There were a lot of surprises at this year's trade deadline, but one of the biggest was that the Vancouver Canucks did not trade a goalie.
In a presser with Roberto Luongo following the deadline, Luongo stated the obvious "my contract sucks." He went on to say that if he could scrap his contract he would.
You can't help but feel sorry for Roberto; a large contract was offered, and he took it. It offered long-term security for him and his family, and he can't be blamed for that.
It's hard to feel sorry for Mike Gillis, however, who was full of excuses following the quiet day. After attempting to explain himself for not making any moves on the final day—and let's be honest, the Canucks are in need of changes—Gillis went on to say "it was tough to make trades today," and that "the asking price was extremely high for players we didn't feel could help us very much."
Well, Mr. Gillis, we're sorry your job is too hard, but perhaps it wouldn't be so difficult to make moves if you hadn't signed Luongo to a 12 year, $64 million contract extending well into his 40s. If the contract you sign is too problematic to trade away if needed, then it's not a good contract to sign. And if the asking price is too high with every general manager you speak to, then perhaps it's you who's a bit jaded. After all, aren't you the one who thought Roberto Luongo for Tyler Bozak, Jake Gardiner, Matt Frattin and a first-round pick was a fair deal?
The bottom line is Mike Gillis signed a bad contract that seriously limited the options of an aging Vancouver team.
Now having realized that mistake, he is failing to rectify it. Whether it's because no one wants the contract or the asking price is too high (or both), Mike Gillis is to blame, and the franchise is suffering because of it. But instead taking that blame, Gillis is throwing excuses against the wall and hoping they'll stick—much like he did to justify trading Cody Hodgson away. After all, how can he be at fault for something he can't control?
Mike Gillis made his choices; and although we have to live with the consequences, that doesn't mean he has to be around to watch. It's time for a change in Vancouver.
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