Canucks and Beyond

Having Fun in the Owner's Box

06/30/2008 at 5:33pm EDT

While the blogosphere’s hockey opinionistas seem largely intent on condemning the moves out of Tampa Bay over the last couple days, I’ve been thinking how much bloody fun I’d be having if I was a Lightning fan right about now.

No defense? No problem! No goalie? Who needs ‘em! As Baroque commented on this post earlier: “Maybe they plan on winning all their games 10-8.” Indeed. And how can a 10-8 game not be a good time?

Alright, so we’d have to be kidding about that last part (a bit) but a team building up offense is a great thing for fans. And what’s more, it seems that new team-owner-slash-Hollywood-producer Oren Koules is having a lot of fun doing it.

Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Tribune got this note from Koules last night:

...I asked him, with everything that has gone on over the weekend, what does he have in store for Tuesday, and his reply was “Maybe a big deal!!!!!!’’

Maybe a big deal!!!!!! (Yippee!)

Does he sound like a slightly drunken, giddy frat boy on some hockey rumor message board? Sure. But hell… that’s what I like about him.*

image

In a league with its share of team owners who at their best seem indifferent to the game—and at their worst, intent on building personal empires of corruption—enthusiasm is a great thing.

Will all Tampa’s moves pan out well? Probably not. But the team is certainly trying, and while also appearing to care about giving the fans a show.**

Over the years, it’s that kind of interest from the top that will pay far bigger dividends for Tampa fans than signing the likes of Ryan Malone or Gary Roberts ever could.
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*Trivia: Koules is one of the credited producers of the movies Saw, Parts 1-5. So look at it this way… he knows how to build a winning franchise, and can maintain large swaths of irrational optimism throughout the journey.

**Eric Duhatschek in the Globe & Mail rather famously referred to Tampa’s current direction as a “Gong Show” a few weeks ago. Funny—and it’s hard not to agree—but heck, just look to Vancouver these days if you want to make fun of chaos-in-action…

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