Canucks disrespected Louis Armstrong, should be caned: Edmonton columnist

File photo: Peter Adler.

There are two things you can expect to see the moment the NHL playoffs begin: one, the Edmonton Oilers cleaning out their lockers and going home. Two, because of this, some non-genius in Edmonton will decide to take out his frustrations and make a desperate bid for postseason pageviews from a large fanbase still watching hockey come spring by writing a Vancouver Canucks hit piece.

It’s tradition. I suspect they may draw straws. Get the short one, and it’s your turn to blow some tiny thing out of proportion, point to it as evidence that the Canucks are the great evil, use the 2011 riot as supporting evidence, and then openly root not just for their failure, but also the return of Jesus, who will descend from the cloud and cast them into the lake of fire.

This year’s winner: Peter Adler of the Edmonton Journal, who has written — and this is the actual headline — Here’s Hoping the Unprofessional Vancouver Canucks Crash Out of the Playoffs.

It’s batcrap insane and amazing.

Now normally, we don’t feed the trolls. (We just comb their wild and wacky hair!) But Adler deserves our pageviews, in my humble opinion. If this guy is brave enough to put his byline on something this moronic, well, that’s an act of bravery that needs to be recognized. Peter Adler is basically Randy Quaid in Independence Day: an insane hero who would never have achieved such heroism if not for the insanity.

So let’s dive right in!

Here’s hoping the San Jose Sharks show the Vancouver Canucks the shortest way to exit in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Beating the Vancouverites in four straight games, preferably all shutouts, would be a good beginning.

And let’s hope the irate Vancouver fans, instead of torching their city once again, and turning it upside down, would drag head coach Alain Vigneault out of his office in the Rogers Arena and impose a bit of public flogging upon him. And if they find that his boss, general manager Mike Gillis, agreed with the coach’s most recent actions, put a cane to his backside once or twice, too.

Yes. Adler, apparently back from an enlightening trip to Singapore, advocates the corporal punishment of Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault. Think about that. This article, which appears on the Edmonton Journal website, says that the Canucks’ coach and General Manager literally deserve to have their asses beaten.

But not for no reason. I mean, you have to have a reason to cane a man, right? Fret not. Adler worked really hard to come up with one.

Why? Because of the blatant show of lack of sportsmanship and disregard for the paying public, that’s why.

In their last regular game, the Canucks faced the Edmonton Oilers Saturday at Rexall Place. They didn’t dress some of their better players and then, to rub it in, they had Henrik Sedin appear on the ice ONCE, for all of 22 seconds. Once his first and only shift was over (no shots, no hits, no nothing), they sent Sedin to their dressing room.

The reason for the charade? So as not to break his team-leading ironman streak of 940 games played.

Yep. Henrik’s cheeky little streak-saving shift? That’s a paddlin’. Same with talking out of turn, looking out the window, and staring at Peter Adler’s sandals. Paddling the school canoe? Oh, you’d better believe that’s a paddlin’.

Henrik’s streak was a bit of a cheap move, no doubt. But resting one’s players is sort of a rite of passage for playoff-bound teams. You can understand how an Edmontonian might be surprised to learn this, though. It’s been awhile.

Guess what: it DOES so mean something. Not only to the Oilers. It also means something to the fans, that is, to the people without whose money all those pampered gladiators would be either playing for free (and paying for the ice in their neighbourhood arenas) or engaging in work that is actually useful to society at large.

Disrespect to your opposition shows a glaring lack of sportsmanship.

Peter Adler is claiming the Canucks are the ones disrespecting the fans of Edmonton. Did he watch Kevin Lowe’s last press conference?

But Adler doesn’t just want the Canucks to get birched. He also thinks the league should step in. After all, here they are, trying to recover from a lockout, and the Canucks are showing additional disrespect to the paying customers by shrugging off the last game of the season.

It would be in the league’s best interest to severely punish those perpetrators, before the real boss – the paying customers – take over to inflict some pain on them by themselves.

Just you wait. One day, the offended customers of Edmonton will be given the opportunity to not buy playoff tickets. Then you’ll really be sorry!

Meanwhile, the Oilers’ players pushed it over their final weekend in order to earn their contract bonuses, because if anything tells the fans of Edmonton that their club is playing for them and not money, it’s watching the home team turn on their A-game after being eliminated from the playoffs to pad their bank accounts.

In any case, I’m sure the paying fans in Edmonton were really upset about watching their favourite team rack up seven goals, including a hattrick from their electrifying young rookie, Nail Yakupov. Whenever I see my favourite team lay a drubbing on an opponent, I get downright incensed. I have to use incense to calm myself down.

But the star paragraph of this incredible rant comes when Adler — who has been doing journalism for more than half a century – looks down at the WWLAD bracelet on his wrist and asks, “What would Louis Armstrong do?”

A personal memory here: many decades ago, I got to spend a week in the company of Louis Armstrong, one of the greatest jazz musicians (if not THE greatest) of all time. He was performing in Prague, then-Czechoslovakia, and I was helping out with a documentary and interviewing him, too. He played several nights in a hall that had seen better times, the atmosphere was electric, but the air was much worse than in a badly constructed sauna, and Mr. Armstrong, an old man by then, would play his heart out every single night. I asked him about it, and his answer should be hanging in all of the professional sports teams’ dressing rooms: “Most of those people have never seen me before, it’s the first time they see me perform live. I’ve got to impress them, so they come back. Without them, I’m nothing.”

If there was anyone who had nothing to prove, it was Louis Armstrong.

Sure, but Armstrong never won a Cup. I’d suggest it’s because he refused to rest up in advance of the Jazz Playoffs.

Either way, the Canucks couldn’t even be bothered to play “What a Wonderful World”. It was the worst concert ever.

32 comments

  1. DanD
    April 30, 2013

    Wow, you kind of get the feeling the whole article was written to tell people about how he once hung out with Louis Armstrong.

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    • Bieksa4Mayor
      April 30, 2013

      And I kind of feel like this whole response to the article was written to incorporate hilarious Simpsons references…

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  2. Rivalpiper
    April 30, 2013

    In case anyone was wondering, the best I can figure is Louis Armstrong played in Prague in 1965. Maybe later, but he died in 1971, so it’s somewhere in those years. Adler = dinosaur. Get a new reference, pal.

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  3. Beantown Canuck
    April 30, 2013

    Not to mention the fact that the Ducks and Hawks also rested their core players for road games once the seeds were already determined. Because, you know, it’s a smart idea. Wah wah wah Edmonton.

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  4. Nee
    April 30, 2013

    Bahaha, this is excellent.

    And the thing is, beneath all the ridiculous language, Adler does have a point. Would the fans want to spend the high price for tickets if they knew that the Canucks would be resting a good chunk of their stars? Maybe not. His outrage is ricidulous though. And dragging in the riot reference is pretty low. The article is dragged down into mediocrity by all the nuttybits Mooney highlighted above.

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    • Beantown Canuck
      April 30, 2013

      As a fan I would be more annoyed that my team is awful than about how much respect a team preparing for the playoffs gives to my awful team. And again, there’s no reason to single out Vancouver over Chicago or Anaheim who made the exact same decision being in the exact same position–road games when your playoff seed is already determined.

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      Rating: +14 (from 14 votes)
  5. Pete
    April 30, 2013

    What a doofus. Acting like the Canucks, specifically just this season’s Canucks, are the first and only team to rest its starters and play a bunch of AHL scrubs the last game or 2 of the season when their playoff position and seeding is already locked up. I know the Blackawks sure as hell did that after clinching the President’s Trophy, the team that played against the Blues on Saturday was almost entirely Ice Hogs, not ‘Hawks. I’m sure that plenty of other NHL teams did the same as well, I just wasn’t paying close enough attention to them to say who. And it’s not like it’s limited to hockey, every team in every major sport does it. When’s the last time the starting QB of an NFL team that had already secured the #1 seed actually suited up for the 16th and final game of the season?

    Also, the line about Kevin Lowe’s last press conference was pure gold.

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  6. Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)
    April 30, 2013

    I think the fans who were most disappointed would be those Canucks fans in Edmonton. I’m sure Edmonton fans were appeased by the Yak-trick and watching their own team spank a hated rival.

    As for the rest of the article, I found it read like a disturbing admission of the writer’s own fetishes and am very glad I don’t see his work more often. The one positive I took from it was that he went out of his way not to blame Henrik for the short shift.

    Never change Edmonton press, never change.

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  7. Peter Adler
    April 30, 2013

    These comments remind me of the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ‘em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you’d say.

    Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…

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    • Dave
      April 30, 2013

      …the style at the time…I thought I was the only one who wore belted onions..bosh, flimshaw! & yes, M. Adler, just keep poking at us since you left Vancouver ;) …if it feels good…

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  8. steveB
    April 30, 2013

    according to MicroSoft Office Word:
    927 words
    4,338 characters (no spaces)
    5,252 characters (with spaces)
    18 paragraphs
    77 lines

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  9. Wow
    April 30, 2013

    I’m glad I clicked the link to the article so I could see his photo. He looks like the love child of Lanny McDonald and Pedobear.

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  10. dougster
    April 30, 2013

    My favourite line: “Just you wait. One day, the offended customers of Edmonton will be given the opportunity to not buy playoff tickets. Then you’ll really be sorry!” Well, when your team has had the incredible drafting opportunities the Oilers have had the last few years and they STILL can’t make the playoffs, all that is left is to trash the other team. Your own team is just too embarrassing to comment on.

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  11. Bob
    April 30, 2013

    Obviously this guy is unfamiliar with what the Sedins do in end of season meaningless games against Albertan teams.

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  12. Shand
    April 30, 2013

    What a silly goof

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  13. Matt
    April 30, 2013

    I’m sure Edmonton fans were thrilled – they got to watch their young guns score 7 goals. That being said, I think his underlying point is valid – I have no problem resting one or two players who are a bit banged up, but sitting your entire top line and top two defensive pairings and icing basically half a team is insulting and disrespectful to the people who paid good money to come and see your stars play hockey.

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  14. Mark Ragnar
    April 30, 2013

    If dressing a lineup worthy of the AHL is sin, then Edmonton has many seasons of sins to atone for.

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    Rating: +18 (from 18 votes)
  15. 5th Line Winger
    April 30, 2013

    I think Pete here really needs to get laid. He has some seriously pent up frustration.

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  16. Chris the Curmudgeon
    April 30, 2013

    Being that I doubt anyone with but a glint of journalistic talent would be caught dead in Edmonton, is this type of material from their writers such a surprise?

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  17. Mel
    April 30, 2013

    This article goes with Daniel’s article on Backhand Shelf on why there is no “Canada’s Team.” There is no Canada’s team because Canadians would rather hate on each other’s teams than support them because of geography or any quaint ideas of nationalism. No patriotism when it comes to hockey!

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    • Bob
      April 30, 2013

      Why should there be a Canada’s team? Isn’t part of sports fandom, at it’s very core, the us vs them mentality? If ever the Canucks miss the playoffs I am sure as hell not cheering for Toronto or Calgary!

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      Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
    • Arlo
      April 30, 2013

      I don’t think its about hating each others team. There is no “Canada’s team” because the playoffs are about your team, your city. If a national victory and Canadian unity is what your after then you’ll have to wait for the next winter Olympics.

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  18. akidd
    April 30, 2013

    i guess one way to look at it is that the playing in edmonton is like playing in front of hometown fans judging from the very loud pre-meltdown “lou”s we heard coming from the crowd with each big save.

    or louie armstrong. yes let’s all be like louie armstrong. let’s miss out entirely on three decades the most creative and progressive era of north american music because we’re making too much money playing the same old stuff. ya, that’s giving the fans what they want.

    that an edmonton hockey writer lost his mind is completely understandable. dam draft lottery is fixed because surely it was edmonton’s turn for the first overall pick this year. they deserve the chance destroy young smith’s shoulders too.

    and for a team mired in the muck at least they get a break from the entitled regime that has run the club for so many years. mact will certainly bring a fresh voice to the club. the fans gotta be excited about the fresh start.

    entertain your own fans, edmonton, or seattle, or whoever katz decides.

    disrespecting the fans? from edmonton?!? that’s rich.

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  19. Naturalmystic
    April 30, 2013

    Adler is a disgrace. I suspect he is David Staples.

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    • Dave
      April 30, 2013

      Or a swingline in red…

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  20. best behaviour
    April 30, 2013

    Respectfully disagree – the token shift of the captain was not a cheap move. It would be stupid to risk him, and it would be weird to break the streak.

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  21. someguy232
    April 30, 2013

    This whole thing is all kinds of ridiculous. Overly sensitive Oiler columnist gets pissed that playoff-bound Canucks are resting their top players, then overly sensitive Canuck fans get pissed at aforementioned Oiler columnist for being overly sensitive.

    This entire thing should have been a non-issue and the fact that both sides are actually bothering with this farce is laughable.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      April 30, 2013

      And yet you left this comment. You’ve been sucked in, man.

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      • Dave
        May 1, 2013

        Nuff sed, M. Mooney, let’s continue when we wake ;)

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  22. Carlo
    April 30, 2013

    What a sad column.

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  23. Jacob
    May 1, 2013

    Forget about this nutjob, how do we make Jazz Playoffs a reality??

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  24. simon
    May 1, 2013

    I had no idea that Henrik’s iron man streak was 940 games long, but it’s pretty impressive . I also didn’t know that apparently the 2001/02 & 2002/03 seasons were 78 and 76 games long….

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