Thursday, 6 March 2014

Stars vs. Canucks tonight, or, Gaglardis vs. Aquilinis

Temperature in Vancouver, according to Team 1040: frigid, as concerns ownership and management. They’re running a poll asking if fans are happy Ryan Kesler is still a Canuck, and it’s a dead heat at 50-50. Those who are against don’t dislike Ryan or necessarily want him gone, they just don’t want to go through the convulsions the team went through with the Roberto situation. They also don’t believe that the return will be better at the draft in June.

Conversely, there are rumours flying that it was the Aquilini family which nixed a trade with the Penguins, partly because they’ve lost trust in Mike Gillis in executing this or any other trade, and partly because John Tortorella presumably has their ear (they hired him, not Mike Gillis, goes the rumour), and he wants to have him for a playoff push.

This is going to get messy. The Canucks are playing the Dallas Stars tonight, and at the forefront of this clash is that the Stars owner, Tom Gagliardi, used to be a business partner of Francesco Aquilini, and they were in negotiation to buy the Canucks jointly, until the deal broke down and Mr. Aquilini went ahead and bought the team by himself. There were accusations of a double-cross, a messy divorce, the whole thing landed in court.

Since then, the Stars stole Kevin Connauton and a second-round pick from the Canucks in return for ultimately useless rental Derek Roy. They’ve also drafted quality rookie Valeri Nichushkin 12th overall this spring, one slot after the Canucks picked up Bo Horvat, who had to be sent back to junior for more seasoning.

So while the on-ice product from the Canucks for the foreseeable future will not be great, the backroom dealings and boardroom action should be fantastic.

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