Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 7/13/13
One Goal For several seasons the Vancouver Canucks have been operated by the same three key personnel. Owner Francesco Aquilini, general manager Mike Gillis, and head coach Alain Vigneault have been working together since Vigneault joined the team in 2007, and the goal has always been the same: to win a Stanley Cup. In pursuit of Lord Stanley the team’s ownership has consistently spent up to the salary cap while remaining behind the scenes, pulling the strings necessary to facilitate a winning club. For years the team has been willing to pay the cost of success, offering players like Mats Sundin $10-million per year to play in Vancouver while “saving” money on a front-loaded contract with superstar goaltender Roberto Luongo. Following this formula the Canucks have become a stable and successful franchise, however only recently has the team encountered a price too high for the Aquilini family. Mike Gillis with his back against the wall. The amnesty buyouts offered to NHL teams this off-season allowed for up to two contracts to be bought out without any cap-related penalty, however the actual cost of any potential buyout remained a significant punishment. In the case of Roberto Luongo’s mammoth contract a buyout this summer would have cost Canucks ownership $24-million, and that price was simply far too high for Francesco Aquilini, leaving the Canucks no option but to trade their younger, more affordable starting goaltender. It was an easy decision for Aquilini, who certainly didn’t become one of Vancouver’s most prominent businessmen by spending millions of dollars to cover up a managerial mistake.  In pursuit of long-term savings general manager Mike Gillis committed more of the team’s money to one employee than anyone ever should, and since then the team has suffered the consequences. Enter John Tortorella, an intense and successful head coach expected to succeed where Alain Vigneault ultimately failed. Currently Vancouver’s “window to win” is wide open, and Torts has been hired to see that vision through. But what happens if Tortorella isn’t the man to push the Canucks over the top? Having fired the franchise’s most successful coach of all time general manager Mike Gillis is arguably the man most responsible for the Canucks’ success moving forward, and heading into a full 82-game season I imagine his seat is slightly warmer than it was one year previous. Gillis may have talked a big game during his end of season press conference this year, but dealing Cory Schneider certainly wasn’t one of the bold moves GM MG was hinting at. The Vancouver Canucks have just over $5-million in cap space remaining for the 2013-14 season, and the team’s president and general manager faces a considerable amount of pressure to find quality players at bargain bin prices,  but will it be enough for the Canucks to improve on two seasons of playoff disappointment? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: players play, and coaches coach, but general managers choose them both. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Cavaliers showing trade interest in Kings’ Ben McLemore

Report: Rockets shopping Dwight Howard

Jim Fassel takes issue with Cam Newton's warmup MVP cleats

Report: NFL upholds Vontaze Burfict’s three-game suspension

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

USWNT start Olympic qualification in style by scoring in first 12 seconds

Magic Johnson wants Peyton Manning to join Rams

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker