Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 04/23/13 at 02:39 AM ET
A pair of definitely and probably gender-specific comments (respectively) have me shaking my head this morning, I suppose proving that hockey is an equal-opportunity sport when it comes to placing one's feet in one's mouth (perhaps on both sides of the digital voice recorder).
When Matt Cooke played in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 3-1 win over Ottawa, visiting Canada's capital for the first time since accidentally(?) severing Erik Karlsson's Achilles tendon, he registered an assist and refused to fight Chris Neil.
Prior to the game, he confronted the Ottawa Sun's Don Brennan for penning a column entitled "Ottawa Senators' playoff hopes might save Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke from a beat-down," so I will delicately state that those of you who don't want to read about parts of the male reproductive tract ought to stick to the headline. Brennan reports, albeit delicately, that Mr. Cooke wished to inform Mr. Brennan of #24's opinion that Brennan did not display a preponderance of intestinal fortitude in casting aspersions upon his person:
After listening to Cooke answer questions about the Feb. 13 incident in which his skate sliced 70% of the way through Erik Karlsson's Achilles tendon, I went to speak with other players in the room about different matters. Like every other reporter there. On the way out, I found Cooke waiting to have a word in private with me.
He wanted to tell me I have no balls. At first I think he said "small balls." But by the time he had finished, and knew Penguins GM Ray Shero was listening, he had decided I had none. Oh, and I believe he also mumbled something about me having no penis before disappearing into the players-only room, which I found interesting.
I will not take this opportunity to, ahem, brag about my manhood.
Cooke accused me of hiding behind the cameras, which is funny. In scrums that large, none of us scribes can get past the guys shooting video. Besides, what exactly would I be hiding from?
Cooke wanted to know why I didn't ask any questions. It's because I only had one, and somebody beat me to the punch. When Cooke held to his story that the Karlsson injury was a "complete freak accident," I'd heard enough.
As you might imagine, Brennan continues at length (no pun intended)...
And on the West Coast, Pass it to Bulis' Harrison Mooney reports that Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith fielded a question regarding a possibly penalizable offense against Daniel Sedin--negated by the fact that Keith's slash on Sedin did not deter the Canucks winger from registering the 3-0 goal in Vancouver's 3-1 win on Monday night--by casting aspersions upon a member of the other gender:
It’s possible Keith was fully aware of that when he swung the lumber in the first place. Or maybe he was just trying to cause Daniel to slip up and lose control of the puck. I’m not going to pretend to know his intent. Better to just ask him, which is what the Team 1040′s Karen Thompson did after the game. Her reward: an earful of completely uncalled-for sexist rubbish.
“It looked like there was a penalty,” she said to Keith, in explaining why she was asking about the play.
“Oh no, I don’t think there was,” Keith responded. “I think he scored a nice goal. The ref was right there. That’s what the ref saw. We should get you as ref, maybe, hey?”
“Yeah, maybe,” Thompson responded. “I can’t skate, though.”
“First female referee… can’t play probably, either, right? But you’re thinking the game like you know it? Okay, see ya.”
You can listen to the audio here, and wow. As if Vancouver didn’t have enough reasons to dislike this guy, now there’s that.
Mooney continues as well.
The "you don't know the game because you never played hockey" (either "at all" or "professionally") is a pretty lame insult in any case.
I'm not touching Tyler Seguin's Twitter quips regarding a different sort of gender identification as he did apologize, and apologies are generally best when stepping upon toes, regardless of one's choice of footwear, and Seguin was the only person out of this trio of hockey players to admit what we already know--we all say things that are insensitive, impolite and sometimes plain dumb, and the best thing to do when "caught" is to own up to one's gaffe.
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