Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Two GM's That Should be Fired

   When the Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers hired Mike Gillis and Paul Holmgren to be their respective GM's, there was a great sense of optimism as they were fresh faces trying to rebuild struggling franchises. Holmgren got a lot accomplished in his first couple years acquiring players like Kimmo Timonen, Daniel Briere, Scott Hartnell, Jason Smith, Joffrey Lupul and Chris Pronger. Gillis meanwhile slowly build the Canucks by acquiring players like Mats Sundin, Manny Malhotra, Dan Hamhuis, Keith Ballard and Christian Erhoff. However things greatly changed over the years.
Holmgren built a good team in Philly but the only problem he had was goaltending. This was due to signing the majority of their core players to massive front loaded contracts. This led him to trading Mike Richards and Jeff Carter to make room for goaltender Ilya Bryzaglov. While the Flyers finally got a quality goalie, he decided to sign him to a nine year contract. Bryzgalov's time in Philadelphia was filled with inconsistent play which led to him being bought out last year. Another bad move on Holmgren's part was the Pronger signing. After trading for him during the 2009 NHL draft, Holmgren signed him to a seven year contract. The only problem with the signing is that the contract kicked in after the 09-10 season when he was 35 years old -- which meant that if he were to retire before the contract ended, it would count towards the salary cap. Unfortunately during the 2011-2012 season, Pronger suffered a season ending concussion and it is very unlikely that he will play again.
   Gillis meanwhile has made questionable decisions in the last couple of years. After being knocked out in the opening round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, it was greatly rumored that goalie Roberto Luongo would be traded due to poor play and the emergence of backup Corey Schneider. The only problem with that was a lot of teams did not want to inherit his huge 12 year contract. This goaltending controversy lasted up until the 2013 draft when Schneider was traded to the Devils for a draft pick that ended up being Bo Horvat. It was greatly implied that Luongo would stay in Vancouver but after not playing in the Heritage Classic on Sunday, he was finally traded back to the Florida Panthers for Shawn Mathias and goalie Jakub Markstromm. He could of gotten a lot more for Luongo but it would have been much better if the Canucks kept Schneider than having two unproven goalies in Markstrom and Eddie Lack. Another questionable move was trading Cody Hodgson for Zach Kassian back in 2012. Hodgson has emerged as a quality player in Buffalo while Kassian has not played up to expectations.
   What ever happens between now and the end of the year, if both teams fail to make significant progress (make the playoffs, have a successful run), management should really consider starting new by firing both men of their respective posts for their respective teams.

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