I really don't know what to say. Every team has done something stupid, but I noticed that the Canadian teams seem to take this to a whole new level. Here's what they've done:
Edmonton Oilers: One of their players (who cares which one?) decided to do a car commercial. That's fine, until you get to the opening line of the commercial. Remember it is an Edmonton Oilers player speaking. Here's what he said:
"What does it take to be a winner? It takes....."
I changed the channel immediately. The horror! An Edmonton Oiler telling the world how to win! No wonder the car industry is in shambles!
Ottawa Senators: Their owner Eugene Melnyk said, "anyone thinking this team needs to be blown up should get a bomb and blow themselves up."
The Senators have blown up their team. How come Murray hasn't blown himself up? Why is he still employed? Furthermore, what kind of an owner promotes terrorism like this?
Calgary Flames: The Phaneuf trade. I understand that the Flames needed offence. I respect the fact that they are prepared to take a risk and trade franchise cornerstone, Dion Phaneuf. What I don't understand is why they took the ridiculous package that they took and threw in Keith Aulie and Fredrik Sjostrom.
That's not even the worst part! Why did they choose the Leafs as their trade partner?! If they wanted offense, why would they choose the third lowest scoring team in the league to trade with? You have an abundance of defence; deal with a high scoring team that needs defence, like Washington. What were they thinking?
Montreal Candiens: Filled out their entire roster with small players. First of all, their division rival's GM, Brian Burke, had already intended to create "proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence."
Furthermore, they had the tallest player in the league in Zdeno Chara playing in their division. What if he stepped on them?
I'm amazed they're not all on the IR! However, they often have many key players (think Michael Cammalleri) on IR. They finally learned from their mistakes, as their GM is actively shopping for bigger forwards.
Vancouver Canucks: The Todd Bertuzzi incident. Man oh man! What an incident! The Canucks players had been told by then coach Marc Crawford that Steve Moore needed to pay for what he did to Markus Naslund. For the record, Steve Moore had given a dirty hit to Markus Naslund. That ended with him being out for a week with a concussion (they didn't treat it as seriously back then).
However, Bertuzzi's retaliation was much worse. He grabbed Moore from behind, hit him down onto the ice and was on top of him. The poor guy's playing days were done, as he was injured beyond belief. I like physical play, but even I think this was the dumbest thing any player had ever done. I hated it. I hated it then, and I hate it now. It's as stupid as it comes.
It doesn't stop there, though. The state of Colorado had passed a law because of the high volume of lawsuits in the state. As a result, the lawsuit Moore had pending against pretty much everyone related to the Canucks and Bertuzzi were thrown out, not because he didn't deserve money, but because other people needed to use the legal system as well.
So one stupid incident for the Canucks, and a dumb decision from a legal perspective for the state of Colorado.
Toronto Maple Leafs: This one is hard. There's the Tom Kurvers trade. The Phil Kessel trade. The John Ferguson Junior hiring. In the end, I decided to choose one in which I (as a 12-year-old) immediately knew was wrong. In fact, it was the first time I ever got mad at the Leafs (so this is what started the nightmare for me).
A friend of mine was flipping through the channels when I thought I saw Pat Quinn on a channel in a press conference. He kept flipping. I quickly said, "Wait, turn back."
I motioned for him to stop when he got to the right channel. Then I watched in disbelief. The Toronto Maple Leafs had fired Pat Quinn. I was mortified. He was (and I think, still would be) the best head coach in the NHL. I don't understand why they would do this.
I asked "Why?" to everyone who followed the Leafs. The only answer I got was that as it was Ferguson's first year; they can't respond to missing to the playoffs by firing him, so they allowed Ferguson to fire Quinn. In your life, have you heard something so stupid?
Here was Quinn, a franchise icon, the man who had led the Leafs to the Eastern Conference Finals in two of his seven years and made the playoffs in all but his last year. He's the one to blame? Not Ferguson? This is when I first wanted Ferguson fired. And for the record, as Ferguson's name is similar to Fergie's, it is also one of the reasons I can never like the Black Eyed Peas.
But I must admit, Fergie's hot.
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