Canucks facing big offseason questions

Updated: May 9, 2013, 9:32 AM ET
By Craig Custance

After getting knocked out of the playoffs one year, the GM of a successful franchise was asked if it was time for serious restructuring of his team. His answer provided perspective.

"Because we have high expectations, our failures are more successful than other teams' successes," he said.

His point was that his team's disappointing season was still better than that of most teams in the league.

Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis can probably relate because there's a bit of that going on right now with the Canucks. High expectations have resulted in some angry fans right now in Vancouver.

But there are also plenty of fan bases and teams around the NHL that would love to have Vancouver's problems right now. The Canucks are a team that was one win away from a Stanley Cup in 2011. A team that has made the playoffs and has had an iron grip on the Northwest Division for five consecutive seasons. A team with two starting goalies and a top line led by the Sedin twins that can play with any in the league.

So when Gillis addresses the media today to share a glimpse into his next steps, he may add a splash of that perspective to an organization that is feeling the pressure that comes with consecutive first-round playoff losses.

If we've learned anything from the Roberto Luongo saga, it's that Gillis won't rush anything. Everything comes on his timetable.

With all that said, this is a huge summer for Gillis, who has earned the right to make the next big decision in Vancouver despite the first-round sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks.

These are the five biggest questions facing the Canucks as they tackle an offseason that started sooner than anyone expected:

1. Is it time to fire Alain Vigneault?