Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Impacts Trash Collection

This post related to the winter of 2008. With all the snowy weather, on 19-Dec the District staff advises residents of West Vancouver to retrieve from curbside any recycling that was not collected and to set it out for their next scheduled collection day.

Due to the snow and the continued poor road conditions, recycling collection will only be attempted where road conditions have been deemed safe by the driver on route. Trucks will not go back this week for anything they have missed earlier on.

Regarding garbage collection, next week, the week of 22-Dec, the 2-can garbage limit will be increased to 4 cans for residents missed previously due to unsafe road conditions.

With the holidays on Thursdays of 25-Dec and 1-Jan, residents below the highway between Taylor Way and 23rd will not be getting pick for quite some time. My guess would be that next scheduled pickup would be on 2-Jan.

Ciao,



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Friday, December 05, 2008

Hollyburn Sailing Club Web Cam


This Web Cam is at the Hollyburn Sailing Cubhouse at Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver. The view is of the slipway used for launching dinghies. Hollyburn operates year round. You're more likely to see sailors in the summer. If you get a black window ask youself: is it night time in West Vancouver?


You will need Windows Media Player installed - most Windows/Vista computers have this. The cam is a bit slow (>30 Seconds) to load and is sometimes flakey. Be patient.

Ciao,



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West Vancouver Director of Engineering and Transportation

West Vancouver has internally hired a new Director of Engineering and Transportation. His name is Raymond Fung.

Raymond Fung, a UBC Alumni, holds Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Engineering in Water Resources. His previous position of Manager of Utilities saw him involved in such projects as Universal Water Metering and construction of the water treatment facility at Eagle Lake.

Raymond has worked in the past for the City of Richmond and the City of North Vancouver. He currently chairs the Green Infrastructure Partnership, a consortium of organizations which share a vision of making practices that support “smart growth” principles more prevalent in communities across BC. He is also seves as a peer reviewer for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund Program

As Director, Engineering and Transportation, Raymond Fung will provide oversight of the Divisional functions that include roads, transportation, water, sanitary sewer, storm drainage, garbage and recycling, and the Blue Bus transit system. Ray has been Acting Director of Engineering and Transportation over the past year.

Welcome to your new position Raymond.

Ciao,



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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Electric Powered Cars coming to Canada

A Canadian company named Electrovaya is a leader in the production of Lithium Ion battery systems. This company recently signed a package of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the Chinese.



First of these is with Chana International for the distribution of electric vehicles in Canada. Chana is one of the better know carmakers in China. Their brand is Chang’An. They are backed by joint ventures with Ford and Mazda. The agreement between Chana and Electrovaya is for the distribution of an electric powered, zero emission cars in Canada. The Ben Ben is a Chinese self made car that is selling for a little over C$8,000. The company is currently selling about 2,000 units per month in mainland China. It appears now that Electrovaya will position Chana with an electric variant of the Ben Ben.

Second is with GuangZhou Lange Electric Equipment for battery equipment. GuangZhou is a specialty equipment manufacturer. The two company plan to set up a joint venture for supply of Electrovaya’s battery licensees with high end manufacturing equipment. One might reasonably assume that Chana, or future supplier of the Ben Ben’s batteries is one of these licensees.

Finally, the third MOU is with Shandong Shifeng Group for zero emission light trucks. The significance of this MOU is it points to Electrovaya’s interest in electric vehicles. As there web site states:

"Electrovaya's strategy is to build strong partnerships and joint-ventures with well-intentioned, visionary leaders. … Electrovaya aims to be a dominant global player in this industry of near and long term explosive growth."

Electrovaya’s shares have traded between C$0.18 and C$0.72 in the last 52 weeks. On 7-Nov-08 they closed at C$0.31.

Ciao,



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Hard Hit

I came across this in YouTube.

Phew the kid took a hard one.





Ciao,

Monday, November 03, 2008

Response from John Clark

We have our second response and it is from John Clark.

The only email address I could find for Mr. Clark was one at westcancouver.net. This would be his official Councilman’s email and likely inappropriate for him to respond. The response email received was from a hotmail account. Perhaps good to know Mr. Clark has a hotmail account and responds to emails complete with abbreviations and typo’s just like the rest of us.

The Mayoralty contender’s response was brief and to the point. He acknowledged that the questions were “hard.”

Mr. Clark points out that all business in West Vancouver is “limited to retail in whatever form.” He stated he would like the District’s CAO to be more involved in business development. He states “I would love to see "soft" activity which would enhance our tax base.” I have no idea what “soft” activity is. Maybe you do.

On the use of contract services, Mr. Clark points out that the District does contract our garbage disposal and paving, as well as, shared costs with the other north shore Districts on legal, fire/rescue and public works. He believes that the District needs to be “alert” to the opportunities to contract out more services.

Still no response received from Ms. Vaughan. I’ll give her another week then offer an opinion on the responses received.


Ciao,



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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Response from Pam Goldsmith-Jones

Mayoralty candidate and incumbent Pam Goldsmith-Jones was very quick to respond to my questions with a lengthy email reply.

Madame Mayor’s comments were quite well thought out. Of course some of the material referenced projects and initiatives I have to admit I do not understand. That said, the nature of the response on a diversified tax base was very good. The response on contracting out of government services was less inspiring. My personal opinion is that the private sector, in a competitive environment, will always do a more cost effective higher quality job than the public sector. That belief would colour my view of her response.

Here are some key points of the Mayor’s response:

“Diversifying our tax base is key.”

The council is looking to develop the Wetmore site (22nd and Marine) as was done for 320 Taylor Way (across Taylor Way from the Whitespot). I’m not sure what the District did here but I intend to find out and report back to you.

“The Ambleside strategy recommends an office building for the village (height will be the issue).”

Vacancy in the existing professional office space between 13th and 19th seems to me to indicate that an office tower in Ambleside is not needed. The council should focus on initiatives that bring business to West Vancouver prior to expanding the available office space. Perhaps this is the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality.

“The new community centre board is also viewing how to rent out the space for revenue, and is working with our staff to balance community programming with revenue opportunities.”

Within reason this is a good initiative. I fully support user pay programs for the use of public facilities.

“We outsource where it makes sense, and use our crews if that is the best value for you.”

The Mayor went on to discuss how trees were reused to build a bridge in Parc Verdun and how the District negotiated a great deal on garbage pickup services. I was hoping or hear a bigger picture answer such as contracting out road services or the operation of the recreation center.

Ms Goldsmith-Jones also went on to state “as Mayor, I opened up our Finance Committee to citizens – I am pretty sure no other community is as transparent or open to a fresh look as we are. Our new Chief Administration Officer has begun restructuring to flatten the organization. He has left some retirements vacant, and has reduced a few positions as well.”

The concept of a leaner and more transparent District government is very near and dear to my heart.

We wait for responses from the other two candidates.

Ciao,




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Monday, October 27, 2008

Race to be West Van's Mayor

Two current councilors are running to replace the incumbent mayor in West Vancouver. The field of candidates for the 15-Nov-2008 election is:



Pam Goldsmith-Jones Web Site
Johan Clark No Web Site
Vivian Vaughan Web Site


Two questions were submitted to the candidates by email. The questions were:

What steps would you take to increase the commercial tax base within West Vancouver?

What District programs or services would you consider for contracting out?

I will post any responses I receive. (And I have received some :))

Ciao,




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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Eagle Lake Micro Hydro Project

Did you know that we get over half of the 9.4 million cubic meters of drinking water we use in West Vancouver from Eagle Lake?

Eagle Lake is located on Cypress Mountain. Originally it drained west into Nelson Creek and emptied into Eagle Harbour. Around 1960 dams were constructed on the west and south ends of the lake. These dams diverted the water flow into Eagle Creek which also empties into Eagle Harbour.

Eagle Lake’s history as a source of drinking water goes back to the early 1900’s. In 2001/02 the water supply system on Eagle Lake introduced a new benefit to the resident of West Vancouver. At that time BC Hydro approved a micro power generation project for Eagle Lake. A Czech designed Pelton turbine was added to the roof of the water reservoir. The turbine and harvests energy that was previously lost in a pressure reducing station. The unit has a capacity of 0.2 MW and generates approximately 1.1 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. This ‘free’ electricity represents about 20% of the power consumed by the District of West Vancouver.

Eagle Lake micro power generation is managed by Pacific Cascade Hydro Inc for the owner the District of West Vancouver.

Residents of West Vancouver can be proud that this green project proves, under the right conditions, power generation within a drinking water distribution system is feasible as well as environmentally and economically sound. The project could be duplicated in water distribution systems globally.
Ciao,



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PS: A reader points out that the 20% of all West Vancouver's power use must be wrong. And I agree. I believe the intention of the figures presented by the District's www site was that the project provides 20% of the District's power use. See the comments for the correct intpretation.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

My oh my readers!

I used to watch Saturday Night Live years ago. There was promise of Senator Barack Obama hosting the show on 13-Sep-08. I was keen to watch as I find this passing of leadership from one generation to another an interesting event in the USA. I was young, but I do remember the events of Bobby Kennedy in 1968. It seemed to me that America was struggling with whether to step forward with the ideals of a younger generation or to return to the more conservative approach of Richard Nixon.

Twenty years later Americans seem to be facing a similar challenge. To move forward with a young, articulate, mixed race and, let's be real, untried man in Barack Obama. Or to stay the course with John McCain, a Vietnam war hero, that will continue the policies which have guided America since Ronald Regan presidency began in 1981.

It is good to see some serious poking of fun at the players by Saturday Night Live. Amy Poehler plays former First Lady Hillary Clinton and Democratic candidate for the presidency and Tina Fey plays Sarah Palin current Alaskan hockey mom come VP running mate of Republican John McCain. The opening skit is hilarious beyond belief and will likely be considered classic comedy for years to come. Perhaps even more so should Palin actually ascend to the office of Vice President.

Here is the clip from NBC’s Saturday Night Live home page. Enjoy!

Because of copyright issues you need to go to NBC to see the flash clip. This is the link - I think Click Here
Ciao,



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And maybe it is FLERG which urban dictionary dot com defines as "a limp dick."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

State of the Game

Hello Readers

Yes I am still deeply involved in the playoffs. Last night’s triple overtime win by the Penguins only adds to the intrigue of this hockey playoff season. And frankly who cares if Tiger Woods doesn’t watch hockey.

Thoughts to ponder. The local tab ran with two stories on the game of hockey. One articulate hack flowed forth on the beauty of Game 5. I agree with him. It wasn’t the Olympics or a Canada Cup but it was about the best hockey we’ve seen in quite some time. Young Marc-Andre Fleury faced 58 shots. Stopped 55 of them including 24 in overtime. As the series goes on, we all expect the older wiser Red Wings to win the cup. The intangibles within the innocence of youth may just say "hold on here Detroit the parade isn’t ready to happen just yet." Given a Game 7, even if it is in the Joe Louis Arena all bets are off. Fleury could stop them all and Malkin surely has another post season goal in his young career. Pens win 1-0 in Game 7? Totally not out of the question.

The second story was one of how the NHL General Managers are not talking about no touch icing. The story also touched on the AHL to test one minute penalties in overtime next season. This aggravates me to no end. I’m not a hockey purest but ENOUGH!

Why do we have to keep on going about changing the game to please the collective Tiger Woods. That American TV audience Tiger represents will never buy into hockey. Hockey is not a sport suited to commercial TV audiences. The game is too fast. The game is too unpredictable. Hockey requires an attention span most Americans do not hold. Trying to shoehorn a hockey game into a TV commercial timeout framework, and the resulting trips to the fridge, just ruins a good hockey game. You can sell a few Buicks during a golf game and nothing is lost. The same can not be said for hockey coverage.

I’ve previously written about a Captain’s Club. This season will see a new member inducted to this honored fraternity. Nicklas Lidstrom could win his fourth Stanley Cup and first as the team's Captain. Sidney Crosby and the Penguins intend to stand in the way. Lidstom could become the first European born player to lead a team to the cup win. To me this represents what is right with hockey. Rather than idiotic tweaking of icing and OT penalties what hockey needs is its’ traditions to continue.

Crosby and his band of young guns rise from 3-1 down to win the cup. Sidney hands the cup to team owner Lemieux and the Canadian legacy of hockey leadership continues.

Or… The 50-50 group of North American and European players prevail. This Summer, the cup visits Sweden, Russia, Finland, Czech and Slovak nations. Local boys (and girls) come out to meet the cup and marvel at its beauty of silver and symmetry. They smudge little fingers on the names. The great names Orr, Gretzky, Beliveau, Howie, Messier, Lemieux, Richard, Bossy & Trottier, Roy. Then they recognize the local names. Selanne, Larionov, Forsberg, Khabibulin, Jagr, Fedorov. The little spark that resides in every Canadian boy is kindled. The thought of their name forever etched in that silver amidst the great European, American and Canadians of the game. Their being immortalized as one who has paid the price to be the top is planted. As more Europeans win and now begin to lead teams to win the significance of winning for the North American and European players will balance. And the game, as it was last night, will be always better for it.

No touch icing is pretty irrelevant isn’t it… If you have a comment please add it below.

Ciao,



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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ambleside Park Pictures

The slide show below contains pictures associated with the Ambleside Park post.



Ciao,



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Copy of the Ambleside Park Post



Ambleside Park is the best know attraction in West Vancouver that is not a shopping mall or a ferry terminal. West Vancouver’s citizens gather at Ambleside to socialize, engage in either organized or pickup sports, to exercise themselves and their canine friends or just to enjoy the sea air.



Metrics

The park is bounded on the East by the Capilano River. On the west by 13th Street and Hollyburn Sailing Club. On the North by Marine Drive. On the South by the northern shore waters of English Bay. Ambleside is bisected by the Canadian National rail line.

The beach within Ambleside is a combination of rip wrap stones and sand beach. The sand is 600 meters long and located at the west end of the park. There is 1.2 km of seawall which hugs the shoreline from Park Royal to 13th Street. The park includes 6 sports fields, 2 artificial, 2 grass and 2 all weather (that means gravel). Typical configuration in spring is a baseball diamond, softball diamond, and field hockey. In winter rugby, soccer and football are all played in Ambleside.

Between the CN Rail bridge over the Capilano River and the Ambleside Pitch n Putt there is a modest fitness circuit. The park also includes a skateboard area, 3 basketball courts and 3 tennis courts.

The Pitch n Putt is a small Par 3 course with 1189 yards of total length. The 7th hole is longest at 114 yards and the 45 yard 17th is the shortest. Golfers of all ages and skills harmoniously enjoy leisurely paced golf at Ambleside. Cost is Adults $10 Seniors $8 children $6.



The park has a picnic shelter, total of 18 picnic tables and three barbeque pits. While you’d enjoy a summer day, packed picnic, there is no need no bring your own food as there is a concession and several good near by restaurants. The concession building also houses large change rooms and a life guard station.

Near the concession building there is a play area with swings and other play apparatus suited to children under the age of ten.

The Park is home to the West Vancouver Youth Center and the West Van SPCA kennel.

Locals refer to the large off leash area east of the end Argyle Ave as Dog Beach. This area is extremely popular with north shore dog owners.

How to get there.

There are actually three accesses to Ambleside Park. Other than savvy West Van residents, the majority of use comes from the access off the foot of 13th Street in West Vancouver. Make your way to Park Royal mall and continue west to make a left at 13th Street and you are there. There is parking immediately to the left on either side of the rail tracks or in slots along Argyle facing the beach. Get off the 250 Blue Bus at 13th Street and you are within a few steps of the park entrance.

The other popular entry point to the park is from south of the Park Royal shopping mall. There is a gravel trail that skirts the west shore of the Capilano River and arrives at the Dog Beach portion of Ambleside. Many dog owners use this entrance as there is good parking and never a need to leash fido.



Finally, when you are traveling eastward on Marine Drive there is an access road between the western extent of Park Royal Village and the eastern most artificial turf field. This road is the access to the West Van Youth Center and the SPCA. There are a number of parking spots that are often used by those involved in organized sports.

Park Use

I find it hard to say which of many activities is more popular in Ambleside Park. Just to walk on the seawall seems to be a simplistic approach to a park with so much to offer. But for many that is Ambleside park: a portion of the North Shore sea wall that run west to Dundrave pier.

Upon closer investigation you will often find a variety of uses and users.

Young, and not so young, new moms and dads tend to their children in the play area. Older folkes lounge on the benches. People of all ages swim or use the summer volleyball nets.

Young guys gather in the skate board park or in pickup basketball games on the courts daily. The slightly older dudes park their ‘mercs and beamers along the beach. They gather in small groups to discuss, often in Farsi, the things guys of that age discuss. The counterpart girls are often clutched together on the logs arranged on the sand beach or enjoying a frozen treat from the concession.

Uber power mom’s armoured with latest Lulu Lemon wear purposely stride in pairs along the sea walk making their way to or from their next engagement. Toned metro-sexuals jog at a brisk yet polite pace.

Retired exec’s and their wives stole in pairs. Often the overheard conversation is of kids in university or the merits of a Lexus over the Land Rover.

Down the east end at Dog Beach the pooches rule. An increased level of activity fills the air. Dogs chase their grotty old tennis balls or a stick flung into the ocean. Owners call after their barking dogs. Children noisily interact with their canine best friends.

Across the rail tracks, over at the organized sports fields, the kids compete while the into it moms hang on the chain link fence shouting encouragement. The more laid back parents line the bleachers in their designer shades sipping the Venti sized paper tumblers of fancy coffee drinks.

Clearly Ambleside is the focal meeting place of West Vancouver. Regardless of age, original culture or current socio-economic status our park by the sea has something to offer everyone.

History

Ambleside was originally a garbage dump and log sort. A near by ferry terminal at the foot of 14th Street made the area popular with locals. Park status was given in 1912. While ferries ran to Vancouver beginning in 1868 this site became the ferry terminal in 1914. The Lions Gate Bridge which towers over the east end of the park opened in 1938. Yes, in West Vancouver we do refer to it as the bridge over the moat.



What you might not know.

Green Heron nest in the duck pond at Ambleside Park. This is the only known nesting site, for these birds, on the North Shore.

In addition to ducks and swans there are turtles in the duck pond.

The best time to see cruise ships power out of Vancouver harbour towards Alaska, and the setting sun, is at 5:00PM on Sundays.

The sea wall walk passes under the rail road tracks at the Capilano River. The bed of the rail line is no more than three meters from the ground. Depending on how tall or brave you are, with the luck of timing, you may get far closer to the underbelly of a train than you may care.

Ciao,


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Murph the Dog

Hello Readers

Miss 604, also known as social media guru Rebecca Bollwitt, is doing a series of posts on her popular blog about the parks of our area. I offered and Rebecca agreed that I will make a guest contribution on her blog. My post will be about West Vancouver's Ambleside Park. I’m very excited to be recognized for my writing and have the opportunity to contribute to an established, award winning and well know blog like Rebecca’s Miss 604. Look for my post on Ambleside Park at Miss 604 in the near future.

Saturday (26-Apr-08) the little one and I gave up our normal wander through Lighthouse Park to head down to Ambleside to take a few pictures and inventory the park. The little one’s interest in helping was additionally fueled by her curiosity about the Carnival that, this weekend, was taking place in the park.

While undertaking our reconnaissance mission we met Murph the dog. Murph’s owner seemed quite please that Murph was getting his photo taken and even more pleased to hear that he might make the internet as part of our park story. At the time, I told Murph and his family that the site would be westvan dot blogspot without thinking that the real site would be Miss 604. Then in wordsmithing of the story I began to think would Murph’s picture make the editor's final cut?

The ‘Dog Beach’ portion of Ambleside is an important element of the park. I’m pretty sure Murph will survive the editor’s final cut.

Regardless, meet Murph the dog! He seemed to be having a fairly relaxed time at Dog Beach. We enjoyed briefly meeting him.



If you would like comment on West Vancouver, Ambleside Park, Dog Beach or Murph please enter you comments below.

Ciao,
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Next ‘Nucks GM

Hello Readers

Have you ever been in the situation where you hear something and you’re afraid to repeat it just in case it is true? For the last week or so I have had this creepy feeling about the vacant GM post with our beloved Canucks. When Nonis was let go – and I support that move by the way – I immediately began to think of a potential replacement.

Your thoughts turn to out of work GM’s like Mike Smith, Doug Armstrong and John Muckler. John Ferguson Jr.?

You think of out of work, aging coaches that might like to move into a front office position. Like West Vancouver resident Pat Quinn. Or Pat Burns. Glenn Hanlon?

As well, you might consider some currently active coaches and GM’s who might be on the market if their teams do not do well in these playoffs. Brian Burke might fit this category as would David Poile. Ron Wilson in San Jose? I say Burke because this is the only situation where he might be available to return to the ‘nucks.

Then you consider Assistants to current GM’s who are looking to move up. Of course this list is topped by Steve Tambellini and includes Detroit’s Jim Nill.

And finally your mind turns to players who have the potential or goal of becoming a NHL GM. Trevor Linden is first to mind. Does the role suit him? Remember that GM’s and coaches are hired to be fired. Do we want to be faced with the team needing to fire GM Trevor Linden? There is a more palatable role for Trevor if he chooses.

Then it hits you! Mark Messier. He has stated his desire for a position in management. Until recently he was on the Canucks payroll. Aqualini / Zimmerman know just enough about hockey to be dangerous. Then you hear it suggested on HNIC. And you shudder. You’re afraid to think it, afraid to say it.

I have no delusions about who reads my material. But please great God of all things hockey. NO! NO! NO! Mister Aqualini no! Am I clear in my position?

I’d love to read your thoughts on the next Canucks' GM. Add your comments below.

Ciao,


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Saturday, April 19, 2008

P.J. Stock on HNIC

Hello readers.

Wannabe broadcaster P.J. Stock joined the HNIC crew early this season. The second intermission was 'enhanced' with former players Scott Mellanby and Sean Burke joining the Hot Stove segment as alternatives to the typical cadre of media hacks. Stock seems to have made the best of his opportunity as he has a regular spot with Ron McLean and Kelly (Bobby) Hrudey. Albeit when most of Canada has gone to bed or lost interest as the Leaf's are not in the playoffs.

PJ's time as a player was noted for his excellent fights. The video below is Stock vs Stephen Peat in the '01/02 season. Note two things: PJ's number 42; and how quickly Stock switches from feeding Peat lefts to throwing rights.



If you have commentary on PJ Stock or HNIC, please add it in the comments section below.

Ciao,



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Friday, April 18, 2008

Is the answer to everything 42?

In a shameful attempt to boost Google search hits and thus drive Adsense traffic I have decided to investigate the universal answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. If you do not know why the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything = 42 then click here.

The 1941/42 NHL Season was certainly the answer for the Brokklyn Americans. The storied franchise who's roots began way back in 1888 as the Quebec Bulldogs folded in 1942. The team had a handful of names and locations over its history including the Hamilton Tigers and the New York Americans. The franchise won the cup in 1912 and 1914.

On 18-Apr-1942 the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 3-1 to win the Stanley Cup. Syl Apps was the Leafs' Captain.

For the current NHL maybe 42 was also the answer. The 1942/43 season marked the first season of the ‘modern’ NHL and the first season of the original six.

The list of NHL Players who have worn the number 42 includes sixty five players. There are a few notables. For the Vancouver Canucks only Josef Beranek has worn the number 42. He did so between 1994 and 1996.

Sean Avery wore number 42 in his rookie season ('01/02) with the Detroit Red Wings. Dear Sean scored 2 goals and 2 assists and logged 68 PIM in 36 games his rookie season.

Shean Donovan wore number 42 starting in the '94/95 season and kept the number until he moved from the Sharks to the Avalanche in the '97/98 season. Shean’s association with the number 42 lasted 181 regular season and 12 playoff games.

Bernie Federko finished up his 14 season NHL career with one last year in Detroit. In '89/90 Bernie wore number 42 in seventy three games scoring 17 goals and 40 assists.

In a chance that 42 just might be the answer to everything, fan All Star favorite Rory Fitzpatrick wore number 42 with the St Louis Blues between 1996 and 1999. Heart warming for Rory’s fans until you realize that during that period, always the All Star bridesmaid, Rory only played three games in those two seasons. He hit the scoresheet twice with two minor penalties.

Jamie Linden, younger brother of Captain Canuck aka Trevor Linden, played four games in 1994/95 For the Florida Panthers and wore number 42.

Wannabe broadcaster and long time fringe NHLer, P J Stock wore number 42 in Boston for the ‘01/02 and ‘02/03 seasons. If you are like me you are wondering who the hell this guy is. And why is he getting camera time in the second intermission of HNIC? Stock played 255 NHL games with four teams and tallied a total of 5 goals and 21 assists for 26 points. Don’t take that as critique. Don Cherry never laced them up in the NHL. The fashion challenged one coached six NHL seasons and came as close to the cup as losing, twice, in the finals.

Finally, just to be certain that 42 is the answer. Kyle Wellwood wore number 42 with Toronto in ‘06/07. He notched 12 goals and 30 assists for 42 points.

Ciao,



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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gordie Howe Hat Trick

Maybe you can help me out my readers?

We all understand a Gordie Howe Hat Trick to be the recording of a goal, an assist and a fight on the scoresheet for one game. This feat is fairly rare in the NHL. I had a feeling in the back of my mind that Mister Hockey had not actually recorded as many of the tricks as conventional hockey legend would have us believe. Small debate with a buddy lead me to investigate.

There is a wiki for Gordie Howe Hat Tricks here. Much to my surprise Gordie is reported to have only ever recorded one of the hat tricks named after him. The date was 22-Dec-1955 and the opponent was Boston.

Here is the problem. I want to believe the wiki. But I do not. Do any of you readers have any verifiable proof otherwise? If so please add it in the comments below.

Thank you my readers.

Ciao,



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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

ex-Canuck to Win Stanley Cup

At this time of year it is a bit of fun to play the game of looking for ex-Canucks that have an opportunity to win the cup. Again this year, the crop of potentials is interesting.

The freshest ex-Canuck is Matt Cooke and he has his chance with the Washington Capitals. An outside chance. Still a better chance than Matt Pettinger’s.

The most notable ex-Canuck would be Todd Bertuzzi who now sulks the left wing in Anaheim. I have mixed feeling about Bert having a cup chance with the defending champs. Mostly I would rather not see Bertuzzi’s name etched on the cup. Yet it would most likely be a big relief for Betruzzi to have a shot at a legacy of Stanley Cup Champion and convicted felon rather than just convicted felon. Anaheim also has Brad May who did in fact win the mug with the Ducklings last season.

Two (maybe three) ex-Canucks have the best shot at touching the cup this spring. They include one time rental Bryan Somlinski with the Habs and lovable pest Jarkko Ruutu with the Penguins. Add to this a reasonable chance for D-Man Adrian Aucoin and the Flames IF Iggy and crew can get by the Sharks.

There are a handful of others such as, Alex Auld and Peter ‘Who’ Schaefer in Boston. RJ Umberger, Philly and Marek Malik for the Rangers. At this time I do not think any of them has a legitimate chance.

Finally in the “huh” category. The final two would make good trivia questions. Who is the backup goalie in New Jersey? It is ex-Canuck Kevin Weekes. Which journeyman defenseman is not a Canuck’s property but recently played for the Manitoba Moose? The answer is Dallas Stars’ Nolan Baumgartner. While Baumgartner was recently added to the Stars’ active roster, he has no games played in the NHL this season. Unknown what the rules are with respect to winning and minimum games played but Baumgartner does have the chance to be on the ice when the cup is presented.

Ciao,



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Monday, April 14, 2008

Canada Loves Hockey

If there was any doubt of Canada's passion for the game consider my current situation.

I sit in Terminal B of Vancouver Airport waiting a flight. There are five guys sitting around a TV. Two of use are tapping away at laptops and YouTube can be heard from both. Two guys are debating the "Sean Avery Rule." And I mean debating! I'm considering which is going to get the extra two for being the instigator.

I expand my gaze and notice there is a secondary ring of people all watching the highlights as John Garret whines on about whether Sarich's hit was legal. Next Bill Walters tries to sound authorative on the latest antics of dear Sean Avery.

Yes my readers - as the commercial says - "The cup makes all the difference!"



Ciao,



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Count the number of Swedes

While the Canucks hint at the potential of signing touted free agent Fabian Brunnstrom last night the boys still palying continued their quest for the cup. The Sarich hit, turning point in a 4-3 Flames win, was impressive but what was far more impressive was Marleau got up and played the remainder of the game. Ask yourself, in the video, which staring role would any of Vancouver's swedes played? Hitter? Hit and got up?



Ciao,


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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Trevor Linden Picks the Sharks








Until now I had thought of Trevor moving into a job with the Canucks' organization or with the league. This video is a pretty good effort at the role of analyst. Perhaps Linden will remain with a career in front of the comera.

Ciao,



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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jonathan Roy

Certainly you’ve heard the story by now. Sad that hockey gets such excellent coverage when things get a little off the tracks.



I played the game. I got a late start. Skating, height, weight, bone structure all worked against me. Well those are just my excuses when I see player like Ryan Shannon or the career of Cliff Ronning. My stature is about the same as theirs. Later when the guys were still playing and I was more of a on ice liability than an asset, I took my turn behind the bench. As a coach, I was far better in win loss columns than in goals, assists and penalty minutes as a player.

I’ve seen a lot of junior games though not that many recently. The clips of the dust up between the Ramparts and the Sagueneens Saturday night (22-Mar-08) looks not unlike any Tier Two or WHL game from the 1970’s.

Did I ever send my guys out to engage the other team in a ‘line brawl’ when the scoreboard showed the game was over? No. I never had to. The guys seemed to instinctively know when the time was right. Quite the opposite actually, as a coach I found myself tasked more with getting the guys to channel their aggression into a positive result when a game started to slip away.

Ciao,




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Monday, March 24, 2008

Bobby Orr’s Birthday

Last Thursday, March 20, 2008 was Bobby Orr’s 60th Birthday. I stuck me as interesting on a few fronts. Here in West Vancouver, we had the pleasure of seeing Bobby contribute to Darwin Head’s winning of several cars and $1,000,000 in a GM sponsored puck shoot at GM Place. The hug fest that followed Drawin’s success left you with the distinct impression that Bobby was genuinely excited for the guy. As Darwin made the rounds of local sports talk the next day or two, he returned the sentiments saying the million bucks was nice but the real treasure was he had gotten to hang out with Bobby Orr for a day.

The link between Darwin Head’s success and Bobby’s lack of financial success as a player is tragic. Many believe that Bobby was hockey’s first millionaire. This is just not true. The Boston organization paid Bobby about $75,000 for his first two years. In 1971-72 Boston did award Bobby a $200,000 per year contract with a five year term giving him $1 million over the life of that contract.

In the same era, Derek Sanderson and Bobby Hull were both lured away to the WHA with big contracts. Sanderson was to be paid $2.65 million by the Philly Blazers. Sanderson only played eight games with the Blazers before returning to the NHL. In 1972-73 Bobby Hull was given a $2.75 million over ten years. The contract called for $1 million up front. Bobby Hull was most likely your first million per year hockey player.

Here is an amazing Orr fact that is true. Bobby was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame at age 31, the youngest player ever inducted. Bobby won eight consecutive Norris Trophies between 1968 and 1975. If there is any doubt that Orr defined the position of defense during that time consider that Harry Howell preceded and Denis Potvin followed him as the bookend Norris winners.

Bobby now heads up Orr Hockey Group and is the agent for several players including Jason Spezza, the Staal Brothers, Rick DiPietro and Nathan Horton and several other young talents.




Ciao,

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Friday, March 21, 2008

West Vancouver Point of Interest

I know this has nothing to do with hockey. In addition to my passion with hockey I do spend some time on politics. Much of my current interest is in the happenings with the Democrats’ selection of a candidate for this fall’s USA Presidential Elections. It is funny how we look far afield for matters to concentrate on when often there are often issues in our own home or community left unattended to.

I was reading one of the local free newspapers over toast and tea this morning and a near full page ad caught my eye. Some small group of locals is displeased with the local district council’s fiscal responsibility. Government responsibility, particularly on financial matters, is a subject dear to my heart.

I have no affiliation with this group nor would I foresee any relationship with them. Their desire to spend time and resources on making the local administration more accountable is admirable.

Cursory review of their information shows they have a simplistic view to the use of data to support their position. I found this a bit strange in that they claim higher education and business savvy. Still their message is ‘bang on.’ Government costs too much!

Their web site is here<-click.

I will also offer that I am not a supporter of Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones or any member of the district council. Ms. Goldsmith-Jones was elected, in part, on a platform of economic development in West Vancouver. While I have not done any supporting research, my impression has been that, during her reign, there has been a net negative amount of commercial activity in the Ambleside area. An area Madame Mayor specifically defined as one of her goals for revitalization through multi use projects. I do see posted signs of proposed changes in Ambleside Park and we are all reminded of the enormous construction effort going on at the West Van Rec Centre.

I wonder how hard Mayor Goldsmith-Jones and her team are working to offset these costs through improved and transparent management, business and government partnerships and user pay programs. I encourage the ITAC to continue their efforts to pressure District Administrators towards sound financial management.



Ciao,

Who is the best NHL referee?

Maybe in offering an option on the question we should ask who is the average referee? Analysis of stats at National Hockey League Officials Association web site shows that the average NHL Referee is 42 years old and has been working NHL games for 13 seasons. In that time, on average, he has officiated 565 regular season games and 46 playoff games. The average guy works 39 games per year. There is a 5 in 6 chance he is Canadian born. If he isn’t a Canadian, he is one of the five American born active referees.

The at the top end of the experience scale Kerry Fraser is the most senior referee. Kerry, and his hair, have been policing the NHL for 34 years, has worked 1700 regular season games and 257 playoff games. Don Koharski has 30 years with Bill McCreary and Dan Marouelli both having 25 years. Fraser, Koharski and McCreary all have over 200 playoff games on their resume. Marouelli is not far behind with 179.

Kerry Fraser over his career has averaged 58 games per season. McCreary has the highest average with 70 games per year over his 25 years. Marouelli and Koharski also have similar stats at 64 and 61 games per year respectively. In addition, Don VanMassenhoven, in a 15 year career is currently at a 62 games per year.

The NHL is said to have a ranking system for their officials. Obviously this information is not made public. We do know, however, that playoff assignments are determined by these league maintained rankings. Given the records, McCreary and Koharski should have the highest rankings as they have the highest percentage of playoff games to total games. There are four referees with similar stats in this area. Kerry Fraser is one of the other two, plus a new name to this analysis Kevin Pollock. Pollock has only 10 years of experience which is less than the average. Yet in those 10 years Pollock has been assigned to 68 playoff games. Paul Devorski and Brad Watson join Marouelli in a second tier group just below the four mentioned above.

So who is the best referee? I have no idea. And, keep in mind, the numbers above represent only currently active referees. Using the associations statistics and what we know of league policy, Bill McCreary and Kevin Pollock must have the highest rankings with Don Koharski, Kerry Fraser and Dan Marouelli not too far behind.



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Court Case Decision - Update

On 10-Jan-2008, Madame Justice Catherine Wedge ruled in favour of Aquilini. Her judgement confirmed the ownership of the Vancouver Canucks and General Motors Place rests with Aquilini.

The root of the issue was whether Aquilini had a partnership with Tom Gaglardi and Ryan Beedie at the time Aquilini purchased the team and other assets from John McCaw.

The judge wrote “Even assuming the three men entered into a relationship giving rise to fiduciary duties, the relationship ended in March 2004 as did any fiduciary obligations arising from it.”

This means that, in her opinion, the partnership between the parties ended in March 2004 and prior to the transaction that saw the team ownership change.

As would be expected, Beedie and Gaglardi appealed the decision. On 5-Feb-2008 a claim was made to the BC Supreme Court seeking to set aside the 10-Jan ruling.



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