2008 to Present – The Mike Gillis Era

2008-09

Coach: Alain Vigneault
Captain: Roberto Luongo
First Round Draft Pick: Cody Hodgson
Leading Scorer: Daniel Sedin/Henrik Sedin
Playoff Result: Lost in 2nd Round

New general manager Mike Gillis was hired prior to the 2008 entry draft. Gillis promised making bold moves, and bold moves he made. He made a two year, $10 million per season offer to unrestricted free agent Mats Sundin. Sundin eventually accepted a pro-rated $10 million deal for one year in December.
The Canucks had a new look roster. Trevor Linden, Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison were all gone. Pavol Demitra and Mats Sundin joined the team. Despite a new general manager, head coach Alain Vigneault kept his job.

The biggest development during the regular season was Alain Vigneault’s decision to split up third liners Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler. Burrows meshed perfectly with the Sedins and scored a career high 28 goals (his previous career high was 12). Kesler moved to the wing to play with Mats Sundin and Pavol Demitra and scored 26 goals.

The regular season was a roller coaster for fans and featured an eight game losing streak in January/February (due mostly to Roberto Luongo being out with an injury) followed up by the team winning eight of nine games. They entered the playoffs against the St Louis Blues and swept them in four straight games. Up next were the young but talented Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks won in six games.

2009-10

Coach: Alain Vigneault
Captain: Roberto Luongo
First Round Draft Pick: Jordan Schroeder
Leading Scorer: Henrik Sedin
Playoff Result: Lost in 2nd Round

Ahead of his second season as general manager, Mike Gillis made a decision that would affect the future of the Canucks in a way nobody would have imagined. His decision was whether to re-sign Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Luckily, Gillis signed the twins the night before free agency began. The Sedins rewarded Gillis by breaking out in a way that nobody thought possible.

Henrik Sedin set a new Canuck record for points in a season (112) and assists in a season (83). He also won the first Hart Trophy in Canucks history. Daniel Sedin was every bit as good as his brother, but missed time due to injury. Alex Burrows, playing a full season alongside the Sedins bettered his output from the previous season, scoring 35 times. Ryan Kesler came into his own as a second line centre, putting up 75 points and finishing as a Selke Trophy finalist. Christian Ehrhoff and Mikael Samuelsson joined the team and both the best year of their careers.

The Canucks won the Northwest division for the second year in a row, this time finishing comfortably ahead of second place. They had a first round matchup with the Los Angeles Kings and won in a very entertaining six games. Up next were the hated Chicago Blackhawks for the second year in a row. The Blackhawks won in six games once again, but blew out the Canucks in half of the games.

The 2011 Stanley Cup Run

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