One of my all-time, favourite SNL sketches is “Just Enjoy the Ozzy and Keep Your Mouth Shut.” If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out. And apologies for the quality, I could only find it on a Russian social media site. Also, yes that is a very young Jimmy Fallon on guitar. While I like it because Ozzy does rule, as Tim Meadows so aptly points out, but its also true, and something Canucks management should take heed of.
When Trevor Linden took over as President of the Canucks he promised a more open and transparent leadership. Great, lets people know a bit about whats going on behind the curtain and the thought-process behind certain moves. However, that’s a double-edged sword, one, I think, they are having to deal with now.
My friends (never met them, but have been reading them for awhile and they seem lovely) at Canucks Army highlighted this a couple of weeks ago. Jim Benning in April of this year: “We’ve never once said this was going to be easy or fast.” Jim Benning in May of 2014 when he was named GM: “I like this team – I like the core players. This is a team we can turn around in a hurry.” Again, thank you to Canucks Army that has many more quotes, and specifically @GraphicComments for putting it together.
To be fair he did say “in a hurry” back in 2014, but that’s just semantics. This is the problem with being “open” and “transparent.” You’re never going to remember everything you say and do. These guys are high-level executives at a major sports franchise in North America. They probably have trouble remembering what they had for lunch yesterday they’re so busy.
I get where Linden was coming from, but its misguided. A majority of fans don’t want to hear every detail, or word that was said about something. When I listen to Pucks on Net and they through out a tidbit or rumour, I think “Oh thats cool,” but I never go digging for that stuff. A majority of fans have life to deal with, and don’t need to know, or care to know, every time someone in Utica has to fart.
The big thing here is it s no-win situation, because you will never make everyone happy with this strategy, because things change, you know, like your strategy. Coming out and saying “We’re going to turn this around fast” before you’ve been GM for one game means if you don’t then you look incompetent. Or worse yet, down the road you say something stupid like “I never said that.”
I also think its detrimental to the players. We don’t need to know what every front office person’s opinion of Jake Virtanen is. It’s not good for the player, it’s not good for the team, and it’s not good for the fans. Now every time when something happens its “Oh well Willie said they didn’t like his fitness, that’s why he’s not dressed tonight.” Maybe he tweaked his knee in practice? Maybe he had the flu? Maybe he is out of shape? But guess what, you’ve just created a story where there didn’t need to be one.
All I am saying Trevor, Jim and Willie is we don’t need to be updated on every little thing that is said and done, just include us on the big stuff. Also, for anyone thinking Mike Gillis would do a better job, why is he teaching and not a GM somewhere else? It’s been over two years and this VanCity Buzz 10 Part series does more than enough to back up while he will be teaching for a few more years if any team in the NHL has a brain.