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04-25-2012, 07:32 AM
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I applaud him for getting value for Hodgson, as it is becoming clear that he had to be moved. Sure, the bottom for Hodgson is a lot higher than it is for Kassian, but he is truly a rare prospect to have.

I think the Ballard deal is still too early to call. I really like Howden as a prospect, but we got rid of Bernier, and Grabner would have been waived regardless (blame that on AV if you have to, he wouldn't have made the team... not even Tambellini made the team).

That being said, I think Ballard will get a chance to shine next year, especially if a new coach is brought in. I also have a feeling that Edler may move (baseless speculation), so that would slot Ballard into the Top-4, somewhere where he has played comfortably before, and given the right partner, I am confident he can do it again.

I give GMMG credit for making Vancouver a destination for free agents, for treating veteran players with class on their way out, and for maximizing his non-roster budget to expand scouting and trying everything from sleep doctors to travel schedule lobbying to squeeze extra wins out of this team.

I applaud him for carving out a personal identity by not bowing to the old boys, even though unofficial embargos have been in place by the likes of Lowe and Burke and others.

He has a consistent vision and while he is blunt and aloof with the media, there at least is transparancy and no arrogance.

Sometimes though, I would wish he delay his quest of finding a power forward (Backes, then Berner, then Bitz/Mancari/Pinnizoto, now Kassian), and address other needs of the franchise that can be addressed thru the draft, like high end bottom 6 depth, and size on defense. He can afford to take some risks and draft more boom-or-bust picks given the base he has right now.

Mike Gillis realizes that he is in charge of more than a hockey team. Really, he steers the emotion and identity of Vancouver as a whole. That is something that he does not get enough credit for.

I do not agree with every move he makes, but I respect Mike Gillis as a GM, and that is all I think you can hope for when dealing with politicians.

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