Gillis looks desperate in Prospal PTO offer

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/National Hockey League)

Poor Mike Gillis. The problem is obvious: his Canucks are 18-0-4 when they score three goals or more and 8-17-5 when they don’t (excluding the shootout).

They’ve managed to win three of their past seven games, despite scoring only eight goals in regulation/overtime. But they’re still just 3-6-2 in their past 11, with 18 goals scored, and sit in the NHL’s bottom third overall in goals per game.

Gillis tried to find offense without giving up anything, when he attempted to coax Vaclav Prospal, who will turn 39 Feb. 17, into a professional tryout with Vancouver’s American League affiliate in Utica.

Prospal led the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2012-13 with 30 points in 48 games, but he couldn’t land a contract this season. Gillis just about got him to Abbotsford, where the Comets were set to play the Heat Friday and Saturday. Instead, Prospal decided to retire, leaving Vancouver’s GM looking desperate and the Canucks still in dire need of offense.

Prospal finishes his career with 255 goals and 510 assists for 765 points in 1,108 games. His final NHL goal was a beauty, coming against the San Jose Sharks April 21, 2013.

His biggest regret might be leaving Tampa Bay for Anaheim before 2003-04 – the season the Lightning won their only Stanley Cup. He was traded back to Tampa Bay that summer.