Hold the phone! Do we have some drama in the National Hockey League? My goodness. I believe we do.
It all began when Bo Horvat of the Vancouver Canucks announced they would be banning Fortnite while on team road trips earlier this week.
“Yeah, that’s definitely a no-go on the road,” said Horvat. “No more Fortnite. No more bringing your video games on the road. It’s strictly team meals, team dinners, and hanging out with the guys. So we’ll have to put an end to that.”
Fair enough. The team’s leadership core decided this would help their team become more successful this season. What’s wrong with that? Whether you believe all of this Fortnite talk is silly or not, this is where the story should have ended.
Then, Patrik Laine decided to share his thoughts about the situation. Here’s what he had to say to Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun.
Patrik Laine on Vancouver’s decision to ban video games on the road: “They need something to blame after last year.” #NHLJets
— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) October 3, 2018
That stirred things up and Vancouver’s Brandon Sutter wasn’t going to allow Laine to get the last word. The 29-year-old, who began his 11th NHL season when the puck dropped between the Canucks and Flames Wednesday night, commented on the situation on Sportsnet 650 Thursday morning.
Brandon Sutter live in studio on SN 650 on Laine comment : "It's none of his bussiness at all. We would never have anyone in our room say something like that when they are 21 years old." #Canucks
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) October 4, 2018
Alright Mr. Sutter. We get it. You’re a veteran in the league, the definition of integrity and blah, blah, blah. It looks like someone is just a little sour about one of the game’s elite snipers pointing out the ugly truth. His age and the culture within the Jets’ dressing room is irrelevant.
Whether you want to be reminded of them or not, facts are facts. Vancouver went 31-40-11 last season to finish 22 points out of a playoff spot. That includes a record of 15-22-4 away from Rogers Arena.
Laine’s comments stray away from the league’s culture of not saying too much and never pushing the boundaries. But let’s face it, we could all use a little more of that in a league filled with bland robots when it comes to media relations.
The things that are said away from the ice don’t cause the same stir as a strong performance on it, though. The Canucks got their season off to a strong start with a 5-2 win over the Flames, a game in which Sutter picked up an assist and nearly played 23 minutes.
The Jets and Canucks will meet for the first time this season on Oct. 18 when Vancouver travels east to face off against Winnipeg.
We’ll see if any of this off ice “beef” (if we can even call it that) shifts to the rink in a couple of weeks.
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