. Defensively they seem only capable of playing 20-40 minutes worth of a game.
There have been a few departures from this team's roster since 2011. Ehrhoff and Salo are both gone. Samuelsson has been moved. Malhotra injured and now gone. Rome gone. But other than that, the team is the same, they have even gained what should be some physical strength and grit. But the team continues to look lost and the once deadly breakout and attack is ineffective. But nothing has changed in their approach to the game. The team looks emotionless and flat. They have for over a year.
Vigneault has NEVER held his top players accountable for their mistakes and poor play. He is more than willing to throw other players under the bus and staple them to the bench for a single mistake, but the player making 10 mistakes a game and costing the team is allowed to "play his way out of the funk".
So are Gillis and Vigneault both at fault?
I think so. But I don't think it is because Gillis has not tried to bring players in, and I don't think it is because the players here are incapable of getting it done. On paper this roster is one that most GM's in the league probably look at and turn green with envy. So why can't they come out and dominate games the way teams like Chicago and Anaheim have this year? Why are they so easy to shut down?