When the stewards of the American men’s Olympic hockey team met to start their roster selection process, two journalists (Scott Burnside of ESPN and Kevin Allen of USA Today) were granted unprecedented access. You can read Burnside’s piece here, and Allen’s here. Both did a great job highlighting how names came and went from consideration, and how the men in charge arrived at the final roster.
Unfortunately, a reality of these situations has caused some fallout – a few of the names who fell on the “snub” list had some negative things said about them, and they aren’t too pleased with the dual junk-kick of both being left off the roster, and being disparaged by some of the most important men in hockey. That’s fine and all – I wouldn’t be too pleased about it either – but those comments have to happen.
What boggles my mind is that the guys who decided to include reporters in the meetings know that negative things get said about players – highlighting both strengths and weaknesses is sort of the norm. And, what those reporters did was quite literally how someone in their role writes an article – when granted access, you use that access to filter out the good stuff and you share it. It’s unfortunate for Brian Burke that he has such a way with words. Had he said “I feel like other guys offer a little more jump in their step” instead of “the guy can’t spell intense” about Bobby Ryan this is probably a non-issue. And, it’s not usually Burke’s job in those situations to be careful with his words, because that information rarely gets back to players. Which, again, is why it’s odd they decided to let guys sit in on the meetings, knowing they can’t pick a team solely saying sunny words. That David Poile mentioned “they thought they’d have some editorial control” almost makes the situation look even worse. Read the rest of this entry »