For readers of this blog, it’s no secret that I’m a Mike Gillis supporter. I generally think he has been good for the Vancouver Canucks and think he has unfairly gotten a lot of bad publicity for various reasons.
I made my case for the argument that he “inherited” this team and outlined his biggest contribution to his team, his contract negotiations. Most recently, I outlined the smart moves he made prior to this season.
I’m not a fan of every move Mike Gillis has made, he has made mistakes. I don’t like the Cody Hodgson or David Booth trades (though I liked the Booth trade at the time) and I hate the Keith Ballard trade (I didn’t like the Hodgson and Ballard trades at the time either). I loved almost every one of his contracts that he negotiated (even the Luongo one, if under the old CBA). I also like a lot of the depth moves he has made.
Whatever you think of the job Gillis has done, you can’t argue about the team’s success on the ice. Really, that is the point of this article. Perhaps you think Gillis is the beneficiary of good fortune, Dave Nonis/Brian Burke moves prior to his arrival or an easy division in the last three seasons. You can argue that. I mean, you’d be wrong (in my opinion), but you can argue it.
I like a lot of the moves that Mike Gillis has made. Bringing in Ehrhoff, Samuelsson, Hamhuis, Malhotra, Torres, Higgins and Lapierre were vital to the success of the 2010-11 team.
What you absolutely cannot argue is that the team on the ice hasn’t been excellent during the Mike Gillis era.
Lets look at the numbers. Below is a list of the point totals for every team since Mike Gillis joined the Canucks before the 2008-09 season. The 2012-13 season is prorated for an 82 game season. The list is sorted by average point totals:
As you can see, the Canucks rank behind only Chicago and Pittsburgh in average point totals over the past five seasons. They’re also the only team, along with Detroit, to get at least 100 points in each of the last five seasons.
Their 117 point regular season in 2010-11 was the second highest single season point total (not counting the prorated point totals in the 2012-13 season).
People seem to want to blame Mike Gillis for the fact the Canucks’ point totals have slipped in each of the last two seasons (even though one of those seasons was still a Presidents’ Trophy season), but that isn’t fair. To do so would be penalizing Gillis for his success. Using that same logic you would fire the general managers from Chicago (97 and 101 points after their 112 point season), San Jose (declining point totals every year since 2008-09) and Washington (haven’t repeated their 121 point season).
Gillis detractors are probably saying “yeah, but what have they done in the playoffs?”. I’m glad you asked! Here is a list of playoff series victories:
The Canucks haven’t won a Stanley Cup, but they more than hold their own in this list. They’re the sixth most successful playoff team in the NHL.