Sports

Who's Gonna Be Vancouver's Next General Manager?

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)

Markus Naslund

Not sure whether this is real or whether he's even on the continent, but it's catchy.

Naslund's exit from Vancouver – as a player in 2008, when the team missed the playoffs and he then signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers – was a little odd and almost forgotten, mainly because his final game with the Canucks was also Trevor Linden's final game in the National Hockey League.

Naslund has experience as a hockey exec, as the general manager of the Swedish Elite League's Modo organization. But he's also a little odd, in that Mats Sundin sorta way... he's pretty comfortable doing his own thing, evident when he bailed on the final year of his contract with the Rangers and to retire, even forfeiting the final $2 million of his contract.

After his retirement, Naslund and Forsberg returned to Sweden to play Modo and did it for free.

So, while this would be a particularly decent and homegrown idea, it's kind of hard to tell whether Naslund is even interested or whether the Aquilini family could even sell him on it.

Not to mention, his pal and former agent – Mike Gillis – just got canned. And Naslund isn't speaking, because he never does.

Trevor Linden

It could either go the Steve Yzerman/Joe Sakic way, or it could go the Wayne Gretzky way.

It's more likely Linden would become a President (or something less) than a general manager, because he's not a general manager... at least not yet.

Certainly, this is an idea coated with honey. But does it make sense? No. Of course, this is hockey, and not many decisions do.

On Tuesday morning, Linden told Global BC and anchor Steve Darling that he hadn't had nay conversations with the Canucks, regarding the rumour that he was already the imminent favourite to become the team's new Prez.

Jay Feaster

The most predictable – and probably the most detested, from a fan's perspective – name that could fall into a list like this, Feaster won a Stanley Cup with Vancouver's head coach, John Tortorella, in 2004 with Tampa Bay.

But he then took his show to Calgary, where he failed at several things, including handing Ryan O'Reilly a tragically flawed and basically illegal offer sheet, which was matched by Colorado.

Feaster was eventually rubbed out of the Flames' job by new President Brian Burke, who is now the team's interim general manager. But he did have a pretty darn terrific first round in last year's NHL Draft, even though he passed on Calgary kid Hunter Shinkaruk, who's now expected to be a big piece of Vancouver's next decade.

And Feaster, speaking to TSN Radio on Tuesday, said he would "relish" the chance to work with Tortorella again.

So, will the Aquilini group just try to Copy + Paste what Tampa did 10 years ago?

Hey, they already sorta did that last summer, so it's possible...

Bob Nicholson

He's a name. He just retired as the head of Hockey Canada. Is from Penticton, so... I guess there's that connection.

You won't hear a word form Nicholson until he gets a job, however, and it's not likely he jumps from one gig to something very, very different.

*It should be noted, too, that Nicholson was never in charge of picking Canada's teams. His job was to hire the best people possible to do their jobs, like Steve Yzermand and Wayne Gretzky, among the coaches and organizers who make up Hockey Canada's vast family.

Nicholson is much more of a Presidential candidate. I can't imagine him having any kind of claim to an NHL's GM opening, not right now at least.

Pat Quinn

Like, would it be the craziest idea?

He's gonna be in town this weekend anyway...

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