Look, I understand. You watched that free agency feeding frenzy Friday and think the Canucks missed out yet again. Well take a deep breath and relax. For the most part it was all just empty calories. Rather than adding to their strength, much of what happened in the first day of free agency was teams gorging themselves on bloated contracts.
Yes, there were a handful of solid deals made on Friday, but the vast majority involved teams paying for past, as opposed to future, performance.
So, I for one, am glad Gillis had his hands tied by being right up against the cap.
But I know that’s not the state most Canucks fans are in. Seriously, though, some of you have to get a grip. Is it this run of great weather that has left you with nothing else to be irrational about?
Sure, it’s not all rosy in Canucksville. Heck, it’s not even close. There are still quite a few holes to fill in at the bottom of the roster, and pretty much everyone has to perform up to their potential for this team to contend next year. But if you’re going to complain, at least makes some sense! I can’t believe how many times I saw someone tie the lack of Canucks activity in the free agent market back to the inability to trade Luongo.
I mean, sure it sucks that the Luongo contract is untradeable and left Gills with no choice but to move Cory Schneider instead. But that’s not the reason Gillis’ hands were tied on Friday. Even if he had kept Schneider and managed to move Luongo, the Canucks would be in pretty much the same situation up against the cap. There is only a $1.33 million difference in cap hits. That pittance wouldn’t have helped them land anybody of significance in free agency. If it’s not clear already, it should be. The last thing free agents are is free:
And about that inability to trade Luongo… let’s get a couple of things clear.
First, you have to lay some of the blame on Luongo himself. It was Luongo that reportedly turned down a move to the Leafs during last year’s draft. He thought there would be interest from Florida, which has always been his preferred destination. That interest didn’t materialize all summer, then the lockout started and it was the retroactive nature of the Cap Benefit Recapture clause in the new CBA that made Luongo’s contract untradeable.
And that’s the second point. Up until then, it was a very cap-efficient contract. I didn’t hear anyone criticizing Gillis for locking up the world’s best goalie at a $5.3 million cap hit back when it was signed.
Sure, you can pin many things on Gillis, but he had help bungling this situation and some elements were out of his control. And at the end of the day, he made the only decision left open to him: trading Schneider for a top 10 pick in a very, very deep draft.
You want to see how a GM can REALLY turn two assets into one? Look no further than Toronto, where Dave Nonis managed to spend $38 million to turn Bozak and Grabovski into Bozak.
So relax. Take a deep breath. Go to the beach.
It’s only a matter of time before the sky starts falling again and you need your umbrella ella ella ella…