Canucks and Beyond
And the first NHL team on the list—and in the blackened hearts of Chicago fans everywhere, no doubt—is Bill Wirtz:
5. Bill Wirtz, Chicago Blackhawks: Estimated to be worth nearly $4 billion, “Dollar Bill” is the embodiment of the greedy, frugal owner who refuses to invest in his franchise and instead watches it fall into ruin. His refusal to pay Bobby Hull and Jeremy Roenick led to both players leaving Chicago. He’s also presided over the departures of Chris Chelios, Dominik Hasek, Phil Esposito, the Sears Tower, Wrigley Field and Lake Michigan. As a final slap in the face, Wirtz has blacked out Blackhawks home games for years.
You can check out the rest of Keri’s story for some other dark choices, as well. (Specifically, numbers 11, 13, 16, 17 and 31.)
For a bit of zip, a Vancouver Canucks fan can drive around the city this winter wearing the newest Canucks jersey… on their car.
The wrapped vehicles - autographed by Canucks players including Markus Naslund, Roberto Luongo and Willie Mitchell (pictured) - will be parked throughout downtown Vancouver for the next year. Anyone interested in driving them can do so by signing up for a Zipcar membership. For every hour the Canucks-wrapped Zipcars are on the road over the next year, the company will donate a portion of the fee to the children’s fund.
(I’m not the biggest fan of the new jerseys, but I do want that car quite badly all of a sudden…)
I've been miserably sick for the last week, so a bit behind the times with most things hockey. (Miss 604's fault, incidentally. I had dinner with her and John last Saturday night and apparently she was sick afterwards as well. Clearly she poisoned us both.)
Anyway, other than Jan Bulis
retiring (I mean, continuing his career in Russia...) not much else seems to be happening except for complaining about the new Vancouver uniforms. I'm not a big fan of the new fashions myself, but I think we all know that the Canucks can do much worse. We got off lucky, if you ask me. (For more jersey gossip, Hockey Blog in Canada has the release dates for the remaining RBK uniforms to be unveiled. Perhaps Canucks fans will be in a position to make fun of someone else soon).
One thing I do like as a result of the re-design is the new-look Canucks website that was also rolled out last week. The blue and green looks great. In fact, generally speaking, I don't have many complaints about that site at all anymore (*with the exception of those toxic fan message boards). But whatever your opinion of it, you should at least concede that the Canucks have their acts together online better than some others.
Back in July, Wise Geek did some research into the four major professional sports leagues, looking at the issue of which leagues own their own domains and which teams did not. You'd think this would be a no-brainer in the corporate world... but apparently not. In fact, the NHL is in the worst shape of all the pro-sports leagues, as Wise Geek notes that the "National Hockey League (NHL) has by far the lowest percentage of team name domains, where just 27% of their teams' domain is an official team site."
There are plenty of things to talk about in Vancouver, but I think most of them are getting us nowhere. While interesting, they all seem to come down to "hurry up and wait." For instance: - Trevor Linden is out; Trevor Linden is in; Trevor Linden is baggage??? (Geezus, Tom...) - The Canucks still need scoring. (I quite enjoyed some of the stuff added in the comments here. Well done.) - Peter Forsberg wants to be a Canuck. But he won't be. - The new jerseys are ready to hit the streets. But you still have to wait. (F*#&@!) ...etc So instead, let me point out a real-world mess from last week that botched up my hockey life (and apparently interfered with the lives of millions of other people... although that would be their problem) and made me think about how dependent hockey fans are on technology: the crash and burn of Skype. As it's always easiest, let me first start by blaming Bill Gates:
There’s been months of speculation about the new Canucks logo and it was reignited this week.
Yesterday, Canucks Hockey Blog put up an image of the possible new RBK logo and HF Boards had the same image being debated online there. (It differs significantly from the last “leaked” logo which I put online here back in February).
Does anyone like it? I’m pretty sure I think it sucks, but I’ll try and hold off judgment for a while and see if it grows on me. Meanwhile, I’ve added a poll below, to get an idea what everyone else thinks.
It’s July 17th.
The weather is running in the plus-30c (or plus-90F) range in most of North America.
People are camping or swimming or whatever; generally kicking back a bit.
And, sure, that includes hockey fans—there’s other things in life you know, besides hockey. (Really! Someone told me.)
So, let’s look at what’s going on in the world that doesn’t wear skates… and more importantly, whether it’s likely to distract any of you. For instance:
The off season is full of so many stories, it's understandable that people joke that there really ISN'T an off season for the NHL. But it's the potential for amusement that really stands out to me, and for some reason this week, everything strikes me as worth laughing at. Here are just 5 recent stories that seem to have their own laugh-track built right in:
CKNW radio in Vancouver reports that the Canucks and forward Taylor Pyatt have agreed on a a two-year deal worth over $3 million US.
Pyatt, 25, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The two sides talked earlier this season but were far apart with the Canucks reportedly offering $1.2 million per season and Pyatt looking for a three-year deal worth $1.5 million per year.
I said yesterday, make it $1.2 for three years. $1.5 for two is a reasonable option. Everyone’s happy.
And I couldn’t be more freakin’ bored with it all. Next…!?!
Things have been quiet in the hockey universe leading up to the Stanley Cup Finals, but the wait is now over and the fun stuff starts tonight at 5pm PT.
Meanwhile, I know I’m a bit behind the times, but Ricky’s been on my mind… and I feel like pissing off probably more than half my readers.
What the hell. It’s Monday.
When Rick Tocchet pled guilty to gambling charges last week, I was surprised but pleased. By doing so, he ended the worst of the largely misrepresented omg-gambling-in-hockey! freak out, and gave us hope that we can all move on.
From Bruce Hutchinson at the National Post,
A bitter ownership dispute between two wealthy Vancouver families goes to trial on Monday in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. In one corner is the Gaglardi clan. It claims to have been betrayed by former friends and business associates, the Aquilini family, during a protracted attempt three years ago to purchase the Canucks from reclusive Seattle billionaire John McCaw Jr.
The Aquilinis deny they benefited from confidential information—allegedly obtained from the Gaglardis—when they successfully and very quietly negotiated a deal for the Canucks.
No one saw them coming. The Aquilinis shocked Vancouver’s tightly knit business community, announcing in November, 2004 that they had purchased a 50% share of the Canucks and the GM Place arena.
This, when the Gaglardis seemed within a whisker of closing their own deal, for full control of the franchise.
Well worth a read for Vancouver fans, or anyone who follows the business side of hockey. It’s an excellent summary of the legal situation facing the Canucks, as this prolonged case finally heads to court next week.
Note: I wonder if the “Official Legal Counsel to the Vancouver Canucks and General Motors Place” will be recouping a pile of their February sponsorship investment now? Seems like a safe bet. (Geez, I knew I should have been a lawyer… they always win their game.)
About Canucks and Beyond
Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]