Canucks and Beyond

Cut Mike Duco a Break

07/14/2011 at 5:13pm EDT

Mike Duco has obviously been in a crappy situation this week, admittedly of his own making, resulting from the anti-Vancouver trash-talk he was throwing around Twitter during the Canucks Stanley Cup run. His words have been neatly thrown back in his face as a result of his rights having been traded to Vancouver, and it’s not a pleasant experience, I’m sure.

I won’t bother regurgitating his original comments, but here are his words today, as pulled from this Sports Network piece (via the LA Times):

“To the players, fans, and organization, I would like to apologize and I hope that you can forgive me. I had no reason to say anything bad about them.”

“As a player, I should never publicly say anything negative about another player. To say it on the ice is one thing, but online is something completely different, and I realize this now.”

“I just need to come into camp and show people what kind of work ethic and determination I bring to the table. I’ve always been a player that is a good guy in the room, willing to stand up for anybody on his team, and also somebody that will set the tempo with my crash-and-bang style.

“I hope after this is all said and done, that’s the image the Vancouver Canucks players, organization and fans see.”

Duco’s contentious comments on Twitter—being a smartass about Luongo and the Sedins—were nothing all that devastating, just the kind of mean-spirited trash-talk that was being thrown at Vancouver a lot during the playoffs. And he wasn’t the only NHLer to do so, either. A few others come to mind, including players more prominent than Duco.

As a Vancouver fan, it was unpleasant, but as a NHL fan in general, it struck me as being in incredibly bad taste, players obnoxiously attacking their own brethren during the once-in-a-lifetime experience of racing for a Stanley Cup. I wrote an article at the time—The Hockey Internet and the Death of Civility—about the same thing, though mostly considering the fans and the media. But remarks from a few players were as bad, if not worse, given they were publicly attacking their own colleagues, people they will have to play with and/or against for years to come.

Anyway, I’m not trying to be Miss Manners here, but it definitely made the playoffs a lot less enjoyable for me. So Mike Duco acknowledging how he personally went over the line, that sort of cheers me up a bit. Yes, I’m sure he wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for the awkward situation he now finds himself in with the Canucks, but sometimes it’s the crappiest situations that really do teach us a lesson.

Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and every one of us have done something in our lives we wish we could take back.

But there is a moral to the story: Acting like a self-righteous, bratty little shit because you think it makes you sound clever will always come back to haunt you, one way or another. Duco’s certainly never going to forget that lesson. And a few others could afford to learn it as well.

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