First some back ground. The season before Gillis had sent a a first round pick, Steve Bernier and Michael Grabner to Flordia for Keith Ballard, a player whose salary the Panthers were desperate to shed. The move left the Canucks with no cap space to sign Ehrhoff. Ehrhoff left for Buffalo in the off season. To pacify the faithful Gillis signed a washed up Marco Strum. In order to make room for Strum, Torres was not resigned.
To the surprise of no one, save Gillis, the Strum signing did not pan out. So Gillis traded Samuelsson and Strum to Florida for David Booth, a player whose salary the Panthers were desperate to shed. If you are sensing a trend, you are not alone. Go to capgeek.com and hit Panthers. This will allow you to see what players the Panthers might want to trade for salary cap reasons. They are sure to be on the Canucks wish list. Anyway, Samulesson finished with more points in fewer games than Booth. Booth meanwhile proved to be better at slowing down Kesler than any opposing center.
To the surprise of everyone Gillis traded Hodgson and Sulzer for guy with 7 NHL career points and a career minor league D man who was a healthy scratch for last 6 games in Buffalo. Gillis amazingly claimed that Kassian would give the Canucks back the toughness they lost when Torres signed with Phoenix and in so doing put the Canucks over the top. Gillis had equally high hopes for Steve Bernier a few years back and Kassian is dead ringer for Bernier. So it appears that the old Marxian maximum applies to hockey. Misguided trades for power forwards occur "so to speak, twice. ... the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." Kassian finished with 3 points in 17 games with the Canucks and Gragnani added 3 in 14. After being benched in 3rd period of both game 3 and game 4 of the playoffs, Kassian was not dressed for game 5. He went pointless in the 4 games he played. Meanwhile Gragnani never saw the ice. Hodgson added 8 points in 20 games for Sabres and Sulzer 8 in 15.
The season is now over and the Canucks biggest decision is what to do with Robert Luongo. There are enough teams in the market for a good goalie and Luongo is still that. However, the rub is this. Gillis signed him to a ridiculous long term contract with a no trade clause. So the Canucks will have their work cut out.
Now, I do not know about you, but I think it would be a bad idea to let the man who traded for Ballard rather than resigning Ehrhoff, who signed Strum instead of resigning Torres and who traded Hodgson for Steve Bernier's doppelganger try to peddle an albatross of a contract that he signed. Gillis should be Fired.
By the way, this is how the numbers breakdown
Torres 15 goals 11 helpers
Grabner 20 goals 12 helpers
Hodgson 19 goals 22 helpers
Samulesson 14 goals 18 helpers
Sulzer 3 goals and 6 helprs
Ehrhoff 5 goals 27 helpers
David Booth 16 goals and 14 helpers and 4.25 million a season for another 3 years
Ballard 1 goal 6 helpers and 4.2 million for another 3 years
Kassian 4 goals 6 helpers
Gragnani 2 goals and 13 helpers
Luongo (age 33) 10 more years at a cap hit of $5.33 million