Losing that scoring feeling

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

Vancouver Canucks' fans pay big bucks for tickets. But their favourite NHL team isn't delivering good value for the entertainment dollar.

After 14 games at General Motors Place, the home team has scored just 27 times and allowed 35 goals.

Based on 24 hours' calculations at a median single-game ticket price of $68.75, a fan is paying $35.65 per home goal and $27.50 per goal by a visitor.

That's an $8.15-per-ticket deficit, or how much more fans have to pay to see a Canucks goal, rather than a visitor's goal.

The Canucks scored 144 times and allowed 120 at home in 2005-2006 when the median single-game ticket was $64.38. That was $18.33 per Canuck goal and $21.99 per visitor goal, giving last year's ticket holders a positive value of $3.66.

Ticketmaster service charges and GM Place facility charges, now a combined $8.50 per ticket, were not included.

Don't expect the Aquilini brothers to offer refunds. The new ownership trio may need the money to defend themselves in next year's court battle with jilted club and arena suitors Tom Gaglardi and Ryan Beedie.

But Canucks' fans can and should demand a roster shakeup because the personnel assembled by general manager Dave Nonis is not scoring goals. Nor is the group helping goaltender Roberto Luongo keep pucks out of his net.

Most players have been quick to blame lady luck or "the bounces" for not going their way. Defenceman Mattias Ohlund was blunt after Monday's 4-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers: "We're not playing good enough. We're not scoring," he said.

It's evident there isn't enough talent in the minors, so a trade is the only alternative to prevent the Canucks from missing the playoffs for a second straight season.

If Nonis needs inspiration, he need only look at what the San Jose Sharks did 53 weeks ago.

Sharks were 12th place in the Western conference with an 8-15 record when they traded Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau to the Boston Bruins for Joe Thornton. It was the only blockbuster trade of the first post-lockout season.

Thornton, the league's top point-getter and most valuable player, led San Jose to a fifth-place, 99-point finish in the West.

Anything is possible.


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