Is Gillis too quiet as GM?

HOSEA CHEUNG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

One word can be used to describe Mike Gillis and his tenure with the Canucks so far. Conservative.

Besides the bombshell contract he offered Mats Sundin in the summer of 2008, Gillis has been a quiet general manager.

He predictably signed Pavol Demitra last year while filling out the lineup with smaller names like Steve Bernier, Kyle Wellwood, and Shane O'Brien.

He has been hesitant on making deals, with zero main roster moves at the trade deadline and at the 2009 NHL entry draft.

And so far this off-season, his biggest splash has been extending the Sedins.

So is the new CEO and President afraid to pull the trigger on blockbuster deals, or is he just being patient and waiting for the best possible transactions?

The wait-until-the-last-minute game has plenty of potential to backfire, and with Vancouver still missing a few important pieces, it's time to act soon.

With over a month left until training camp, there are 12 forwards signed, with a target of about 13. That doesn't include youngster Cody Hodgson or RFA Jannik Hansen. Even so, the lack of improvement upfront is fairly noticeable.

On the backend, Gillis has said that he wants to bring in another top defensemen to replace Mattias Ohlund, but options are dwindling down.

With just over $4 million left in cap space, the free agent market for blueliners is weak so trading has to be the most logical route. But what assets are Gillis willing to sacrifice?

Granted, the second-year GM is not a sucker for lucrative deals, but a similar approach last season ended in a second round exit.

And in this hockey-hungry city, that's just not good enough anymore.


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