Vancouver Canucks' Biggest Takeaways from the Start of Free Agency
From signing the most controversial coach in the league (John Tortorella) to trading who we all thought was the future of the team (Cory Schneider) to well, missing out on almost all the significant free agents, the Canucks' franchise has taken a right turn. But is a right turn the right way?
There's still plenty of time for some big changes before the 2013-14 season is underway, but the following is what we can take away from free agency thus far.
The Canucks Won't Overpay. No Matter What.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The first day of free agency saw almost every free agent of significance get claimed, regardless of the price teams had to pay.
Among the many exaggerated contracts we saw doled out last Friday, Ryan Clowe's five-year, $24.25M payday stands out the most. For those non-math majors, that's $4.85M per year or, based on his stats from last season, $1.617M per goal.
Mike Gillis overspent on Keith Ballard and Roberto Luongo, and look where it got us. It's good to know that he's at least capable of learning a lesson when it smacks him across the face.
Mike Gillis Is Mildly Delusional
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
It's almost as if Mike Gillis won GM of the year, wiped off his hands and said "well, that's it for me." Just like Tim Thomas did after proving what he was capable of.
The Canucks have won one playoff game and lost eight in the past two years. It was clear going into the summer that major changes were needed. But I don't think losing Cory Schneider, Derek Roy, Mason Raymond, Maxim Lapierre and Keith Ballard without replacing them was what fans had in mind.
If Gillis thinks the Canucks improved, he must be delusional.
Preparation for the Post-Sedin Era Is Underway
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
I may not be a fan of what Gillis is doing here, but his motives are becoming quite clear. The Canucks lost quite a few faces this summer and did not bring in new ones.
To me, that means it's time for the youth to step up in preparation for the day (which is not too far away) that the Canucks can no longer lean on Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
It may not be a smooth transition, but be prepared to see a lot of Frank Corrado, Nicklas Jensen, Jordan Schroeder and even Bo Horvat and Brendan Gaunce next season.
Oh, and you can expect plenty of ice time from Christopher Tanev as well (not that we'd expect otherwise).
A Big Trade Could Still Be in the Works
Harry How/Getty Images
It's easy to hate on Mike Gillis for what he's done with the team (and I've done plenty of that), but who's to say he doesn't have something big up his sleeve?
There was wide speculation that Alex Edler would get traded before his no-trade clause kicked in July 1. Edler does have control now that the date has passed, but we've seen plenty of no-trade clauses get waived in the past.
And who knows, there could still be a taker for Roberto Luongo, who likely was not thrilled to hear of Cory Schneider's surprise escape from Vancouver.
The question is, are there any general managers that will take Gillis seriously and give fair value in return?
Follow Riley Kufta on Twitter for more work & news around the NHL.