Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis was left in an impossible position this offseason. He had a great asset in Roberto Luongo, but received lackluster offers from opposing teams.
Every article I read about is how bad the Canucks are going to do this coming season, but the more I analyze the moves made on the day of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and the coaching change, the more I like this new team.
As much I loved former head coach Alain Vigneault and all he did for the club, it became obvious last year that his time in Vancouver had run its course.
The team might have gotten worked over by the New Jersey Devils in the trade for the ninth overall pick in the draft for goaltender Cory Schneider. But, I still like the Bo Horvat acquisition immensely. We need to see the big picture as fans. The Canucks have a core of aging stars and no blue chippers in the farm system to come in and take over in five years time. Horvat and this past draft has helped start addressing this issue.
I believe the 2013-14 National Hockey League is going to be different from the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. Any team hoping for success next season is going to have to be bigger, young and faster. I believe Tortorella will be using young players regularly in the lineup. With a veteran and class act like Luongo in net, fans will be able to see the value a player of this caliber will be for the good of the whole team.
Looking forward, there are still some more moves that still need to be made surrounding the salary cap. The team will also need to bring in some new blood to play a more defensive-minded, a tougher and grittier style that wins championships in this league.
I, for one, cannot wait for this season’s puck drop and Tortorella’s press conferences.