Confirming Why What Wasn’t Happening Didn’t Happen (Or Did It)

By April 27, 2013Hot Topic, Mike Archer

By Mike Archer. It’s hilarious watching the old media guys over at The Abbotsford News report on the Abbotsford HeatVancouver Canucks story as though they have the inside track or some sort of special status because they know Lane Sweeting.

Lane Sweeting

Lane Sweeting

For those who don’t yet know, Lane is one of the reasons millions of your tax dollars are not available for reducing your water rates, decreasing your taxes or upgrading your water, sewer and road infrastructure. One-term mayor George Peary promised Lane, Barry Marsden Ron McNeil, and Fred Strumski and the Calgary Flames that their friends and neighbours would cover their losses on the Heat for ten years.

First there was talk that the Aquilinis were interested in buying the money-losing Abbotsford Entertainment Centre (AESC) – the other reason your water, rates, and taxes and … you know the drill – with the idea of bringing a Canucks farm team to Abbotsford.

Barry Marsden

Barry Marsden

The newspapers asked everybody they could find who was authorized to deny the rumour and made sure all their readers knew there was no official truth to the matters being reported elsewhere (by people who, as it turned out, appear to have known a lot more about the matter than they did).

When everybody in the media but the local out-of-town newspapers was talking about the talks in New York that will hopefully lead to the Flames using some other city’s taxpayers’ money to finance their player acquisition, the chain newspapers waited to tell their older generation of readers about the story.

Ron McNeil (L) and LMS co-owner Ivan Harmatny(R)

Ron McNeil (L) and LMS co-owner Ivan Harmatny(R)

They had to wait until they could have the story straight from the authorized-knowers at the Abbotsford Heat (after their own authorized-knowers told them what they could and couldn’t say about what wasn’t going on) before saying that the rumour was officially being not confirmed.

Somebody has to keep track of what all the important people don’t want those who are paying for it all to know about.

When the hockey and online media reported that a deal had been done which would see the Canucks buy the Peoria Rivermen, the chain-owned newspapers waited to report that one too, not trusting anyone but themselves to share the denials, but they were a little quicker on the uptake this time, perhaps because everybody but them seemed to, not only know what was going on, but were allowed to talk about it too.

Fred Strumski (right) with Hawkey

Fred Strumski (right) with Hawkey

As they listened to others explain what was going on and made sure to call all of their authorized-knowers for updated denials it must have been with quite a sense of shock and surprise they learned that the authorized-knowers at City Hall had sent out a press release allowing the unwashed to find out that the negotiations which hadn’t been going on at all had failed.

Freed from the constraints of their relationships with their authorized-knowers to talk about what everybody else already knew, they jumped into action and filled the ether and their paper with line after line of mindless speculations about what probably didn’t happen and expressed the opinions of Lane – the spokesman for the authorized-knowers – about what may have happened even though, being an authorized-knower who was close to the negotiations about his money, he couldn’t tell anyone what actually happened.

Glad you got that off your chest guys.

Pretending to know what’s going on can be very tiring too.


  • Aquilini wants to bring his new farm team (the former Peria Rivermen) closer to Vancouver
  • There is a deal brewing in Utica, New York where a group of business men is trying to convince the Flames to move the Heat back east
  • Francesco Aquilini

    Francesco Aquilini

  • The City of Abbotsford has been involved in negotiations to get a deal done
  • The likely stumbling blocks include:
    1) George Peary’s Deal will be hard (or at least dumb) for another city or party to the negotiations to match
    2) Francesco Aquilini is anything but dumb
    3) Someone is either going to have to pay out George Peary’s Deal with the Heat owners and the Calgary Flames or, as one commenter suggested this week, spend $100,000 in court to prove that George Peary’s Deal was illegal which would
    a) free up the Abbotsford taxpayers and probably allow them to seek compensation from those who signed the deal
    b) free up the Flames to move to New York
    c) free up the taxpayers of Abbotsford to sell the White Elephant on King’s Road to Mr Aquilini
  • You won’t read about any of this in your Dad’s newspaper until it has been thoroughly and convincingly denied by everybody involved.

The other possible outcome (shhhhhhhhh) is that George Peary’s Deal is a such a big stumbling block that Aquilini will move his farm team to another arena in the Lower Mainland where they have competent bureaucrats and politicians … but we won’t talk about that one until somebody officially denies it.

To find out what didn’t happen you can read Andrew Holota’s Waiting for a new game next season

To find out why what wasn’t happening likely didn’t happen read Dan Kinvig’s Heat’s territorial rights limit Canucks’ local AHL options

Join the discussion One Comment

  • anne says:

    So I heard Mayor Banman on the radio singing the praises for the Abbotsford Heat, he said, “they give away thousands to charity” isn’t that nice? Of course they can afford to give away hundreds of thousands if they want to, it won’t affect their bottom line one bit.

    I would certainly like to know more about the “Canucks deal” and what they were asking that was so “non-negotiable.”

    Also, this “ten year deal” with the Heat was supposed to have an option for the City after five years, how come nobody’s talking about that anymore? Exactly when would it be a good time to look at that “five year clause” maybe right about Frick’n NOW?

    I don’t think Lane Sweeting and company can figure out by the lowest attendance in the AHL that it’s really time to move, probably because it makes no difference to them if anyone goes to the games or not.

    God knows I do my best to attend all the games on twoonie beer night, but I’m sorry I just can’t get past the whole Calgary thing, and that’s just never going to change.

    I did notice by the way, when the Wolves came to town they charged $9 for a beer and had major line ups, at least they made some money.

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