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Some Willie Weirdness; Troubled Ex-Canucks Forward Sees Interest

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Vancouver Canucks, Jake Virtanen
Former Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen.

Nothing new regarding the strange and disturbing news on Wednesday that a fishing tournament at a fancy resort in Tofino co-owned by former Canucks defencemen Willie Mitchell and Dan Hamhuis had been cancelled due to “inappropriate behaviour”. The ‘Race for the Blue’ fishing tourney was shut down this week according to a statement on the Tofino Resort and Marina’s website that stated “We have brought in an interim manager and continue to take steps to ensure the absolute safety and well-being of our team.”

The resort website appears to be operating normally at this point, bookings being taken.

The Nanaimo News Bulletin reported on Wednesday that “The resort had been hosting its annual Race for the Blue fishing tournament, which began on Sept. 10 and was scheduled to run until Sept. 17, but has been cancelled along with events at the resort’s 1909 Kitchen and Bar.”

The RCMP would not comment unless some type of charges were involved and there is no indication at this point that any are coming.

The resort’s fishing tournaments have a history of being successful local philanthropic events.

Virtanen to Edmonton?

Abbotsford native and former Canucks forward Jake Virtanen, found not guilty of sexual assault in a Vancouver court in late July, appears to be getting close to finding work, or at least an opportunity, in the NHL.

“I am glad the truth has come to light,” Virtanen said after the trial. “I am looking forward to resuming my career as an NHL player. For my whole life, I have dreamed about playing the sport I love, in the best league in the world. I want to thank my family, my friends, and my supporters, the people who stood behind me through these most difficult times.”

Wish potentially granted.

Rumours regarding professional try-out offers (PTO’s) from the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins are circulating.

Mr. PTO

The poster boy for PTO’s is former Canucks forward Alex Chiasson. He tried out, made the Washington Capitals in 2017, won a Stanley Cup. He tried out, made the Edmonton Oilers in 2018 and played with them three seasons.

Last year’s training camp with Vancouver, tried out, made the team, finished with 13 goals, 22 points in 67 games.

This year, he’s signed a PTO opportunity with the Arizona Coyotes. The man his teammates called “Stu” or “Stuey”, haven’t figured out why yet, is looking to go 4-for-4. (VHN mentioned this likelihood in May.)

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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