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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NHL Media - Stop Mailing It In

Nick Kypreos's Report on David Backes
Was Misconstrued
Us hockey fans love to follow our hockey team and the media who cover it.  As a whole, the media has excellent hockey knowledge and sense.  It commands respect.  You must also respect their ability to generate daily media content.  Not many people can do it.  It is a grind.

So, it is bewildering to watch them react to the "elephant in the room" stories.  Many elite members of the media respond with a "no way there can be an elephant in the room" story.  They will identify the obstacles and declare it impossible to have an "elephant in the room" instead of recognizing them as challenges that managers attempt to overcome.

Some will take runs at whoever talks about the "elephant in the room" the way Ryan Hallweg runs players.  We called it "backstabbing" back in the 70s when I first followed hockey.  Backstabbing will involve deliberately (sometimes accidental) misconstruing what was said or simple wilful blindness to the things that give you a real reason to believe there is an "elephant in the room".

Joe Haggerty ( and Nick Kypreos (SportsNet) are the recent victims of backstabbing.  They spend their time in the corners digging for the story and report it to us when they get one, even if it is the "elephant in the room".  Nick Kypreos reported David Backes wants to be paid like Ryan Kesler and Joe Haggerty reported Boston Bruins are interested in Keith Yandle.  In each case, someone responded with a hit from behind "Ryan Hallweg" style.

In the case of Kypreos, someone misconstrued his comments made last night on SportsNet as "David Backes wants out of St. Louis".  Kypreos went looking for the person who backstabbed him just as he would on the ice.  Good for you Nick. It tells the back-stabbers to be ready to drop their gloves if they want to go around backstabbing.

In the case of Haggerty, the back-stabber was snarky, wilfully blind, and misconstrued Haggerty's comments.  Joe responded with the class of John Bucyk and Jean Beliveau by simply correcting the misconstrued comments.  He tweeted, "Bruins like Yandle....all I know".

I do remember how John Wensink responded to someone backstabbing John Bucyk.  Unfortunately, for the back-stabber, he was not wearing a helmet.  I will let you use your imagination.  

As for Haggerty's back-stabber, interest in Keith Yandle ($1.2 mil cap salary) is not the same as interest in Mike Green ($5.25 mil cap salary).  Most teams have budget and cap space for Yandle.  Few do for Green.  Almost every NHL team had a scout at the last game played by Phoenix.  Boston had four!  We do not know how many NHL scouts attended Washington's last game.  I will be surprised if it compares to Phoenix.  You have to be wilfully blind to think Haggerty's report on Bruins' interest in Yandle is baseless.

Final words to floaters in the media..."Stop the back-stabbing and start digging for the puck!  Otherwise, be ready to drop your gloves."

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