You know what, I just can’t even. I was all set to take down yet another boo-hoo-everybody-hates-Vancouver diatribe apart but why bother.
Patrick O’Sullivan is just another loud mouth from Toronto trying to replicate Don Cherry’s shtick and turn it into a career in media.
Except where Cherry has build his persona from deeply held, and very wrong, convictions of how the game is meant to be played, guys like O’Sullivan and Milbury and Denis Potvin are just playing it up for the crowd.
They come off as just sour, bitter versions of Grapes. The same old whine, but in a new bottle.
And hey, O’Sullivan definitely has a case to be bitter. I mean, it has to suck to go through what he had to go through to work his way up through junior hockey and the minors only to flame out in the NHL. But he’s letting his personal grudges cloud his judgement.
I mean, how do you say something like this:
“There’s a line that you just don’t cross. There’s racial stuff. There’s sexual orientation stuff…”
And then sing the praises of Shane Doan less than a day later?
So yes, I don’t put much stock in what O’Sullivan really has to say, nor in the principles behind it. The bitterness has so clouded his cognitive skills, that he lists off Aaron Rome as an example of the “rats” that have infested the Canucks organization for years.
The Aaron Rome who topped out at 53 penalty minutes in 2010-11 and finished his career with 185.
Mind you, I’m sure the Canucks were the most hated team in the league when they were good. But that’s because they were good. Strikes me that there’s been plenty of players willing to come here since then.
The thing about O’Sullivan though, is that his inanity doesn’t stop at poor judgement clouded by personal biases. His twitter account, once you get past the all bluster and bravado, is chock full of I-played-the-game-so-shut-up pronouncements. But when it comes down to it, he’s wrong even on players on the team he’s paid to follow.
As just one recent example, he spent early October railing against William Nylander, even claiming he can’t make it as an NHL centre, and that he doesn’t belong on a line with Auston Matthews and Zack Hyman. Yes, Zack Hyman:
And how did that assessment pan out?
And no acknowledgement that he got it completely wrong, either. Typical.
But, I guess if you want to be the next Don Cherry, you need to mix a little xenophobia in with your analysis. That and a healthy taste for the “right way” to play the game and a distaste for analytics. Oh, and a penchant for putting your foot in your mouth:
But if there was one area I thought O’Sullivan wouldn’t have such a traditional standpoint it would be on the role of fighting in the NHL. You’d think he, of all people, would be a little less anxious to promote the use of violence to settle differences, and certainly not one to celebrate it:
Who needs principles when you have a shtick?