3. Mike Gillis
Mike Gillis was responsible for knitting together the Canucks’ Cup run window post-2005 lockout. In his first 3 years in the role, he took the team to 2 back-to-back semi-finals, followed by a Stanley Cup appearance in 2010-11. The team also took home the President’s Trophy that same year.
Gillis has experience dealing with veterans and weaving through long-term, lucrative contracts. He also understands priorities, as he flew to Sweden to insure the Sedin’s would have matching contract extensions in the summer of 2009.
He also signed Roberto Luongo to the now infamous 12-year deal which was legal back then. Can he be blamed for locking up the then-team captain and face of the franchise?
Mike Gillis made significant signings and understood the value of keeping core leadership together. The Canucks only missed the playoffs once during his time as GM, and since then current GM Jim Benning hasn’t come close to post-season glory or asset management the way Gillis had.