Wednesday, November 17, 2004

News Conference Details

Here are some rough notes on the news conference...

Aquilini group is purchasing 50% of the assets of Orca Bay Sports Entertainment. According to Aquilini, his group is "committed to being investors not managers." The current management group will remain in place.

Both McCammon and Aquilini avoided any specific details regarding the sale. No financial details were disclosed, Aquilini simply stated that the deal is fair and that they are very happy.

When asked why purchase a franchise in a league that is losing money and is currently in a labour dispute, Aquilini responded that they view the purchase as a long term investment and they believe that hockey will be successful in Vancouver. Neither party is concerned with the reaction of the NHLPA or the NHL and they are acting out of self-interest.

Aquilini became interested in purchasing the Canucks nearly 3 years ago. He has been a season ticket holder for 15 years and the deal is both a business decision and one based on being a hockey fan.

The Aquilini Group is involved in real estate, property management, hotel management, as well as cranberry and blueberry farms.

When asked about the possibility of an increased payroll, the response was basically that management will make recommendations and "we'll look at it at that time."

So what does all this mean for a Vancouver Canuck hockey fan?

Well that's hard to say. It definitely means that the Canucks are not moving anywhere, but of course that was unlikely to happen regardless of this deal. Will this mean an increase in payroll? This is essentially an impossible question to answer without knowing the details of a new CBA. Personally, I believe both ownership groups are committed to winning, with the caveat that winning corresponds to financial success. Don't expect a dramatic increase in payroll, but I think you can expect the team to continue its committment to keeping star players as they have with the Bertuzzi, Naslund and Jovanovski deals.

Thats all for now... but here is a reminder that the Manitoba Moose are opening their new building tonight and you can see the game on Rogers Sportsnet at 5:30pst.

Canucks Partially Sold

After a bit of a hiatus I'm back with some real Canuck news. Francesco Aquilini, of the Aquilini group, is buying "half" of the Canucks. Rather than speculating on the specifics, I'll have more info after the 11am news conference.

In the meantime here is an article from the Vancouver Province (it's available to non-subscribers).