Like the concept of a Coach of the Year one season who gets fired midway through the next because (evidently) he suffered a sudden and incurable attack of stupidity, the notion that Mike Gillis no longer knows how to manage a National Hockey League team does not strike me as terribly sensible.

Wherever you think he found the Vancouver Canucks team that won the last two Presidents' Trophies in a row, and got to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in 2011 — whether you are from the ever-popular "inheritance" school (Brian Burke and Dave Nonis handed him the nucleus) or whether you think he has done pretty well, with assistant Laurence Gilman's help, at re-signing and extending that core and picking up a piece here and there to enhance it while it matured — you will grudgingly admit that it's not such a bad thing to have won more regular season games than any team except San Jose during his four-plus seasons in Vancouver.

Has their draft record during Gillis's time here been pretty awful? Yes, with the exception of his initial first-rounder, Cody Hodgson, whose trade last spring yielded Zack Kassian, who scored a goal and fought Edmonton's Ben Eager on Sunday, offering a rare glimpse of the potential the Canucks had hoped to be seeing more regularly by now.

Would Gillis have been any further ahead if he had dropped a grenade into the scouting department upon his arrival here in 2008, and hired a whole new staff? Doubtful. Drafting late is a crapshoot.

Has the Ryan Kesler injury reverberated throughout the lineup so thoroughly that it has exposed all the places the Canucks are weak on the forward lines? Indubitably.

Has Gillis's inability to trade Roberto Luongo for a second-line centre exacerbated the shortcomings of his forwards, or is it a good thing he didn't trade Luongo, given how much the Canucks might depend on goaltending this season, or would they not be as reliant on goaltending if they could score more, or ... which came first, the chicken or the egg?

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