Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Canucks coach stokes Hawks rivalry
By Jesse Rogers
The war of words between the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks has resumed, even though the teams don't play again until Jan. 31.
After hearing disparaging comments about Daniel and Henrik Sedin made by Hawks center Dave Bolland, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault responded.
"When you have comments like Bolland's, he's obviously an individual whose IQ is probably the size of a bird seed, and he has a face that only a mother can look at," Vigneault told reporters Wednesday, according to the Vancouver Province.
When asked how he's able to get under the skin of the league's top players on WGN radio recently, Bolland referred to the Sedin twins as "sisters" and Vigneault took exception.
"I think it's a bad reflection for himself, the image an NHL player tries to portray," Vigneault said. "In my mind, such a classy organization like Chicago, I'm sure they're not too happy about that. I'm sure the NHL isn't too happy about that. We're not talking about junior league here or bush league, we're talking about (the) NHL, where they have professional players where they get involved in community and society. We all do a hard line of work and they do it the best way they can and to have guys like this trying to act like comedians, that's just not the right thing to do."
A listener asked Bolland if he hated just the Sedins or the whole team.
"I hate them all," Bolland said.
Later Wednesday night, Bolland backtracked after the Blackhawks won a shootout against the Wild.
"I've got the utmost respect for the Sedin twins and for Alain Vigneault and all the Vancouver Canucks," he said. "It was just a little bit of tongue-in-cheek that we had at the little radio show with some of the fans. I've got the utmost respect for Vancouver and what they do and what they do on the ice and how they do it. Both of us have a great rivalry going during this season."
Vigneault believes the situation is plain "stupidity."
"You're talking about two players who play with integrity, they play the right way, that are great examples of everything this game stands for," he said. "And then you have a birdseed like that making comments, lucky his mother loves him."
Bolland and the Sedins have had many spirited battles during the Hawks and Canucks rivalry over the last several years. The Canucks claim the Sedins have done too much in, and for, the game, to be attacked in this manner.
"If someone wants to take a shot at them after all their accomplishments, it certainly rings hollow in my ears," general manager Mike Gillis said on the team's flagship radio station TEAM 1040. "I really don't care what he or anyone else says about them."
Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.