Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Settle Down, Kevin Lowe

Hey, Brian Burke and Kevin Lowe want to eat each other, go to town, I don't care. But this quote pissed me the fuck off:

"Lastly, he's in a pathetic hockey market where they can't get on any page of the newspaper let alone the front page of the sports, so any of this stuff carries on."

I'll list the problems with this statement is list form because it's easy:

1) Anaheim is a good hockey market right now. They were 15th in attendance and 6th in capacity last season. Just because they have a shitty, outdated arena doesn't mean they're a bad hockey market.

2) What newspaper? The LA Times? The OC Register? The Long Beach Press-Telegram? I know the Ducks get twice the coverage the Kings do in the Times, so he can't be talking about it. And the Register... well, I don't get the Register because I don't eat my young but I'm sure they cover the Ducks extensively. And really, do Canadian papers put sports news on the cover of their newspapers? I would probably cancel any subscription I had to a newspaper if they made me turn the page to get the latest body count in Iraq because some Finnish guy signed with my favorite team.

3) Really, man? This is the route you wanna go? Your franchise spent the '90s hanging by a thread and now you want to go around judging other teams? You're the one team in Canada that should have our back, man, because you know what it's like to have people judge you. Don't give into that easy belief that because someone made you feel inferior you have to turn around and judge someone else. Look, Lowe, I know you probably don't respect Burke because he went to college and you played with Wayne Gretzky, but don't resort to junior high bullshit. Burke's a blowhard and a jackass, but he's not an idiot. He made an argument, now defend yourself. You have an argument: you only did what was best for the Oilers and it's not your fault the Flyers panicked and signed Mike Richards to a 5-year deal at $5.75 per. Why don't you say that? Trying to paint Burke as a shitty GM is stupid and you know better.

And trying to tar anywhere in California as a shitty hockey market is fucking bullshit and you damn well know it.


John Jackson said...

Right on, RK.

Ronald Servant said...

"And really, do Canadian papers put sports news on the cover of their newspapers?"

ummmm... yes.


Mike Chen said...

The NHL really does get more coverage in Canada than the four team sports combined in the US. When Mats Sundin signs somewhere, it'll probably blow away any other global, political, or financial news out of the water. Just go to any major paper's website and you can usually view a PDF of the print copy.

I mean, as a hockey fan, it's kinda cool seeing that. But as a realist, it's also pretty absurd.

Ken said...

Rudy, you should totally make a Bleacher Report and post this! Im seriously begging you! Plus we still need a decent Kings writer! Seriously this is fantastic, i love this post!

Earl Sleek said...

By taking a free swing at Lowe, you do know you're running the risk of being front page news on the Edmonton Daily, right?

heed said...

as an oiler fan, lowe's tirade was cathartic. once i scraped my jaw off the floor in my office, i went straight to the bar downstairs and had some pints.

lowe never should have brought anaheim into it. it was uncalled for.

the true scope of burke's genius will not be felt until he leaves town. have fun. the cupboards are bare and you have 12 holes to fill up.

Mike in OC said...

Heed, It's not hard to reload in todays NHL. I know everyone in Edmonton hates Burke, just slightly more than they hate Lowe from what I read on your official message board.

I bet they would love to have Burke as a GM though.

Just like they loved Glencross until he signed for less to play 300km south on Edmonton, and Hossa was the second coming of god, until he signed somewhere else, after that the concensus was he sucks and would not help Edmonton etc.

The best thing for us Ducks fans that would come out of Burke going to Toronto is you rabid Oil fans following him there with that stuff while we reload the cupboards in realative peace.


heed said...

burke would never make it as a manager in edmonton. you have to be able to draft to have any success in this market. burke has never been good at that aspect of the job. burke's not going to toronto either, you'd have to be a moron to take that job. while he's not a moron, he's no genius either. having grown up in canada, i know first hand that the word's genius and hockey do not belong in the same sentence.

RudyKelly said...

Burke will get lambasted when the Ducks suck in 2 years and he'll get no credit when they win the Stanley Cup in 5.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, here's July 2 and July 3 in Edmonton. I, for one, think it's awesome. It's like in Moneyball when Michael Lewis asks one of Beane's backroom boys whether he feels like he could be doing more with his life and the guy is all "Like what? Make a million bucks on Wall Street?" as in "Who gives a shit? This is way more fun." Bang on, that.

As to your points - how many free tickets was Anaheim giving away last year? How much were they charging per seat? Any team in the NHL could sell out every game - they'd just have to give all the tickets away - so that's a poor measuring stick. The Oilers, coming off a season in which they traded Captain Canada and finished 0-57 in their last twenty games brought in $12.3MM more than the Ducks, with the Ducks coming off their greatest season ever. Pathetic might be a bit strong but he made the comments in the context of explaining why Burke is such a fucking blowhard - he needs to be. He's part of the show.

mike w said...

And to jump on the "pathetic" part of a broad sweeping rant is to miss the point, which is that it was meant to be a broad sweeping rant.

Earl Sleek said...

As to your points - how many free tickets was Anaheim giving away last year?

I really have no idea here, but I'd assume zero. At least, I was never offered anything free.

And sure, ticket prices do tell a "demand" side of the story, and I know Anaheim is pretty on the cheap end of things, but damn if I'm going to complain about that.

The Oilers, coming off a season in which they traded Captain Canada and finished 0-57 in their last twenty games brought in $12.3MM more than the Ducks, with the Ducks coming off their greatest season ever.

Congrats (suckers). Not to be too rude, but I'm pretty sure which side of the fence I'd prefer paying on.

Anonymous said...

Congrats (suckers). Not to be too rude, but I'm pretty sure which side of the fence I'd prefer paying on.

Sure, but you can't really argue which is the better hockey market. From Lowe's perspective, ANA does look pretty pathetic.

As for the freebies...I know Westhead has the numbers. I had them for 06-07 and ANA was over 1000 per game. That's without getting into things like 2 for 1 season tickets.

Earl Sleek said...

Sure, but you can't really argue which is the better hockey market. From Lowe's perspective, ANA does look pretty pathetic.

And I don't know who's trying to make it into an argument. For sure, EDM fans will pay more for a seat than ANA fans will.

If Lowe wants to take credit for hockey's popularity in Canada, or blame Burke for the relative lack of demand in SoCal, whatever; I'm sure they could switch roles and it wouldn't change things wildly.

Morbo said...

Oiler fans strike me as the kid in class who always liked to stand behind their cooler, tougher friend, and go: "oh snap! suck on that!"

Of course it's a "pathetic" market. Despite the fact that there's now a waiting list of Ducks season tickets, I don't think anyone would argue that there are less hockey fans in SoCal then edmonton. There are some great hockey fans, but my sheer volume of interest, SoCal will never be more hockey obsessed than any canadian city.

I know this much, I spent today at our neighbourhood's pool, getting my tan on, and trying to scope out hot chicks. I wasn't obsessing about what Lowe or Burke said to some idiot newspaper or radio guy. Based on some of the chatter on the blogs and message boards, I think some Oiler fans need to relax and pull the stick out of their ass and get some sunshine.

brokeyard said...

If anything, Burke deserves more respect because he took a job in a town that he knew doesn't have as big of a hockey following.

Iffy said...

I don't know why Burke keeps going off about this issue. My belief is that he is very intelligent and calculating. He knows he has to create some oontroversy to keep the ANA market interested through the summer dolldrums, so he does it. I also believe that he was hoping for an offer sheet on Penner. What would prompt him to proclaim that he would match any offer? Why would he lie that he didn't know (or forgot) that he could take him to arbitration? It was a way to get compensatory draft picks from a guy he didn't know if he could afford to keep anyways. Well played I think. Time to shut up about it now. It's too bad Lowe bit.

cynical joe said...

It doesn't matter if Anaheim is a pathetic market or not, one of the league's member teams should NEVER describe another as such, thats childish and bush league. If and when Burke leaves, another GM has to go into that job, maybe somebody that Kevin Lowe knows and likes, does that all of a sudden make the market less pathetic? And what about the 'six stanley cup' boast? Umm, Kevin you don't have 6 Hall of Famers helping you manage do you? Burke is a blowhard, but he's also a pretty good hockey man, and he'd improve the vast majority of NHL teams if he became the GM.

Chemmy said...

The built in 1993 Honda Center is already outdated?

heed said...

after taking two years of abuse, oiler fans were just happy to see someone fight back. we have had a lot of downs over the last 15 years and its nice to see that things are actually looking up for this franchise.

as for lowe's boast regarding stanley cup rings, i thought it was gold. that's the diss that lead to a fight at the bike racks. i think it also hits brian right where it hurts. i have a feeling he would trade his ring, his wife, his children and his precious ivy league education for a shot t win the cup on the ice rather than sitting in the stands eating a hot dog.

ps how easy is it to get tickets to a ducks / kings game? i'm visiting a buddy in the fall and i'm thinking i want to take in a kings game and a ducks game.

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Oh, and how easy is it to get any tickets? Probably easier in Anaheim this coming season, but LA fans are rabid. I had trouble getting anything decent 3 months in advance last year. And the team sucked. (

Earl Sleek said...

ps how easy is it to get tickets to a ducks / kings game?

I assume it's rather easy, but I'm so rarely in the market for loose tickets that I can't say for sure.

Go to stubhub or something, and I think you'll be fine.

Sean Zandberg said...

I knew that 'pissy hockey market' statement would piss you guys off. That was a tad harsh.

Earl Sleek said...

Seriously, Sean! I mean, we're supposed to be the immature name-callers in this industry. Stop stealing our gig, Lowe!

Tommy said...

Just a note from a Canadian, not from Edmonton, on an outsiders take on the California hockey market.

Me and some guys went to LA for a hockey road trip to see the Ducks and the Kings play (back to back evenings) and there was no comparison. The Kings fans were way better - they taunted us (we cheered for the opposing team), had some chanting (although the "insert team name here sucks" chant is getting really old), and while there were some obvious first timers to the game, the large majority of people knew the game well. It was a semi-hostile environment to watch a game and we remarked if the Kings ever get it together and go on a run, it would be a great place to watch some playoff hockey.

Anaheim on the other hand, had an extremely quiet crowd, not once did we get heckled while cheering for the opposing team, in fact no one even appeared to know we were cheering for the other team. The family in front of us had a dad who looked into it, a mom who read a book (no joke) and a small girl who played a Nintendo DS the entire game. A poor hockey environment. I'd return to watch the Kings play in a heart beat and would like to try the Shark's environment out.

We got bottom bowl seats for both arenas about a month in advance, but we got way better tickets in LA. Appeared Anaheim had more season ticket holders from the run. We all commented how much better a hockey market LA was vs. Anaheim.

So take that however you want, just an outsiders opinion.

Anonymous said...

Canadian newspapers are a joke. I mean, why would the Ottawa Citizen put the Detroit-Chicago Winter Classic on its sports front Tuesday? Most Canadian papers are too hockey-centric, at the expense of people like me who like all sports. At least U.S. papers change things up a bit. No need for every NHL game to be on the sports front. Even NYT puts the Yankees and Mets games inside occasionally and gives other sports a big pop. Canadian sports editors are lazy. That's why hockey dominates the sports pages even when it's not warranted.