Old Whine, New Bottle

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?


This Shane Doan.

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:


Guess not.

Who needs principles when you have a shtick?



  • Best Graphic Comments post ever. O’Sullivan is very Trump-like in his grand claims, concentrated hatred and his blatant hypocrisy. He can go suck a…

  • “Except where Cherry has build his persona from deeply held, and very wrong, convictions of how the game is meant to be played, ”

    Two things come to mind on reading that statement …

    Firstly, I’m confident Don Cherry has not built (or build?) his persona. Seems to be pretty much who he is and that’s all there is to it. Doubt he’s spent any time worrying about what you or many other folks think he should be … or how he has to act and talk to impress them. He’s a guy who has spent his life involved in hockey at it’s highest levels and that’s good enough for him.

    Second, as that man who has spent 60 plus years doing what he has in the game his convictions/opinions just ‘might’ be of some value. Want to guess who’s convictions are based on more and better information, yours or his? Think how the game of hockey has grown in those years and consider that there ‘might’ be some things worth keeping in it.

    Your opinion of things that are “very wrong” should include the importance of your opinion.

    PS. No, I’m not saying the game is perfect or that Don is God, only that the game and he deserve far more respect than you can likely understand.

  • Ah, Don Cherry, my favourite racist. The amount of hate that has came out of his mouth about francophones, and europeans on tv, always makes me wonder what he sounds like behind closed doors. It would never be excusable from anybody else, I often wonder how he has stayed on tv for so long, especially in this politically correct culture we now live in.

  • The guy played for LA from 2006-09 and Edmonton from 2009-10. Those teams finished 28th, 29th, 26th/21st, and 30th while the Canucks were building up into one of the best teams in the league. He never played a single NHL playoff game.

    I would probably hate the Canucks too if I lost to them as much as he did.

    • Oh u mean, “While the Canucks were building up into one of the best FAIL teams in the league that CHOKED and never WON. Period. ”

      Oh those Canucks… that also BURNED down their own city…

      You’re right Patrick O’Sullivan is

  • Shane Doan allegedly called a French player a ‘frog’, supposedly it turned out he called him another F-word and was misheard. I’m not sure that makes Shane Doan a racist, just a guy smack talking on the ice.

    This was also about 10 years ago if I remember right.

  • Don represents Canadian hockey history and Canadiana.

    Listening to Don is a representation of the way many Canadians thought in the 50’s in to the 70’s (and most likely long before) -whether it is deemed acceptable now – or not. Canada has always had deep divisions,as has the world,hockey was viciously tough and the players were loyal to each other and this country.

    That was hockey and the Canada Don grew up in.

    He is not the perfect poster boy for Canada today but he represents what a large segment of this country-and hockey-was about back in his day.

  • Next time can you tell those of us who don’t consider every little discussion between irrelevant blowhards on whatever website to be news what actually happened before blogging about it? Because I refuse to look it up, I’m assuming that this Peter O. Sutherland guy said some dumb thing on twitter and you would rather engage the troll rather than ignore it? I don’t think the comparison with Cherry is accurate, I seldom agree with the man but the guy has established his relevance to hockey culture over generations of working in it. This sounds like a petulant little washout who is trying to stay relevant by picking fights and you’re giving him what he wants.

  • “[Petbugs] is just another loud mouth from [Vancouver] trying to replicate [Thomas Drance]’s shtick and turn it into a career in media.

    Except where [Drance] has build his persona from deeply held, and very [nerdy], convictions of how the game is meant to be [studied], guys like [Petbugs] and [O’Sullivan] are just playing it up for the crowd.”

    O’Sullivan is legitimately emotionally damaged from a horrible life of abuse and sporting failure (just like the Leafs entire fanbase, and the majority of the TO media…), so naturally he lashes out at those he is envious of, those who don’t fit in his sick little worldview. Obviously this will make him very popular in the Leafs Twitterverse. It’s sad, because it’s pretty clear that he’s a very unhappy person, with a lot of unresolved issues to deal with. But there’s really nothing we can do – people can only change and grow when they want to, and O’Sullivan is not there yet. I think it’s best to just ignore him and carry on with our arrogant mockery of Trawno from our superior westcoast paradise. And beating the Leafs helps too.