It's funny with the Canucks and their fans.
When Mike Gillis was first hired, there was a backlash from fans. Nonis and Burke were held in high esteem in Vancouver, for some reason.
Personally, I thought they both had uneven drafting skills and traded too much youth for that "missing piece" at the deadline far too often.
Miracle of miracle, it turned out Francesco Aquilini knew what he was doing after all.
Gillis showed that he wasn't just blowing smoke with his talk of building a winning culture. One only has to look at the statements of guys like Schneider and Samuelsson, who targeted the Canucks as their first choice in free agency.
How happy the two ex-Sharks were to be traded here, even though they have to compete for a spot, is not certain.
Working with Dave Gagner, the Canucks increased their player development budget. That benefited Hodgson greatly last year. It will do the same with the variety of young talent growing in that same winning culture.
Let's also not forget Stan Smyl, who scouted both Evan Oberg and Eric Walsky, two young players that look closer than anyone could have thought. And while Nonis did draft Shirokov, it was the work of Smyl and Gillis that got him in the Blue and Green.
As for head coach Alain Vigneault, he is a victim of that same creative myopia that Gillis is. There will be some that will always want Marc Crawford or Pat Quinn.
But remember, Vigneault already has had more playoff success than Crawford, and in a shorter period of time. It's not Quinn in '94.
But the Canucks have a coach that can adjust and change. Last year, he showed he is more than a defense-first coach. Going back to it died in Game Four of the playoffs last year.
But a team that is deep and coached to be defensively responsible and still play with offensive verve is the kind that has success.
Look no further than the last two Cup winners, the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, for that.
Almost every team that has had success has had that emotionally-devastating playoff loss on the way. I look for the Canucks to use their past to motivate them to higher success this year.
I predict a top-three finish in the Western Conference and a spot in the Western Conference Finals.