Mike Gillis Discussion Thread
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03-04-2013, 03:19 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Originally Posted by
What did Burke do, outside of drafting the twins and Kesler? Honest question.
When Burke was hired, the Canucks were one of the worst team in the league.
That year, in 1998, the Canucks finished with 58 points, and had the 4th overall pick.
Soon, he traded for Jovanovski and Morrison, and they help formed the nucleus of the West Coast Express era.
Minor, but still important transactions, included the trade for Trett Klatt, and the signing of Andrew Cassels, who added depth to the center position and was virtually a #1 or #2 center for much of his time here, and Scott Lachance, a good and reliable stay at home defenseman.
The hiring of Crawford was also the right move, because he allowed Naslund and Bertuzzi to flourish.
Finally, he did draft and sign Bieksa.
A more questionable move might be the acquisition of Cloutier, but he did have a couple of 30+ wins seasons.
Under Burke, the Canucks had an improvement of 20 points in the very next season, and they made the playoffs 2 years later.
After that, the team continued to make the playoffs, and were always one of the most entertaining teams in the league.
All this time, he had to build a team with an internal budget of around $40 to $45 million dollars, a middle of the road budget, against juggernauts who can spend $70 millions plus.
Of course, Burke made his fair share of mistakes, which included his weak drafts, some useless bargain signings, his eternal search for goalies, and his hardline stance on salaries, which caused important role players to sign elsewhere.
However, I do credit him with the turnaround, and the building of an entertaining and strong product on the ice.
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