Marketing wiz new Canucks prez

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

The newest Vancouver Canuck is a self-described "up-and-down winger." But you won't find Chris Zimmerman in tonight's lineup.

The 46-year-old New York native, who played for University of Vermont, was hired yesterday as president and chief executive officer of the NHL club's parent company, Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment.

He succeeds Stanley McCammon, who quit in August 2005 to join a Seattle investment firm.

Orca Bay deputy chairman Francesco Aquilini served as interim president and CEO.

Zimmerman spent the last three years as president and CEO of Nike Bauer Hockey after five years with Nike Golf. The former senior vice-president of advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi was part of the team that developed Wendy's memorable "Where's the Beef?" campaign.

Zimmerman never thought of running a hockey club until a corporate headhunting firm recruited him for the "intriguing" Orca Bay job.

"Every day I'm able to wake up and think I get to work around hockey, around sport and around the business of the sport," Zimmerman said.

Canucks co-owner Francesco Aquilini called Zimmerman "a visionary."

"His past successes have been tremendous," said Aquilini, whose family bought 50 per cent of Orca Bay from John McCaw in November 2004.

- Meanwhile, Aquilini says VANOC and GM Place parent Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment have agreed on a lease for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"We're just finalizing the details," Orca Bay's deputy chairman told 24 hours yesterday. Aquilini said there should be an official announcement sometime this fall.

"I'm confident we're going to have Olympic hockey here in GM Place," he said.


Videos

Photos