Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.
‘Free Torts’ isn’t really a big deal
Longtime readers of this blog may remember a bit we used to do called “This is not a story”, where we pooh-poohed some local Canucks talking point that struck us as not nearly as big a deal as people were making it. I bring this up because I had half a mind to resurrect the feature Friday as the “Free Torts” t-shirt controversy raged.
The short version is this: not long after Roberto Luongo kickstarted the “Free Torts” hashtag, two guys — Trevor Lepage and Dan Skolovy – began selling t-shirts with the slogan on them, as well as Tortorella’s likeness, for $20 apiece, with $1 going to charity.
The Canucks weren’t having it. “We love this gentleman’s passion,” Trent Carroll, the Canucks’ executive VP of sales and marketing, told Elliott Pap, “but he was using the likeness of a member of the Canucks to generate personal profit so we unfortunately had to ask him to stop.”
Over at freetorts.com, Lepage explained the situation. “Bad news friends, the man has shut us down. I got a phone call at work this afternoon from somebody from within the organization. They want us to stop selling shirts. Apparently supporting the coach is poor form around here.”
People were mad. Why do the Canucks refuse to let their fans have any fun? Why are they so humourless?
It’s simple, really. Because the Canucks are vigilant and aggressive in regards to protecting their brand, and if you try to profit off the likeness of one of their players (or coach, apparently) without getting clearance, they will come after you. They always have. This is no different, and it’s bizarre to me to watch people act like this is some special thing, or some new thing. They’ve always been jerks about this.
And what, exactly, could they possibly gain from turning a blind eye in this specific instance, but more trouble from the NHL? John Tortorella is currently serving a 15-day suspension for being “an embarrassment to the league”. Tacitly endorsing a t-shirt mocking that ruling — by going against their usual policy of shutting down anything that tries to exploit their brand – is only going to make things worse for them.
You can argue the legality of their cease and desist. You might have a case. But good luck making it in court against their team of expensive lawyers and having any money left afterwards.
Rogers Arena sells drinks to underage beer narc
And hey, if the Canucks are so anti-fun, then how come they sold alcohol to a minor last year?
Okay, it turns out that was a horrible mistake. On Friday, Rogers Arena dodged a bullet, as the B.C. liquor control and licensing board announced that the building would face no fine or suspension for serving liquor to an underage patron on March 14, 2013.
Apparently, the liquor board has underage liquor narcs — undercover agents who go around trying to get liquor — and one of them scored a beverage during a game versus the Nashville Predators. Normally that means either forfeiting a small fortune or your liquor license for a week or so, but the Canucks managed to get off scott-free. Only the server who forgot to ask for ID was let go.
It’s tough to blame him for his actions, though. That was a pretty crazy night. You’d think, on a night where Henrik Sedin scores on a penalty shot, the rules no longer apply.
John Tortorella’s flying clothesline
Back to Tortorella for a moment: this GIF of him coming over the top rope to deliver some stone cold justice to Bob Hartley is pretty fantastic:
If you made it, let us know. It’s been bouncing around the Internet for a few days and we’d love to give credit to the mad genius behind it.
Brian Burke thinks everything is the Canucks’ fault
While the Canucks accepted the punishment handed out to John Tortorella on Monday, Brian Burke and the Calgary Flames were far less passive about Bob Hartley’s $25,000 fine. Brian Burke said he was “perplexed by the fine.”
Then, while speaking to a group of law students mid-week, Burke upped the ante. “I’m not happy with the fine that Coach Hartley received,” he said. “Especially since we all know the Canucks started it.”
This quote made the rounds, but it’s important to note that Burke was joking. He’s crazy, but not that crazy.
Vinny Prospal would rather retire than go to Utica
And finally, does anyone else find it amazing that Vinny Prospal spent one day skating with the Utica Comets and decided to retire? This may be the most damning indictment of the Canucks’ prospect cupboard yet. Hmm…. on second thought, I think I’ll just quit hockey forever.Tags: Free Torts, John Tortorella, spitballin