Proof the Smartest Hockey People Are in Vancouver

If you needed any more proof that the smartest hockey people aren’t in Toronto, but rather in Vancouver, then today, you probably got it.

The Canucks owner, Francesco Acquilini, has finally hired a brand new general manager after firing Dave Nonis such a long time ago.  Eight long, agonizing days ago.

The new boss:  Mike Gillis.  249 games played in the NHL in the 80’s and a current player agent for such players who get paid $6-million a season to score less than 30 goals.  It’s genius.  It’s simply freaking genius.

Now, not a lot of people really know Mike Gillis but he happens to be the agent for Markus Naslund, the Canucks captain soon-to-be free agent as of July 1st.  That’s if he isn’t resigned and brought back as captain yet again. 

This just goes to show that, like most Canucks fans out there who thought Nonis was an incompetent general manager for his lack of trading away some young guns for Brad Richards, the people that run the show simply don’t know jack about the game of hockey.

The message is for Gillis is simple.  He’s a representative of the players that are on the team, namely Naslund.  His job description has changed.  He can no longer adhere to the demands of players because his first and only task is to make the Vancouver Canucks a winning team.  No offence to Naslund, because he has represented the Canucks with class and dignity -there’s no question- but he has failed to win when it matters the most.  He folds.  He becomes soft.  He was a world class player, but he’s never been a world class winner.

If Gillis is to bring this franchise back to some level of greatness (maybe three playoff rounds instead of two) then he will have to part with his client Naslund.  The leader of this team should be tough, inspiring and fierce.  Naslund doesn’t have any of these traits. 

The mere fact that Acquilini brought in Naslund’s agent as the new general manager doesn’t necessarily mean Naslund will be back at all, but it seems suspicious, doesn’t it?

And the fact that Naslund might be back with the simple hiring of his agent just goes to show that there is no hockey sense in this city, and it starts with the owner of the biggest franchise in Vancouver history.


Cam Tucker


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