Even since Steve Tambellini was fired by the Edmonton Oilers last year, the position of being the worst General Manager in the NHL has been vacant.
We all saw this coming, from the way things have been mishandled in Vancouver over the past couple of years. And now, it is official: Mike Gillis is the worst GM in the league.
He has had far too many missteps, so many in fact that he is more laughable than other league punching bags, such as Paul Holmgren over in Philly, who never seems short on making baffling moves and contract signings.
Here are some of the lowlights of Gillis over the past while.
- Signed goalie Roberto Luongo to an insane, cap-circumventing contract. 12 years for a goalie is absolutely insane. Poor decision.
- He made his goalie his team captain. A silly gimmick that backfired.
- Said he wanted to trade Luongo. He couln’t/wouldn’t pull the trigger. As far as rumours are concerned, he had a deal on the table with the Maple Leafs last year, and chickened out.
- Traded his new #1 goalie, Cory Schneider, to the Devils for nothing more than their #1 pick. They drafted Bo Horvat with that one. Other rumours persist that other teams had offered much more for Schneider before the draft. This was a shocking move, but showed his allegiance to Luongo once again.
- Hired John Tortorella as coach of his team. Not a bad coach, but a bad coach for the team that he had assembled.
- Re-signed the fading Sedin twins to long and expensive extensions. Sure, these guys have been the cornerstones of the Canucks over the past decade, but they have already begun a mid-30’s fade, and one year in, this looks like a bad deal.
- Watches as his coach plays backup Eddie Lack a lot more this season than anyone would have expected. Sure, this is more of Torts’ fault, but I’m sure Gillis could have at least stepped in and said something about Lack getting the start in the Heritage Classic.
- Finally trades Luongo. Back to Florida, where he had wanted to be all along. Gets not much in return. Another prospect goalie, who could eventually push Lack for playing time, but that’s about it.
- Seems to run organization so poorly that another top player, Ryan Kesler, has asked out of town. It will be interesting to see how Gillis manages to botch this move as well.
- So much drama on one team. A good manager would have found the problem early and taken care of it. His rotating #1 goalies was a perfect example of gross mismanagement.
Overall, his tenure has been poor. For years, he had a top-contending team, and even got them to the Finals once. But could never put them over the top. Now, they are being forced to rebuild on the fly, as so many of the pieces he has put together have not worked out. Now, a team that had perhaps the best goaltending duo in the league before the draft last year, now has a couple of kids in net, hoping for the best. A coach who isn’t liked. Aging stars who are locked up for years to come at a significant cap hit. Players trying to get out.
And only one person to blame: Gillis. Even though I have no affiliation to the Canucks, it’s time that this clown is let go, and they get somebody competent in there who can run this team, and help turn them around before their very small window is completely closed.