Like his predecessors before him, Canucks' GM Mike Gillis made a couple of trades in the free agent market that will go down as his identifying mark of approval by the 'Nucks Nation.
Brian Burke brought the Sedins and Dave Nonis on his watch—Roberto Luongo.
Mike Gillis signed two top D-men that may end up getting the Canucks past a couple of second round playoff exits.
Keith Ballard and Dan Hamhuis will challenge each other for playing spots within the top four and as Gillis has said, the best players will play the top positions.
So what a nice dilemma to be in with Christian Ehrhoff, Sami Salo, and Alex Edler along with Ballard and Hamhuis all challenging for the top four spots for playing time.
The Canucks now have the minimum number of nine D-men that is required to not only get through the long grinding season, but through the playoffs as well.
Even with the possible departure of Kevin Bieksa, the ‘Nucks still have Shane O’Brien, Aaron Rome, and Andrew Alberts along with some talent that may emerge out of Manitoba and the prospects.
The possibilities still remain that the Canucks could add a depth D-man ($1 million and under) from amongst the ranks of the many UFA’s that still remain.
But back to a few players that Gillis brought in that did not pan out with players like Kyle Wellwood and Steve Bernier.
For those two that didn’t work out a couple others really had the impact he was looking for.
Mikael Samuelsson and Christian Eurhoff both surpassed anyone’s wildest imagination with career years in production.
I didn’t see that coming did you?
Besides the points, they also brought experience and character to the team.
Who knew Samuelsson was one tough Swede to play against in the playoffs and that Eurhoff had 14 goals in him?
If not for the lingering shoulder injury that he picked up late in the season, who knows how much better Samuelsson would have been.
So all in all, it’s time to acknowledge the work Mike Gillis has done to shore up the back end and so far the third line.
Now if there’s still a wild card up his sleeve for a tough third line scorer, then he would get my vote as the best ‘Nucks GM in the Free Agent market signings.