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Vancouver report is a riot

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  September 6, 2011 09:10 AM

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Gotcha, Vancouver. And the London riots were the fault of the Major League Baseball. 

Here we are, exactly one month from the beginning of the 2011-12 NHL season, and the fine city of Vancouver has yet to charge one vandal with the riotous events that occurred on the night the Bruins stole the Canucks' Stanley Cup championship. Now we learn that's because the fine folks of the wonderful city of Vancouver have come to the conclusion that the riotous events that occurred on that night were the fault of the National Hockey League. 

The Globe and Mail's Rod Mickelburgh brings us a preview of the city's review:

"In spite of four Stanley Cup riots in the last five years, [the NHL] has no approach, no policy and no apparent strategy to work with host franchises and municipalities on this issue," says the lengthy internal report to be debated at a special council meeting on Tuesday.

"[This] clearly...threatens the value and perception of their brand."

The city's criticism of the NHL follows similar barbs tossed at the league by the provincially appointment independent review of the riot, headed by co-chairs Douglas Keefe and John Furlong.

In their report released last week, they said it was "unfortunate and regrettable" that the NHL has no specific programs to help teams "with the kind of challenge [Vancouver] faced that night."

Concluding that the sport of professional hockey, itself, cannot be separated from the riot, they urged the NHL to work with teams and communities to promote ?peaceful, happy hockey celebrations."

Here's some footage from that regrettable night:

Oh, sorry. That was in 1994, when the Canucks lost to the Rangers in Game 7.

Here's the scene I was talking about:

Wait, that was actually in Boston this past June, the night the Bruins won the Cup. 

Call me crazy, Vancouver, but maybe you want to act like you give a damn about policing the problem before you lay blame on the league? This is, by the way, the second time you've gone through such an affair after losing a Stanley Cup Game 7. How about investigating your hockey culture before demanding the NHL supply you with rubber bullets and some semblance of control the next time around?

If the fine folks in the wonderful city of Vancouver think that Gary Bettman should have policing control outside of the venues where his league's sport is being played, then perhaps Roger Goodell can solve the deficit crisis. After all, the NFL has a franchise in Washington.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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