Call it a hunch. A sneaking suspicion maybe. But I think Adrian Dater, the Denver Post reporter for the Avs, doesn't like new Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb.
How do I know this?
Well...Dater's tweet from last night is a good bit to start with. Here is the screen cap and video since it probably will be deleted at some point.
Little context here first. McNabb, who was recently acquired by the Kings from Buffalo, is going to start making the loop in the Western Conference this year. Many writers and team bloggers from out West have never seen McNabb play. Dater and Avs fans however know McNabb pretty well already. And it's not the best kind of "Knowing".
The video above posted by Dater is of a hit during the 2011 Memorial Cup game between the Kootenay Ice and the Owen Sound Attack. As you can see, Ice defenseman Brayden McNabb absolutely catches Hishon in the head with a nasty elbow that sent Hishon sprawling.
Ugly hit? You betcha.
Unfortunately for Joey Hishon, who was a highly regarded first round selection by the Avs in 2010, this sent his career in a downward spiral. He struggled with a concussion and missed nearly 22 months in his recovery. Thankfully, Hishon is seemingly back on track and has been impressive with the Avs in camp so far and might be getting a shot at their bottom lines this season.
But back to the tweet at hand. I understand that we as reporters and bloggers on our respective teams get passionate, but come on Dater. Let's take a step back.
If that wasn't bad enough, the hockey community jumped on Dater for his choice of language when describing McNabb. This was posted early this morning by Jesse Spector of The Sporting News in regards to an email communication between the two. Spector was one of many who challenged Dater on his tweet regarding McNabb and apparently he didn't appreciate that too much. This was the response to Spector.
There was also this.
Uh. Wow. Um. That's kind of brutal. So I take it you don't like him? Tell us how you really feel.
While Dater later apologized in this tweet:
He didn't leave it to just twitter either. He made sure he took his shots at Brayden McNabb in his post game as well.
Kings D-man Brayden McNabb, who will probably always be best remembered for a pathetic cheap shot on Avs prospect Joey Hishon in the 2011 Memorial Cup.
This one is my favorite.
McNabb is one of those marginally talented punk players who might just make himself a nice living in the NHL. Be prepared to hate him. A lot. Matt Cooke would think he’s a good player, in other words.
Seems like you are already prepared to hate him Dater, but don't let your personal opinion get in the way of writing an unbiased piece for a major newspaper.
This is pretty unacceptable stuff from a national writer.
Look, I get it, we are all passionate about the teams we cover. When something like the hit on Hishon happens it makes you angry. We have to pull it back though and realize that this is an emotional, hard-hitting game, that can sometimes cross the line.
Is McNabb a dirty player? Not at all. Is he a physical player? Absolutely. It's something that he tries to impose on players each and every night. While McNabb was fairly physical last night, laying at least two large open ice hits on Avs players, that must have sent Dater into enough of a frenzy to bring up a game that happened three years ago and try to make a judgement on a player's character. A game that involved 16-18 year olds no less.
In one word: Ridiculous.
The hit between McNabb and Hishon was ugly, and McNabb has since showed remorse for it.
From an article by Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post back in 2012
“If I could bring it back and not do it, I would for sure,” McNabb said on Friday. “He’s still suffering. It’s something that you don’t want. I wouldn’t want that on myself, so I definitely wouldn’t want it for anyone else.”
Should he forever be damned? I would certainly hope not. But in Adrian Dater's book he has made it clear where he stands on that and what grudges he is willing to hold. Apparently he is the next Matt Cooke and all Avs fans should be prepared to hate his guts no matter what. Mind you, this is an Avs team that has employed players such as Cody McLeod, Steve Downie, and Claude Lemiuex. All of which have had league wide reputations as players of questionable standards of clean hits and sportsmanship at times. I don't see him going out of his way to slander them, or bring up Steve Downie hits from 3-4 years ago to draw a conclusion.
But again, don't let your personal opinion get in the way of slandering a young player who made a split second decision to lay a hit down in a game 3 years ago though. That's quality stuff from your Denver Post writer right there. This is a game of fast and furious physicality, players make mistakes and I'd say most reasonable people are willing to consider that. On some level though I assume that McNabb spit in Dater's face or kicked his dog at some point to draw this kind of ire.
Whatever though, be prepared to hate him I guess if you are an Avs fan. That is the narrative that is being presented here. Because Brayden McNabb is a dirty player, a terrible player, he will kill your family and eat them in front of you, all while deleting your entire Netflix library and pissing in your bowls of cereal. He has no value as a hockey player or a human being.
While we are in a day and age where larger media outlets are being pressured by up and coming bloggers, websites, and other non-standard outlets, this kind of stuff is only hurting the larger newspapers and media outlets in the battle of quality of blogs vs. quality of recognized news outlets.
Keep up the strong work Adrian Dater. Call me a "PC Hero" for this, but next time it might be best to adhere to the golden rule when you are on that high of a stage, think before you hit that send button. Might keep your "Hot temper" out of hot water.
The Denver Post has suspended Dater for two weeks without pay.
The full editorial note can be read here.
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