The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/01/11 at 03:40 PM ET
Per the Sporting News’s Craig Custance, the New York Rangers’ members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association have stood up for a fellow writer who was stripped of his credentials in bizarre fashion:
The New York Rangers chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has decided not to participate in voting on the annual NHL awards as a way to protest the Islanders’ decision to pull the credential of chapter member Chris Botta. The PHWA ballots were sent out this week, with the writers voting on the Hart Trophy, Norris Trophy, Calder Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy, Selke Trophy and All-Star teams.
“Although the Rangers’ chapter doesn’t reflect the sentiment of the other 30 chapters, I’m respectful of its decision,” PHWA president Kevin Allen said. “In America, the idea of using one’s vote as a means of protest is as old as the country itself. And the issue here is important. The PHWA doesn’t believe that an NHL team should be able to deny access to one of our members. Chris Botta is one of our members. And he was denied access by the New York Islanders.”
Botta was a longtime employee of the Islanders and also wrote for AOL FanHouse and his blog Islanders Point Blank. His work also can be found in The New York Times hockey blog Slap Shot. The Islanders never publicly explained the decision. There will still by 160 eligible voters for the award.
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