The Vancouver Canucks owe hundreds of their young fans an apology, and not just for icing a team that can't score goals.
The players for over 300 minor-league hockey teams are battling disappointment after they were told they had won tickets to the Heritage Classic, only to be later informed that they actually hadn't.
How did this happen? How did the Canucks come to dash the hearts of so many kids (again, outside of just being the Canucks as currently assembled)?
A computing error. The Canucks sent an e-mail to 1100 minor-league teams informing them of an opportunity to win tickets to Sunday's game at BC Place, and of those 1100, about 300 replied to enter the contest.
The message these teams were supposed to receive upon entering: Thank you for entering! The message they actually received: Hey wow, you won!
When the Canucks learned of their error, they back-pedalled, but by then, that meant coaches like Anthony Bucci of Abbotsford had to tell a bunch of eight-year-olds, including his son, that they didn't actually have tickets to the game. From the CBC:
"[The players] were really happy to go and excited and jumping up and down. And then I had to tell them that, 'Hey, we're not going now. They took the tickets away,'" said Bucci.
"They're eight years old, future hockey players, and they look up to the Canucks. Now they don't get to go and participate in probably what's going to be a once-in-a-lifetime game."
Player Jayden Bucci said he is disappointed and would like the Canucks to give his team tickets to another game to make up for the error.
I'm sure he would.
"I was excited to go, but now I can't," said a young child, wondering why the world is so full of cruelty and misery.
Now, if it's any consolation to these eight-year-olds, watching the Canucks these days borders on a chore, and what's more, the novelty of these outdoor games has totally worn off.
But it probably isn't much consolation, since, because they are children, they still possess their childlike sense of wonder and innocence. Unless they don't. It's possible this incident has left them jaded and cynical.
If so, don't mourn for them. Cheering for the Canucks, that just happens. Really, it's good of the team to get it over with early, like the chicken pox.
What the Canucks will be doing to make up for the unfortunate glitch remains to be seen.
"It didn't roll out properly," Canuck spokesman Chris Brunwell told CBC. "We are trying to put our heads together, and we'll hopefully be able to get back to those teams that didn't win tickets [with] some good news about something that will get the kids excited again."
Tickets. They want hockey tickets.
Update: they will apparently get tickets.
If you're asking me, the people who should really be apologizing are the 800 coaches that didn't bother to enter this contest.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Vancouver Canucks