If you’ve been observing Gillis’ moves closely, you’d notice the cultural shift occurring in the Canucks lineup. Specifically, European players are being traded or dropped to be replaced by Canadian players. For example, Steve Bernier, Darcy Hordichuk, Ryan Johnson, Kyle Wellwood, Rob Davison, and recent additions Michel Ouellet and Shane O-Brien have all been acquired this offseason. It’s not a coincidence all these players are much more gritty than those replaced. I’m not bashing foreigners here. I will say, however, players in North America are trained is to be physical, starting at a young age.
Furthermore, it’s every kid’s dream in Canada to one day lift the Stanley Cup. Some foreign players in the past have resented the playoffs because they don’t get paid and it cuts into their tee time. By adding tough, gritty, playoff-ready, Canadian players, the Canucks are poised to become Stanley Cup contenders this year. You may chuckle. We can analyze this in another post. For the time being, I predict the Nucks to finish 5th in the Western Conference.