Canucks and Beyond

Can Mike Gillis Save the Canucks?

07/04/2008 at 3:56pm EDT

From Ben Kuzma in The Province:

Unrestricted free agent centre Brendan Morrison will not re-sign with the Vancouver Canucks, The Province has learned.

At one point, seven teams expressed interest in Morrison and a source indicated that the 32-year-old Pitt Meadows native is expected to sign a multi-year deal elsewhere and reject a one-year, $1.9-million US offer from the Canucks.

image$1.9 million? Maybe a hometown discount for a team with a plan (a “Mats Sundin Plan” might have done it), but a one-year deal on a team whose website currently features the poll pictured here? (thanks to Waiting for Stanley for grabbing that screenshot.)

Not a chance.

This whole situation gives one the sense that players are jumping off the Titanic and swimming for the lifeboats.

I’ve given a lot of thought to that Mats Sundin offer over the last couple days, and I can almost see the wisdom of it at this point. At least signing someone like Sundin would have been a way to build a different atmosphere, one that suggested the team had a prayer.

This morning on FAN590, The Hockey News columnist Adam Proteau mentioned two problems that GM Mike Gillis is struggling to overcome right now. First, that he can’t find a trading partner willing to deal with him; and second, that free agents around the league seem to be avoiding signing on to the Canucks organization till they see some indication of improvements.

I think Proteau is probably right, and while that Sundin deal might have left us arguing about the $20 million, it would have at least changed the perception that Vancouver is a lame destination.

So here were are today. And this is our roster:


From Ed Willes at The Province:

I mean, if the most virulent Canucks hater would have plotted the team’s downfall, it’s doubtful he could have come up with everything that’s happened. This team is now on the precipice of disaster and the only thing that can save them—failing a change of Sundin’s heart—is a superhuman season from Roberto Luongo and/or a masterful coaching job from Alain Vigneault and that means another seven months of 2-1 games.

Or maybe Kyle Wellwood is a lot better than anyone knows.

Look, regular readers of this space—both of you—are aware of our thoughts about Gillis. We didn’t like the way Dave Nonis was fired. We didn’t like the way Gillis was hired. And nothing has happened since to change our opinion.

Nor mine. This situation stinks.

On the bright side, it’s still early July. Can Mike Gillis turn this around by October?

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