So Gillis benefited from the Lou trade, and the drafting of Schneider. Other than that I don't see what Nonis did that really helped Gillis out.
If you want to go back to moves that Burke made, well that's a longer post and a different story. I think the big ones have been the trade that landed the Sedins as 2nd and 3rd overall, choosing Kesler, finding Burrows, Hansen, Bieksa, and Edler, in the later rounds or as AHL tryouts. Burke's body of work speaks for itself, he was (is) a good GM, no question.
C'mon man, No Nuts Nonis did more than just get 2 damn good goalies for this team. He actually scored big time in his first draft as he drafted Schneids, Edler and Hansen all in 1 year (2004). Journeyman tuff guy Mike Brown was in that year as well.
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/team ... 08756.html
He went on to draft Raymond, Machine Gun Grabner and Bourdon as well. Raymond has his ups and downs, but is a proven NHL player. MG gave Grabner away for nothing unfortunately and Bourdon was looking like a potential top 4 D-man before his accident, God Bless his soul. I think Burr was a Moose find and they recommended him to the Nucks, so I think he was actually signed on Nonis's watch.
Although Burke drafted the likes of the Sedins, Kes and Bieska, Nonis held on to them as young players and played a role in developing them into the players that they are now. These guys are still the core players and leaders to the current Canucks.
When Gillis took over, he inherited a D-core of Ohlund, Mitchell, Salo, Bieksa and Edler from Nonis. At the time, that was a pretty damn good starting 5. Ohlund, Willie and Salo were still in their primes, Bieksa and Edler were quickly emering players. Nonis signed a bunch of the core players to reasonable contracts, which allowed MG a chance to go out and get some guys like Demitra and to make a splash to get the much coveted Mats Sundin.
U look at every GM and they will have signed/traded for some duds like Bulis, Smolinksi, Carney. Look at the Great Gillis, he brought in Wellwood, Hornyichuk, Demitra, Bernier, Phalson, Johnson, Sturm. Do I need to go on? Marco Sturm lasted a whopping 6 games here. *LOL* If u want to talk about waste, Gillis traded for Ballard and Booth. 2 guys who barely play and are eating up $8million in cap space. Throw in failing to move Loungo quickly and this eating up another $5million. For $13 fucking million, even retards like us can get 2 pretty damn good players to help this team.
Nonis fired long time time coach Marc Crawford and brought in Alain Vaignault. Gillis had a chance to bring in how own guy, but for some reason he kept AV and thought AV was the best man for the job. Alot of the scouts from the previous regimes like Gradin and Delorme, I thought Gillis was just going to can and bring in his own guys, but again, he DID NOT do anything. All Gillis did in the hockey dept. was change up AV's assistant coaches a bit, brought in a few of his cronies like Gilman/Henning to help him and a few guys here and there. With the roster, Gillis is yet to make a big blockbuster trade. Sorry, trading young players like Coho, Grabner and a bunch of picks don't count. To me a blockbuster, is when u trade a core players/superstar like the Sedins or Kesler, it totally changes the shape of the team and the GM puts his stamp on it. Just building around the core doesn't cut it. I know, Gillis will move franchise goalie Luongo, but that will be because he has no choice. It's not a trade that he initiates nor is it a big/risky move where he's putting himself on the line.
So when Gillis takes over, all he does is add a few players to the core that he inherited and all he does in the front office is make a few tweeks here and there. This tells me 2 things:
a) either he doesn't have the ballz to clean house (players, scouts, coach, everything) and put his own stamp on the team or
b) he simply thinks what he inherited was really good, so he did not need to make any changes.
If the later, he should be thanking his lucky stars for what Nonis and Burke gave him, even though he may never publically acknowledge it. If a guy like Keenan was hired, he would of totally cleaned house, which he actaually did here *LOL*.
Some people say that Gillis brought this winning attitude/culture that turned the Canucks around. Sorry, I just don't buy it. This guy was an agent before this, not a proven GM with winning experience and stanley cup pedigree. You can have all the winning/positive attitude all you want, but if you don't have the horses, you are not going anywhere. It's the horses that pull the carriage and when I look at this team, I still see alot of Nonis/Burke's finger prints. I will say that with time, more of Gillis's players are stepping up and slowly taking on bigger roles on the team like Tanev, Alberts, Kassian, Higgins, Lappiere, Garrison, etc. They are good players who are doing a good job as the supporting cast, but the leaders and the stars of the team are still the Sedins, Kes, Bieska, Burr, Edler, Lou and Schneids (nonis's boyz).
If MG took a team like Columbus or Florida (a team that has absolute shit) and got them to win 2 president trophies and 1 game of the stanley cup, I would be the first to say that he is a master GM. If we look back to when MG first took over as GM in Vancouver and if he totally cleaned house by trading the core players (Sedins, Lou, Kes), brought in his own coach, hired a bunch of different scouts and then went on to 2 president's trophies and 1 game of the stanley cup, I would be the first to applaud him and say that he totally changed the chemistry of the team and brought in the right guys who could win. BUT, he did NOT. The way I see it, MG inherited a team that had alot of pieces already in place (some solid vets and some good young players ready to take on bigger roles). The foundation was already laid for him by Nonis. All Gillis did was add to the foundation. I won't totally slag MG and will say that he did a good job in adding some good pieces over the years (ie: Erhoff, Hamhuis and some others that I already mentioned), but the grunt work was already done for him.
I don't know why, but Cheezeburglar Nonis seems to take a lot of flak on this board. I personally like him and thought he did a good job here. Yes, there were some years that he treated his 2nd/3rd round picks like toilet paper and just gave em up too easily to try to make the playoffs or make a playoff run. He did have the WCE and the Sedin/Carter line 1 year, so he despertately wanted to make the playoffs, but I think injuries in the backend totally killed them. Let's face it, Nonis came in at a bad time too, after the Bert/Moore incident, the WCE was never truely the same. Bert, Nasi and Mo were never quite as dominant and the Sedins started to look more dangerous than them on the ice. After Bert was traded, the Nucks were basically a one line team again, but not with the WCE now, but with the Sedin powers activated to prime time.
I will say this about Nonis that I cannot say about Gillis, Nonis is a Burnaby boy and I think he has Canucks colours tatooed on his butt and his heart bleeds Canuck colours. When his buddy Burkie was let go in Vancouver, it was a tuff decision for him to take the Canucks GM job. When we saw Linden's last game, Nonis was down there with the team, all emotional cuz he knew what Linden meant to the franchise and respected what Linden did for the team for so many years. Even though Nonis works for TO now and no matter what he thinks about Gillis and our current ownership, I am willing to bet that secretly he still hopes to see the Canucks win a Cup for the city and the fans. I can't say the same for Gillis. Once MG is done here, whether he wins a cup or not, I think he's just going back to Ontario somewhere and just move on to something else. No doubt, he probably wants to win a cup, but not so much for the fans and this franchise, but more for selfish reasons in that he can have a legacy as the GM of a Stanley Cup winner. Let's remember, No Nuts Nonis is the guy who wouldn't make a deal of something like Kesler and Edler for Brad Richards just because his owner wanted him to as he knew that trade would set the franchise back and even if it costs him his job. Maybe I'm old school, and loyalty and character doesn't mean much these days, but too me, it still means a hell of a lot. Cheers.