If job security was based on performance at a media conference, Dave Nonis would still have a job with the Canucks, and Francesco Aquilini would currently be looking for work elsewhere.

But the former answered to the latter in the current Canucks’ hierarchy, and even though he feels he got a raw deal, Nonis took the high road when quizzed about his dismissal yesterday.

The ex-Vancouver GM stood by the decisions he made during his time on the job, and said if he had known, he still would not have pulled the trigger on a short-term fix in order to save his own skin. He called that course of action “the coward’s way out”. Nonis praised virtually everyone he ever worked with during his lengthy tenure with the club, and refused to sling any mud ownership’s way. Whether or not Nonis deserved the pink slip is debatable, but the man’s character is not.

As for Aquilini, he may not have looked comfortable in front of the cameras on Tuesday, but that’s of little substance in the big picture. As long as the face of Canucks’ ownership is sitting beside a qualified GM that represents an improvement on the one he just fired, Aquilini can speak in gibberish the next time he appears publicly for all anyone cares. Canucks’ fans have had heard enough talk during the 38-year existence of this franchise to know that actions speak louder than words.

>> The NHL moved quickly to eliminate the type of shenanigans that Sean Avery was up to in Sunday’s playoff tilt with the New Jersey Devils.

In his version of “screening the goalie”, Avery stood facing Martin Brodeur, waving his stick and hands in front of Brodeur’s mask in an effort to distract him. There was nothing illegal about Avery’s antics until Monday, when the NHL created a rule that calls for a two-minute penalty should any similar action take place in the future.

While I happen to agree that Avery’s actions are both unsportsmanlike and cheap, I also wonder how the league and its constituents would have reacted to a different player doing the same thing. Though it would be completely out of character for either, what if Brendan Shanahan or Jarome Iginla had pulled the same stunt? Would it have been viewed as an embarrassment or a creative adaptation based on a loophole in the rules? I’d like to think the NHL would see it the same way, but the cynic in me knows how much reputation factors into such decisions.

Want to weigh in? E-mail me at scott.rintoul@metronews.ca.


How to make a Scott Rintoul: Mix equal parts college athlete, sports fan and broadcaster. Shake vigorously. Serve chilled Monday-Friday on the TEAM 1040 from 6-9 a.m. or online at thetoulbox.blogspot.com.

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