by Brian Beitz
A while ago, it came to light that the Canucks were employing a sleep doctor to help the team deal with the rigours of its incredible travel schedule throughout the season. While a little unorthodox, the Canucks organization felt it was one of the reasons the players were able to be as successful as they were last postseason. We also know that the team employs Len Zaichkowsky, a sports psychologist brought in to help the players prepare for games and to keep them calm, cool, and collected.
So when the federal government announced today that they would be cutting 10 per cent of Canucks nemesis CBC’s annual funding, we at Smug Nation became very suspicious. After some investigation, we’ve discovered the Canucks may have been more involved than we originally thought, and from there, the ball just kept rolling.
Smug Nation has just uncovered the five specialists the Canucks employ that you didn’t know about:
1. Budget Lobbyist
The Canucks have retained a lobbyist to work the corridors of Ottawa power and influence federal spending. On the agenda this time? Reduce the funding to the CBC and its HNIC hatchet jobs. Pressured greatly by fans who have had to listen to Ron MacLean’s spearing of Alex Burrows and Mark Lee’s play-by-play every Saturday night, the Canucks brass decided that something needed to be done. Ironically enough, it was the money they saved from Burrows’ contract that allowed them to afford the lobbyist. Got a pun for that one, Ron? When asked how the CBC would adjust for the cuts, a high-ranking insider answered, “I guess we won’t be able to focus on West Coast hockey quite as much.” Meanwhile, Smug Nation was assured that the cuts would not affect plans for the extension of Mr. D.
2. Anarchist Infiltrator
By now we’ve all heard about the “This is Our Home” campaign released by the Canucks to encourage everyone
not to be complete idiots to celebrate responsibly during the 2012 playoffs. What you might not know is that the idea for this video came from within the ranks of the black bloc anarchist networks themselves. How did the Canucks come upon this information? Smug Nation has discovered that some poor BCIT student has been working unpaid under the title “Health and Safety Intern” to infiltrate the bands of hooligans and provide the organization and the city with clues as to where they might strike next. While we can’t uncover the identity of the poor schmo, we can tell you that a report he issued claims the hooligans “seem disorganized at times” and that “it appears [his] search for a mastermind behind the riots has been mysteriously fruitless.” While much of the remaining report had been redacted, our Smug insider read the sentence “I think they just need to be reminded that they’re burning their own shit.” Solution? This:
3. Intellectual Property Hawk
It turns out that Vancouver isn’t the only thing the Canucks organization calls “Ours.” They’re also fairly particular about anything displaying Canucks logos and images. Hence the employment of their intellectual property lawyer. Sure, you can say whatever you want about the team, but post one lousy Vinnick image anywhere near your insignificant blog’s watermark and BOOM! Hawked! They’ve also patented swinging a white towel in the air, shouting “Woo!” after goals, and the expression, “Winning da turd.”
4. Stuart Smalley
Let’s face it. There are some among us in the Canucks fanbase who might be somewhat critical of our favourite team from time to time. Sure, we love the players when they’re playing well, but when they aren’t—well, let’s just say things get said. This can have its effect on players in the long term. To counteract this, Mike Gillis put Stuart Smalley on retainer as the team’s life coach and motivational speaker. He’s a caring nurturer, a member of several 12-step programs, but not a licensed therapist. His kind words and daily affirmations have been key in pulling the Canucks back from the brink of insanity, though some mistake their new feelings of self-worth for arrogance and cockiness. Stuart is a genius. It was he who first walked up to Roberto after a game and said, “No, they’re not booing you! They’re… Lu-ing you.” So don’t fret about the Canucks’ mental health, my little Smuglies, because they’re good enough, they’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like them.
5. Power Play Coach
This one is top secret, but word from our insider is that the Canucks have hired someone to help out their power play. Judging from recent play, this one seems a little far-fetched. Perhaps we can dismiss it as a rumour.