February 28 2011 07:42PM
Gillis at the Deadline:
This wasn't Mike Gillis' first trade deadline as an NHL GM, but it was certainly his most revealing. In 2009, Gillis stood pat – Sundin had been his big midseason acquisition and Gillis was still restocking a feeder system left atrophied by the Burke/Nonis regime. (*) In 2010, Gillis had more pieces to play with; early in the day he moved disgruntled former client Mathieu Schneider, and swapped AHLers with St. Louis. In his biggest splash of the day – the word “splash” being applied generously in this case – Gillis exchanged a third rounder with Jim Rutherford for Andrew Alberts right at the deadline. Though it's a small sample size, there is a pattern that corroborates two things Gillis often reiterates to fans and the media – he prefers not to make large deals at the trade deadline, though he is comfortable waiting to the last minute, or as he ironically calls it: “working to a deadline.”
February 23 2011 02:48PM
Photo (Nick Didlick/Getty Images)
As expectations surrounding the Vancouver Canucks have skyrocketed the past couple of years - fans have developed a tendency to deal with defeat by blaming individual players for team performance. Mitchell and Luongo were the goats after the 09 Blackhawks loss, and Bieksa took a lot of flack all summer for the most recent loss to Chicago. In both cases – I'd suggest to you that the consensus view was unfair.