Opinion

The Vancouver Canucks Are Like 'Game of Thrones'

Former Canucks captain Markus Naslund has been the subject of rumours to inherit Vancouver
Former Canucks captain Markus Naslund has been the subject of rumours to inherit Vancouver's now-vacant general manager or President position.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons (author blue_collar)

The Vancouver Canucks and George RR Martin.

I don't really watch Game of Thrones. I've seen it and I know what it's about and I get the appeal and I know why it makes you come back and back and back, because it just tortures you with such pleasure, like bondage... it kills off every major character it can, only saving the few it does so it can kill them off later, when you're least expecting it. (Or, if you've been a good boy and actually read Martin's books, you will be expecting it. But, fu*k it. We're not nerds, are we?)

It does occur to me, however, that the Aquilini's ownership group is going about its business like some combination of various Lannisters – and HBO – go about theirs.

Linden. Nicholson. Quinn. Naslund? And don't forget, Tortorella is already there. And I even just heard Brendan Shanahan come up on the radio. Because, sure, why not add another name to the wok?

The Canucks are, quite possibly, just rounding up a posse of heavy-hitting all-star names, all so they can kill half of them off a year later. Tortorella's already on thin ice, unless the Aquilini family treats its Italian-ness like the Mafia treats their Italian-ness, and maybe then Torts will never be fired. Unless there's another -elli or -ini out there looking for a plum salary.

Linden and Nicholson are the cozy Canadian crew. Quinn's certainly capable to be an advisor, in some way, and he lives in the area. Markus Naslund, with his years heading Modo and his intensely cerebral approach to hockey (which he always had as a player), is the most practical choice for anything involving the stick or the whale, which means he probably won't get a shot.

And there's Laurence Gilman, who was Gillis's assistant GM and is still Vancouver's assistant GM. How come he's not getting any lick of a mention during all this? Couldn't he be promoted, like Nonis was when Burke was let go? Twice?

Heads will certainly roll. But the crown will also stay on somebody's head. And, damnit, Joffrey's still alive, isn't he? I just know it... No, wait, don't tell me.

This should be fun.

Will Trevor Linden save Vancouver's season ticket barn fire?

There's been plenty of talk, of course, about whether Linden's fly-in will boost Canucks' season ticket renewals, which have reportedly not been terrific.

That will happen when you crash and burn the way Vancouver has this year, and this crowd's sellout streak was already sorta hanging on by its fingertips, if it was even real.

(There are hundreds of empty maroon seats every game at Rogers Arena, and the Canucks are still puffing up their streak of perfection. It's a lie, I tell you. A LIE.)

Yes, Linden's new deal with the Canucks will boost season ticket sales. But it's not just about what he'll do for this club next year. It's not just about 2015. Far from it.

The only reason you have season tickets – as a Canucks fan – is that you're afraid you'll never be able to get them again. If you bail now, what if the Canucks hit an all-time high in popularity in 2020, and you can actually afford the ticket then?

Season tickets have never been practical. They've been a way to flex your muscle, a chance to show-off little bits of shiny, textured paper and an expensive barcode.

Hiring Trevor strikes fear into the hearts of just-about-to-jump-ship season ticket holders who will keep saying, "Okay, if they don't turn it around next year, then I'll give them up."

And they'll say that until they're dead.

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