SCENE & HEARD: In one way, Canucks’ head coach John Tortorella and Aquilini Development president David Negrin have a lot in common. Their mandate is to move things forward today, not tomorrow, with the constant reminder that winning is everything.
While Tortorella’s input is monitored publicly on a daily basis, Negrin engages in a much more subtle — but no less important — role for the Aquilini Investment Group.
Since Concord Pacific’s recent show-and-tell media gathering to unveil plans for the new sports and entertainment district to be named False Creek Central, Negrin has put his version of a Tortorella-like power play into high gear. With the pending rezoning and redevelopment of the Plaza of Nations, the Aquilini Investment Group along with fellow landowner Canadian Metropolitan Properties are fast-tracking their proposal for a community centre and new ice rink that will serve as a Canucks practice facility.
The current traffic congestion on game nights with the West Tower under construction at Rogers Arena is strictly a warmup for what lies ahead.
HERE ’N’ THERE: The influential corporate scoring line of Terry Wright, Ron Toigo and David Poole will be performing Sedin-like magic in setting a target of raising $1 million for this year’s Scotiabank for Alzheimer’s hockey tournament Nov. 16-17 at Canlan Ice Sports in North Vancouver. Those three are working behind the scenes to encourage sponsors to take part in the fundraiser with Gordie Howe as host and participating NHL alumni. With the package including a luncheon and draft night with the former NHL stars, registrations are available through www.hockeyforalzheimers.ca or Robert Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org
SHORT HOPS: Port Alberni’s Gordy Racette, who fought twice for the Canadian heavyweight boxing title that escaped him, will be awarded the Angelo Branca Sportsman’s Trophy at this year’s Confratellanza Italo-Canadese dinner and boxing show Nov. 21 at — where else? — the Italian Cultural Centre. Racette retired in 1992 with 38 wins (28 KOs) and six losses and along the way fought headliners of the 1980s Trevor Berbick, Jimmy Young and Conroy Nelson. The Confratellanza and North Burnaby Boxing Club host the traditional sellout at $100 per ticket, available through email@example.com or John Teti at 604-657-4111 . . . Sean Millington, two-time Grey Cup champion with the B.C. Lions and 2010 inductee into the BC Sports Hall of Fame, will fight Aussie Graham Moore in a super heavyweight exhibition bout as part of the show that includes several amateur fights.
END ZONE: Harness Racing BC president Jim Vinnell has lured popular Jackson Wittup back to the Fraser Downs scene. Wittup, a two-time president of Standardbred Canada, was Director of Racing at Fraser Downs before his leaving to look after personal business in Calgary two years ago. He starts in his new role as an executive director with Harness Racing BC on Oct. 19.
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