Did I miss the last few seasons in Canuckland? The majority of media here and across the continent seem to think that Dave Nonis actually did a good, and even a great job, putting together the current Canucks team. Some suggest he has actually has planted the seeds for future success (= an underachieving regular season followed by a flukey run to the Final?).
My guess is the media, like us fans, grew so bored by the style of play that Yogi Bear (aka Alain Vigneault) created, they began having delusions and thought Ryan Kesler was actually Mike Richards and that Alexander Edler was really Mike Green. Sure the Canucks have some talent but nothing compared to even the teams behind them like the Oil or the Hawks.
As far as cap space that's all well and good but Nonehead's track record at getting ready for primetime free agents to sign and come out to the Wet Coast has been poor. It seemed like Minnesota's drecks--Marc "Don't Call Me 'Guy' " Chouinard, Richard Park and yes, you Willie "get a shorter stick so you can actually hit some forwards with passes" Mitchell are not exactly the second coming of Gretzky, Kurri and Coffey.
Let's slice through all the "we have the best goalie in the world you should sign with us" mantra. Big-buck, big-name free agents did not flock to Buffalo in the Hasek era nor did they descend on the New Jersey swamp while Brodeur was in his prime. OK, Roy in Colorado might've swayed the pickups of guys like Rob Blake, Ray Bourque, etc., but then again, Pierre Lacroix also had some trump cards on the forward line, too.
Bottom line is no freewheeling top scorer is going to choose a team based on a world-class goalie who fronts New Jersey West. It's either money or a chance to play with an equally (or better) talented forward ("Hello, Ryan Smyth, this is Joe Sakic, come on down!").
So where to from here?
Well, before panic sets in about having a GM in place for the draft, Burkster and Nonehead did not exactly draft well so it's hardly likely even if Steve Tambellini is still the interim GM that he could do any worse running that show.
Basically, time to cut the Pat Quinn acolytes' cord and get a proper regime in that will build an actual team that will stop talking about our "core."
Plus I even forgot to mention how Nonehead basically got nothing for UFA Ed Jovanoski last season and will leave the new GM with nothing in return for '08 UFAs Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison. Good job, Dave. You wouldn't change anything, eh?