Thursday, April 17, 2008

Trouble in Paradise...or not

Vancouver, the most livable city in North America according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is also the bank robbery capital of the continent, according to a Police press release. Still, the titular analogy doesn't really fit my tack for this post. I highly doubt anyone would have referred to GM Place and the Vancouver Canucks as paradise. Nonetheless, there is trouble.
People were expecting the last remnants of the pre-lockout Canucks to become history this offseason, but instead the man who led the Canucks out of the lockout has seen his head roll. General Manager is"unemployed for the first time in 20 years."
The general consensus is that Nonis will go down favorably in the history books for the Luongo deal alone, but as Tony Gallagher said, that deal basically fell into his lap. However, Nonis did bring the solid drafting that was lacking during the Brian Burke era. Still, Nonis must use some incredible hand cream for his trigger finger is really never itchy. No one will attack him for maintaining his deep prospect pool, but other than the Luongo deal, no proven players came Vancouver's way during Nonis's reign from 2005-2008. Yes, the team is rock solid on defense, and goaltending is outstanding, but fearlessness will be required starting July1st. The Canucks have around $2o million in capspace to fill at least 5 roster spots. This is an opportunity the team has to make the most of, for the Canuckss are almost at the point of being a legit cup contender. A successful offseason should move them up those extra notches.
The '08 draft is also said to one of the deepest ever. Current caretaker GM Steve Tambellini is known for his astute judgment of prospects, so a permanent promotion for him may not be a bad idea, particularly if the opportunity to draft rugged centerman Kyle Beach comes along. His acquisition would go a long way to beefing up a team regarded as too small and too soft. They say leave the pros to their work, so I'll refrain from further armchair GMing, but since the hockey sense of the Aquilini family is, as of yet, questionable, I will suggest a resolution.
Pry Jim Nill, another astute draft mind and pair him with Tambellini as co-GMs, stockpiling some amazing managerial talent. Then slot in Captain Canuck, Trevor Linden, as assistant GM as he learns more about the executive side of the NHL. Tambellini knows the organization inside out, Linden knows the CBA inside out and Nill knows drafting inside out. What more could you want? As Nonis keeps insisting even after losing his job, the Vancouver Canucks are a but a few pieces away from a deep playoff run. Let's just hope the new guy(s) can unearth those missing cogs.

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