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What Do You Want From Us?

Being a Canuck fan has never been easy. Sure, the more recently you adopted this team as yours is in direct correlation with how jaded and bitter you are (and as a fan since moving to BC in '73, I have industrial strength vinegar running through my veins), but after another jaw-dropping low point, I am left wondering: Mr. Aqualini, what do you want from us?

It's time to go.  Now.  Both of you.
It's time to go. Now. Both of you.
Rich Lam

Let's be clear here: I know they want to sell tickets and merchandise. It's a business. And there are going to be some who pay the prices no matter what they are. What I am talking about here is the other cost. Our sanity. Our love for this team. Hell, our love for this game. What I saw last night was a team that's dead in the water. And when you think so much of this was preventable, it makes me shake my head.

Last night, I was angry. Today, I feel that same kind of eerily calm melancholy we saw from John Tortorella during the post-game presser. And damn you for making me feel that way. Being a sports fan is emotional. There are supposed to be highs and lows. But when you see those lows, common sense dictates you do something about them, make the corrections that you need so that we can continue to take you at your word when you tell us you're committed to winning. And that is still the goal, is it not? The Stanley Cup, that most revered of sports prizes, the one that slipped from our grasp yet again just a couple years ago now seems so far away, and yet your actions belie your words. Every moment the architects of this flaming disaster are allowed to continue steering this team back into obscurity shows such a vicious contempt for the people who pour their heart and soul into supporting this team, yet I awoke this morning to see Mike Gillis and John Tortorella still have jobs. What do you want from us?

How many of us have to be driven away? For all the pooh-pooing on the internet about 'true fans' and 'bandwagonners', I find myself not blaming the ones who leave. Why would you want to support a team that seems to want to return willingly to it's darkest days. We've been blessed for a while now to have a team that was competitive. It's the minimum you can ask from your team, that the ownership, management and coaches put a team on the ice that has a chance to be there at the end. And they gave us that. But when things started to slowly unravel, the responses we've seen have left even the heartiest of Canucks haters feeling pity for us, going from a team that was a legitimate Cup threat to one that looks like it's there as a vanity purchase for the owners, with no real aspirations to win, just a way to print money in a city where they were the only game in town.

We've suffered through this before. Bad owners. Incompetent GM's. Clueless coaches. Sub-par rosters. These days were supposed to be behind us. Instead we have gone from having a goaltending tandem that was literally the envy of the league to two rookies. I was calm when I started writing this, but to see the bungling, mismanagement and sheer stupidity that has seen what will probably be the two best goaltenders ever wear this jersey traded away in less than a year. We knew one had to go. Why did it come to this? How on earth could anyone in the organization be alright with John Tortorella all but driving Roberto Luongo to the airport by not giving him the start in the Heritage Classic? The fact that Tortorella has not been for that alone just reeks of the contempt this team has for it's long suffering fan base.

We're not different from other teams' fans, no matter what some try to tell you. For the most part, we're passionate, knowledgeable, and love this team through good times and bad. All we've asked is for you to fulfill the promises you've made. Be men of your words. We've heard Mike Gillis use the term bold moves in the past. We've seen bold moves alright. You have to have gigantic balls to take a team as good as the Canucks were and willfully run them into the ground, while telling us all along that things are fine. Things are not fine. And I know I share the feelings of many in this fan base who are tired of being lied to. Tired of the incompetence. Tired of the constant drama. What more do you want from us? What you are doing to your fans right now is more utterly soul-crushing than what we witnessed in Game 7 against the Bruins. They wish they could hurt us this bad.

Please. Fire them all. Completely clean house, and do not wait. It gets worse with every moment you allow this to continue, and there is literally nothing to lose by acting on this now. The roster moves can be done in the summer, but the brain trust of this team needs the plug pulled now. The cost of eating the contracts of Mike Gillis and John Tortorella is small compared to the loyalty of supporters of this team. We've endured so damn much, and been lied to so many times. Please just show us you actually give a damn about winning, that you give a damn about the fans.

I have to say I envy those who've thrown up their hands in disgust and walked away. Right now, I wish it was that easy. I would love to just say "You know what? Screw you!" and either find a team that treats their fans less like idiotic ATM's or just walk away from the game entirely. Sadly, my emotional investment in this team is so deep, I will likely never walk away. And I don't know who I hate more for that: you, or myself. Either way, this has to end. We need you to show us that you want this team to get up off their feet. Waiting til the summer is not acceptable. Missing the playoffs is not acceptable. The last two first round losses weren't either. Yet with all of these failures, you speak volumes by either not addressing them, or by failing in the way you chose to address them.

Each loss brings this team closer to the teams we've tried to avoid being like. And while over the years, I have become immune to the slings and arrows of most other fans, the fact that Oilers fans are ecstatic about the way this team has unraveled is truly sad, and reason enough for you to take action. I don't want to become so bitter and jaded that I turn away and willfully ignore how truly bloody awful my own team is and get off on the downfall of another team, like we see so many Oilers fans doing. I do feel bad for them though, because after they've finished their nightly troll-fapping to the latest Canucks loss, they wake up with chafed wieners and the sad realization Kevin Lowe is still running the show, and their ownership continues to tread water and milk the fans (as well as the city) for millions.

I found the perfect song to wrap this up, given Kevin Bieksa's comments on HNIC the other day. See you for the latest tire fire tomorrow, everyone.