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Francesco Aquilini discusses Canucks captaincy, potential logo changes

Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini didn’t specifically say Bo Horvat is going to be the named the next captain of the Vancouver Canucks, but he pretty much all but confirmed it.

Aquilini joined Sportsnet 650 on Thursday to discuss the captaincy and potential changes to the current Canucks logo among a variety of other topics.

Aquilini compared the Canucks 50th anniversary season to the team’s 40th anniversary season in that it’s the beginning of a new era. The Canucks held a special ceremony prior to their home opener against the Kings in 2010 in which Orland Kurtenbach, the first captain in Canucks history, presented Henrik Sedin with his new captain’s jersey.

Aquilini gave off the impression that their will be another special ceremony before the home opener on Wednesday at Rogers Arena against the Kings to celebrate the start of another Canucks era.

“This is the start of a new era,” Aquilini said. We’ve added five new players. We’ve seen Quinn Hughes emerge, we’ve seen Pettersson. I mean we got a great new core. I’m really excited. I think this year is going to be really fun to watch.”

Aquilini also explained that fan interest has been going up heading into the 2019-20 campaign.

“We’ve had a few rough years, but this year we’ve seen a really marked improved sales in our group sales. We’ve had an increase in season ticket sales. That’s a good indicator for us. When season ticket holders come back, that means they have confidence in the team and they like watching the Canucks. We are happy with where things are going.”

“I remember when we had our 40th anniversary, it was very exciting,” Aquilini said. “Henrik Sedin was named captain, we’re going to name our captain on Wednesday – it’s probably the worst kept secret in town, but I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag!”

Aquilini explained that he’s seen leaders emerge among the Canucks group last year.

“Somebody who is a captain for the first time doesn’t know how to be a captain until they are a captain,” Aquilini said. “Captains are guys that take responsibility. It’s a great honour. They’re the first guys that hold the cup when they win the Stanley Cup. They’re the guys that have to communicate to the media and the fans when things aren’t going well. It’s a big responsibility. Jim and Travis felt that this is the time for someone to step up and take on that role.”

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Aquilini expanded more on how he hopes the Canucks don’t just have one captain, but several leaders — much like the Los Angeles Kings team that won Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014.

“To succeed I think you gotta have like five captains on the team,” Aquilini said. “Just because one person wears the ‘C’ doesn’t mean that the other doesn’t provide the leadership that’s needed. When you look at those years that LA won those cups, they had five captains on those teams. There was a lot of leadership on that group. That’s what we’re hoping for. We’re hoping for not just one person, but a whole group of guys emerge.”

Aquilini also discussed potential upcoming changes to the Canucks logo. The Canucks brought back the black flying skate jersey as alternate jerseys for this special season. Will the Canucks have a new logo in the future?

“Personally I like the logo,” Aquilini said. “It’s indigenous to the region. “We’re going to keep it, but we might tweak it. It represents the current generation. Those logos were at that time and they represent the fans at that time. We’ve got a whole new group of fans. They identify with this logo. They like this logo. We don’t have any plans to change it, but we might tweak it a little bit. I think it’s a good things that our fans can connect with our current logo. There are some fans that don’t like it, but there always will be. We’re going to keep this logo.”

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Aquillin went on to explain that he likes the “hockey stick logo” the best outside of the current Orca logo.

You can listen to Aquilini’s full 30-minute interview on Sportsnet 650 here.