Coulda, woulda, shoulda
I missed this tidbit from Ed Willes (Vancouver Province) yesterday:
Canucks GM Mike Gillis has said he isn’t finished building his team and, with $10 million in cap space, he has the freedom to move in a couple of different directions. But it will also be interesting to compare what Gillis does with the plan Dave Nonis had laid out before he was fired.
Nonis told Canucks’ ownership he would add three forwards and let Markus Naslund go through free agency. Swedish free agent Fabian Brunnstrom was committed to signing with the Canucks. Nonis was also going to trade the Canucks’ first-round draft pick this summer, which probably would have landed the Kings’ Mike Cammalleri. And he was going to move a defenceman, likely Kevin Bieksa, and/or prospects for another proven scorer. Hello, Olli Jokinen.
As we know, Mike Gillis did this instead:
Gillis, for his part, has improved the Canucks’ fourth line and added Pavol Demitra and Steve Bernier while losing Naslund and Brendan Morrison. As mentioned, he said he isn’t finished but the Canucks with Brunnstrom, Cammalleri and another top-six forward would be causing a lot more excitement in this market than their current lineup.
The funny thing about Willes’ piece is that he compared what Nonis would have done against what Gillis actually did. Gillis also planned to get Mats Sundin so put it this way – a lineup with the Sedins and Bernier on one line and Mats Sundin and Demitra on another would be causing, IMHO, more excitement than Jokinen, Cammalleri and Brunnstom. Plus, the Canucks don’t lose a top-10 pick in a deep draft and still have Cody Hodgson, who by the way was impressive again last night at the rookie tournament, in the system.
The truth is, I’m not completely sold on Mike Gillis just yet, but this sort of comparison isn’t fair. If you want to compare the two GM’s, then starting on October 9th, let’s look at what Gillis’ roster does and compare it to what Nonis’ roster did. (Yeah, I’m looking at you Brad Isbister.)