Rogers Sportsnet does a lot of things very well, employing Michael Grange or hosting the Marek Versus Wyshynski podcast for example. Their digital content arm however, lags somewhat behind the offerings hockey fans get from the Score, Yahoo and NBC (among others).
Today, they’re jumping off of Jason Botchford’s take on Canucks fans booing Justin Schultz from this past weekend, and plugging the post as Justin Schultz saying that "picking the Oilers over the Canucks was the best decision of his career." Sounds racy, huh? Except that the actual quote itself is anything but.
Click past the jump for more.
Here’s the quote Sportsnet is sensationalizing today:
"It was a little tough but I always figured in the back of my mind Edmonton was the right place for me to be in…
"I saw a great opportunity there and I wasn’t worried about what anyone was going to think. I think I made the best decision for my career. The young talent they have here is going to be an exciting couple of years coming up if the NHL starts.
"The end goal is a Stanley Cup, hopefully a couple of them. I think we have the talent here to do it. I’m excited to start playing with them up in the NHL."
Justin Schultz may have made "the best decision of his career" by choosing to draw Paul Coffey comparisons in Edmonton, rather than provide an aging Vancouver club with an injection of youth and talent along the blueline. It’s too early to tell, but his reasoning is certainly sound.
My point here is that there’s not even a smattering of the, "man I’m glad I didn’t decide to go to Vancouver" sentiment in his quotes. Schultz seems to be very happy to be part of the Oilers organization, he’s optimistic about the future and he’s had tremendous success in the the AHL in the early going. But there’s no Canucks directed pettiness there, that’s only in the Sportsnet headline (and also emanating from the Canucks fans who booed Schultz in Abbotsford this past weekend).
I know how it is, we’ve stooped pretty low to come up with content during the lockout as well. But the headline on the Sportsnet Schultz story has next to nothing in common with the quotes Schultz gave Botchford this past weekend in Abbotsford.
Trading off of the hopes of Oilers fans, and their resentment towards the Canucks is all well and good – but let’s just be clear that that’s really all this is.
As for Justin Schultz, he definitely represents a "whiff" for the Canucks’ management team; and it’s fair to describe the fact that the AHL’s highest scoring defenseman spurned them this summer and isn’t wearing Chicago Wolves crimson this fall as unfortunate. But we’d do well to remember that for all of Edmonton’s elite young talent – and Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are all currently playing for the Oklahoma Barons at the moment – their AHL affiliate has fewer points at this early point in the AHL season than the Wolves do.
Should we hold off on anointing the Oilers’ young core as future world beaters, at least until they prove that they can dominate and rack up wins at the AHL level? Apparently not.