Assessing blame for events that transpired on the night of June 15th in Vancouver is no simple task. The Vancouver police, the city, residents and hoodlums have all been determined to hold some accountability for the damage and destruction on the night of the Canucks’ Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.

At no point, though, has anyone or any investigation claimed that the NHL itself be held accountable for the devastation levied upon the city of Vancouver. That is, until now…

Here’s what the city’s internal report had to say on the NHL’s preparedness for the riots, via the Globe and Mail:

“In spite of four Stanley Cup riots in the last five years, [the NHL] has no approach, no policy and no apparent strategy to work with host franchises and municipalities on this issue.

[This] clearly … threatens the value and perception of their brand.”

Suzanne Anton, a Vancouver city Councillor, scoffed at what she called “disengagement” on the league’s part in their reaction to the events:

“I was pretty shocked in that report at the disengagement of the league. They need to own their own brand better.”

We’re shocked indeed. Shocked at the pettiness of the city to try and deflect blame onto the league for the riots. We can’s seem to recall the NHL pressuring the city to invite 100,000 people downtown to watch the game outdoors.

The NHL has rejected the city’s criticism, according to Rod Mickleburgh’s report in the Globe and Mail. The results of the internal report are to be debated further at a special council meeting on Tuesday.

Let’s try to keep this from getting any more embarrassing than it already is. Stay classy, Vancouver.


Flyers GM Paul Holmgren injured in ‘serious’ bike accident. [CSN Philly]

I bet my beer league team could out drink your beer league team, Steven Stamkos. Stamkos plays beer ball. [Toronto Star]

Jesse Boulerice’s wife announces his retirement on Facebook. [Puck Daddy]

Who will answer Steve Yzerman’s visor challenge in Tampa? [Raw Charge]

Alex Ovechkin’s April Fools prank. [RMNB]

Can Joe Colborne become another Pete Stemkowski-type of player for the Leafs? [Vintage Leaf Memories, via PPP]

Brent Burns calls the shit ‘poop’. [BoC]

Andrew Ference fires up the North End

Stick tap Days of Y’Orr

Comments (3)

  1. May I remind everyone again that Vancouver is about the 75th city in North America to have a sports-related riot? And the 1000th in the world? (note, both numbers are educated guesses)

    Perhaps it is not the NHL that is to blame, but the culture surrounding all sports? In which case it is certainly not the city’s fault. Considering the NHL, and all sports leagues/teams really, are consistently trying to “pump” up the crowd, it is merely increasing passion. Passion which can turn to violence easily in such an instance.

    I’m not suggesting the NHL is the #1 culprit – there is no one thing that stands out to me – but they do have some element of responsibility in these matters.

    And I still think there is nothing embarrassing in the Vancouver riot that hasn’t been seen in the thousands of other sports riots around the world. Oh, except nobody died, so I guess that’s embarrassing?

  2. Just once I would like to read an article where someone acknowledges how frustrating this is for Vancouverites. We never asked the mayor or the police department to play the blame game but all the journalism around the topic has made it seem like we have.

  3. “Considering the NHL, and all sports leagues/teams really, are consistently trying to “pump” up the crowd, it is merely increasing passion. Passion which can turn to violence easily in such an instance. ”

    Which would be fine, except the rioting started before the game even ended. Blame should entirely be placed on the entities responsible for the organisation and policing of the crowds in the public area, not the league, whose responsibilities end at the arena doors (unless there’s any issue of over-serving of alcohol or anything like that, which is a complaint I haven’t heard levied against the NHL).

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