VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks have no salary-cap space available, a shortage of National Hockey League-ready prospects and lack portability among their key player contracts. Other than that, general manager Mike Gillis’ summer “reset” of the team shouldn’t be a problem.
The week after their second straight first-round playoff elimination, Gillis was still working through his coaching review and a planned summit meeting with ownership, while his top assistant, Laurence Gilman, continued to tour North America for potential minor-league locations.
The really heavy lifting — think Superman shifting the moon’s orbit — still lies ahead. And it doesn’t take a superhero to understand how difficult it will be for Gillis to make even a few impactful roster moves to catch up to the NHL curve towards big, brawny teams.
It took the Canucks years, literally, to configure their team the way it is: skilled, fast and too small up front. The evolution spanned managerial regimes; most of the core players were...