I was very sad that today was the first time in probably 7 years I was unable to take the day off from wherever I was in life to enjoy the day. I had made a ritual of not going to school, or more recently booking the day off from work in order to sit home, drinks and snacks prepared, and watch TSN/Sportsnet from about 7am right until bed time. I wasn’t able to continue the tradition and it was difficult to focus on work knowing NHL GM’s were having all the fun. I know this has nothing to do with the Canucks, I just wanted you to know how hard it was.
Coming into deadline day here is what needs were for GM Mike Gillis:
1. 1 NHL Calibre Defenceman (not top flight, depth only)
2. 1-2 bottom six forwards
Here’s what GM Mike Gillis did:
1. Addressed need #1 with the acquisition of Andrew Alberts
2. Did basically nothing with the acquisition of Yan Stastny
Andrew Alberts will be useful in Vancouver, especially now that the status of Willie Mitchell is uncertain. Alberts can pitch in a solid 12-15 minutes on the ice without effort. He is a big, tough guy to play against and won’t make too many mistakes if put into high pressure situations. With Kevin Bieksa still a couple of weeks away and Mitchell most likely longer than that, Andrews will keep the Canucks hopefully atop the NW division. Think a few years back when that depth was lacking and the Canucks plummeted right out of a playoff spot. That was a situation nobody wanted to re-live and with Alberts, Baumgartner and Lukowich in the system all with NHL experience, this should stabilize the blue-line somewhat.
Yan Stastny is an unknown, he is a skill guy who basically lacks enough skill to be a force in the NHL. Unlike the others who come from his gene pool, Yan has been passed around a bit from NHL to AHL and a few different teams and to be honest I’ve seen him play but not enough to determine what his purpose will be. I imagine he will be assigned to the Manitoba Moose, but if he does play in Vancouver it needs to be similar to the role that Jannik Hansen plays, high energy and most likely 3rd line checking.
I’d give Mike Gillis a solid C+ on the day with these moves. It adds a bit of depth and pretty much makes sure the team can’t completely collapse during the stretch run. I like the Alberts deal as it didn’t drain the prospect pool the way any deal for a guy like Dan Hamhuis (whose name was everywhere but in an actual trade). It wasn’t really an option for Vancouver to trade away Cody Hodgson or Jordan Schroeder because those are the guys who need to be developed in order for MG to keep his job. Gillis seems to like making changes in the offseason in order to fully evaluate his team and I’m OK with that as long as he will make necessary changes if the year is unsuccessful.
Enjoy the Detroit game!
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Written by Luke Mirza