If Sergei Shirokov(notes) ever returns to the NHL and stars for the Florida Panthers, right wing Mike Duco's(notes) legacy will be cemented as "that guy who was traded to Vancouver for Sergei Shirokov."
But for now, this is Mike Duco, courtesy of George Richards of the Miami Herald:
Mike Duco is a tough customer who was loved by the fans in Rochester and was always a favorite of the fans here during training camp. Duco ends his Florida career with just 12 games played (only two last year) in two seasons.
He was traded on Saturday to the Vancouver Canucks, which is a team with whom Duco is actually quite familiar. Like so many other puckheads with nothing else better to do this spring, he watched the Stanley Cup Playoffs with one eye on the television and another on his Twitter feed, @Duco87.
You know, the same Sedins he'll be sharing a dressing room with during Canucks training camp. The captain and the alternate captain.
Pass It To Bulis chronicled more candid tweets by Duco about the Canucks, like slagging on Roberto Luongo(notes) ("HA… solid night Luongo.") after the Boston Bruins' Game 6 blowout in the Stanley Cup Final. From PITB:
Past experience tells us Luongo doesn't take kindly to guys that aren't in the business of pumping his tires. (That's why he's so nice to gas station attendants.) That said, Luongo forgave Kesler for doing effectively the same thing during the Olympic gold medal game, so Duco could take his chances and appeal to history. Or he could delete a few tweets before training camp.
Or he could admit that the subtle nuances of social media and its ability to chronicle a history of opinion were lost on him. Which, in fact he did on Monday morning:
So there we go. Look, there are going to be those who turn this into another, "Why can't you leave the professional athletes on social media alone, you media bastards and your speech police opinion muzzles!?" You know, the same people who still keep a candle in the window for Dan Ellis(notes).
But this isn't a story about Twitter; it's a story about an AHL plug, who never thought he was getting traded to the Stanley Cup runners-up, talking smack about them. Whether it's on Twitter or Facebook or Pass It To Bulis or a newspaper or an Internet radio show, it's the athlete's choice to criticize his professional brethren. The delivery system matters not.
And let's not lose focus of the big picture here, people: Everybody not wearing a whale on their sweater was laughing at Luongo after Game 6. Can't blame him for that.