What’s the proper way to say sorry to the fans?

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The lockout is over, training camps are open, but there is a debate among hockey fans on what the league and it’s teams should do for the fans to make up for them missing half a season of their beloved sport.

Gary Bettman has said he’s sorry, but what was he supposed to say? And does anyone care? The Pittsburgh Penguins are offering 50% off all merchandise and free concession items, while the Tampa Bay Lightning offered 200 season-ticket packages for their 24 home games for $200 on a first come, first served basis.

For their part the Canucks have opened up Rogers Arena this week for their abbreviated training camp. They will also hold a “Jersey’s off our backs” night for Saturday’s season opener against Anaheim. The team says there will be other giveaways and random prizes given out during the season.

But that’s not good enough for some fans, who feel the team should be a little more generous if they hope to maintain their loyalty. The reality is however, at least in Canada, they don’t have to. There is a waiting list for season tickets that spans years, so the Canucks have that in their back pocket, and know that soon hockey fans will forget. Probably after the first big save by Cory Schneider, or the first tic-tac-toe play by the twins. Canucks fever will be back, it’s already back so if you’re expecting that half price jersey, don’t hold your breath because if you don’t buy a full priced one, ten other people will.

In Winnipeg the MTS centre was sold out for the Jets first practice of the year. The buzz in Edmonton isn’t “what can you do for me”, but is instead one of getting to watch their exciting young team possibly contend for a playoff spot. In Toronto the rink will be packed as they hope for the arrival of a goaltender from the west coast that could help them get to the playoffs in a post Brian Burke era.

Talk of boycotts of this and boycotts of that are noble and understandable stances, and everyone is entitled to their own way of dealing with the return of hockey, but they likely won’t last long with the true hockey fan.

In the end, I would have been happy with the league making their Centre Ice package free for the duration of the season. A quick look at the Shaw Cable website shows the package is mentioned, but not available to order at the moment. Could it be a discount or free offering is in the works? We’ll have to wait and see, but there would be no better way to get fans interested again than to give them maximum exposure to what promises to be some intense hockey once we get going.

What individual teams do is obviously going to depend on the market they are in. Teams in the U.S. will no doubt have to make more of an effort and Canadian fans will  point south and say, “What about us?” In a way it’s a shame that the game’s most passionate fans will likely get the fewest perks when it comes to post-lockout apologies, but let’s face it…Canadian fans already have the biggest prize they could hope for; their game is back.

Ryan Kesler stars in “The Guzzler”. When you’re facing elimination, there is one man you turn to.

Just thought we would have a little more fun with the Kevin Bieksa interview done by FOX Sports Radio that was all over social media yesterday. To lighten the mood a little before Game 5 a We played around with a classic movie poster to bring you a SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS Production, The Guzzler.

Enjoy the game everyone and as The Guzzler himself would say, God Bless America!

GO CANUCKS GO!

Ryan Kesler - The Guzzler

Random thoughts of a thin skinned blogger before game two.

Well, game two is hours away and there is a consensus out there that it’s a pretty important one for the Canucks. It may well be, but let’s not forget that the Canucks had a 2-0 series lead in the finals last year as well. It would however be nice to see the Canucks get back to their game. Cut out the cheap stuff and trying to read the referees and just play the game. The rest should take care of itself, even though it is entirely possible that this Los Angeles team that everyone said at the start of the year was a contender, may be peaking at the right time.

Thin skinned…yeah sure…ok.

So I guess I fall under the thin skinned people that various bloggers were referring to in reference to the Kingsgate Twitter scandal. I never got worked up about it; it’s just not the way I would run my organization. There are certain models that businesses follow to achieve their goals. Whatever your preference is that’s fine. My preference would be to have my organization represent itself with class, and it does that in spades with @VanCanucks. To each their own I guess…Jim Rome has a popular talk show for a reason.

But what about Cory?

Wait! How can I scold the kings for their Twitter indiscretion but condone what Core Schneider said about Edmonton you say? Well, Schneider was already in full apology mode for making these comments in response to being asked about why the Canucks seem to be hated so much:

“You look around the league and people don’t like us and Pittsburgh and we’re two of the better teams. You saw Darcy Hordichuk and Ben Eager in Edmonton. Nobody cares about Edmonton so nobody hates them. It’s that simple.”

Now anyone who knows Cory and the type of person he is would understand Schneider was referring to the fact that no one hates last place teams. Unfortunately his words weren’t chosen wisely. I wonder if those same bloggers will accuse those folks in Edmonton of having a thin skin? The shame.

Postgame Circus

I don’t how talk show host do it. Driving home after Wednesday’s game, I turned on the postgame show on @TEAM1040 and couldn’t believe the calls that were coming in from fans. One caller called in saying the fix was in and that Gary Bettman has decreed that because of the television market, Los Angeles shall win the series. That the Bitz hit turned around on the Canucks would have resulted in a two minute penalty at the most, guaranteed. I ended up having to turn it off. The insanity was too much to take, which is unfortunate because I enjoy pregame and postgame stuff generally. Some people clearly need to step off the ledge and take a few deep breaths after a loss.

Pregame Video

The last regular season game I went to I tweeted that the Canucks pregame video was rather uninspiring. Wednesday night they made up for it with a great intro video that got the hairs raised and the goose bumps sprouting. The Canucks do a great job of these in general, and it was great to see them crank it up for the playoffs.

Can it Kesler

Please Ryan Kesler, just get back to being a dominating two way scoring threat! Leave the other crap behind and just play like we all know you can. We need Kesler leading…not getting taken off his game by all the after the whistle stuff.

Anyone but Raymond?

I don’t think Mason Raymond is cut out for first line minutes. He just doesn’t finish well enough to be playing with Henrik. I’m not sure what the answer is while we wait for Daniel’s return, but I’m not sold that Raymond is the answer. That said, every time I voice this opinion he seems to go on a two game scoring streak.

Thank me later.

Off to the game, GO CANUCKS GO!

Interview: CBC’s Shane Foxman and Karin Larsen sit down to talk about the return of Seeking Stanley.

During last season’s grueling run to the Stanley Cup Finals a new post game show was born at CBC Vancouver called Seeking Stanley. The show, featuring hosts Shane Foxman and Karin Larsen, returns for another playoff run and will begin this Saturday, March 3rd following Hockey Night in Canada’s After Hours. The original airings will be a half hour show running from 10:30 to 11:00pm and promises to give Canucks fans extra coverage of things they normally don’t see on the highlights each evening.

We had chance to chat to Shane and Karin about the show, the social media components to it and what fans can expect from this year’s show.

CanucksCorner.com: Like the Canucks, Seeking Stanley on CBC had a long run in last year’s playoffs. This year you are starting things a little earlier, so what can we expect for this year’s season of the program and why the earlier start this year?

KL: The earlier start is due to a perfect storm of scheduling of the Canucks on Hockey Night in Canada. Seeking Stanley has always piggy backed off “the big show”, using the resources (cameras, video feeds, personnel) that Hockey Night has in place. Plus after an eight and a half month absence, it made sense to get the show out there early to remind people.

Seeking Stanley’s primary objective is to provide bonus Canucks TV coverage, take the viewer behind the scenes, in the dressing room, coaches presser etc. Whereas Hockey Night is a national show that covers the games from a much broader perspective – we only care about the Canucks and our aim is to bring that local story to the BC fans.

CanucksCorner.com: I think it’s safe to say that most fans were exhausted by the end of the finals last year. Can the same be said for the media, who may not be as emotionally invested, but certainly face hectic schedules as part of their job?

SF: Absolutely. By the time we got to the Stanley Cup Final we were exhausted. It wasn’t the 14 hour days, it was the travel. Leave the rink in Boston at 1 am… you need to unwind…flight for Vancouver leaves at 6 am (You have to get up at 4). Not complaining though, it was an unbelievable experience.

CanucksCorner.com: Have you ever thought of having a social media component on the show? Perhaps have some local bloggers and Twitter personalities participate in a social media roundtable with the hosts?

KL: We hadn’t thought of that specific application of social media in the show. We will have a social media twitter component in the show this year. It’s still being worked out and will probably evolve as the show progresses.

CanucksCorner.com: Sticking with social media for a bit, have you considered holding a live “Tweetup” taping for Seeking Stanley or perhaps something like a town forum environment?

KL: A tweetup may be in our future. One of the reasons we hosted a media and blogger launch on Wednesday is because we recognize the importance of social media to engage and interact with our audience. Social media, particularly Twitter, is flooded with Canucks posts all the time and when there’s a game, the Canucks and hockey related keywords are consistently trending. It’s what people are talking about. We want to make sure we are a big part of that online experience.

CanucksCorner.com: Will the show be active during games and post game on Twitter and Facebook? Fans should follow the hashtag #SeekingStanley, correct?

SF: Yes, as far as the Hashtag goes we’ll be using #seekingstanley, and yes, we will be active on twitter during the games and during Seeking Stanley. We want to be as interactive as we can.

CanucksCorner.com: Last season, Cliff Ronning was a guest on Seeking Stanley. Will he be back or will you incorporate more Canucks alumni this season?

SF: Cliff Ronning will be back. Not only can Cliff tell us what it is like “in the room”, he also was part of the Canucks’ magical 1994 run. He knows what it’s like to play in game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. That perspective is invaluable.

CanucksCorner.com: What makes Seeking Stanley different from other Canucks focused shows?

SF: Access. Because the games are broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada, it gives us a great opportunity to take viewers were they seldom get to go. In the locker room, but not just for a 10 second sound bite of a player… we will let the viewers see and hear the entire conversation between reporters and players… we run the coaches’ post game news conferences in their entirety, so viewers feel like they are in the room.

CanucksCorner.com: Finally, a prediction: Will the Canucks finally find Stanley, after seeking for all these years?

KL: As a born and raised Vancouverite, dear god I hope so.

SF: If not this year, when?

Our thanks to Karin Larsen and Shane Foxman for chatting with us about Seeking Stanley.

When: Following every Canucks Saturday HNIC broadcast and Canucks playoff games, starting March 3rd at 10:30pm

Where: CBC, CBCHD in BC.

Website: http://www.cbc.ca/bc/features/seeking-stanley/#igImgId_27450

Twitter Hashtag: #SeekingStanley Follow: @CBCVancouver