I would argue the rebuild actually started with Dany Heatley, we just didn't know it yet.
Though I think the plan was to go into a full rebuilding mode, it's not really the case anymore. Mainly because there were more prospects in the system than anticipated and it seems the early crop of draft picks are working out quickly. Even one we had on the bubble (Rundblad) got flipped for an NHL ready, roster player.
Plus, I think MacLean has shown us that one the team's biggest problems was behind the bench.