Riot reports urge league to increase role

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Two reports on Vancouver's Stanley Cup riot urge the NHL and its teams to take a more active role in preventing violence at future finals.

One recommendation in an independent review into the riot after the Canucks lost Game 7 to the Bruins says the league should partner with host cities and franchises "to help ensure the best, safest public celebrations possible."

The report, written by former Nova Scotia deputy attorney general Doug Keefe and former Vancouver Olympic committee head John Furlong, urges the Canucks to initiate programs that encourage fans to act responsibility.

During the Stanley Cup finals, fans were invited to downtown Vancouver to watch games on large-screen TVs. Over 150,000 people converged on Vancouver's downtown June 15, torching cars, smashing windows and looting stores after the Canucks fell to Boston. Damage is estimated in the millions of dollars.

Vancouver's internal review also suggests the Canucks be part of discussions, along with the NHL and local business groups, to create a "community-based organization to plan, raise money, and oversee any future Fan Zone activation sites."

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson said the NBA and NFL work closely with host cities at major events.

"I'm hopeful we have a real proactive role coming from the league and the Canucks so that we don't see this kind of situation again," he said.

The Canucks vowed to do their part.

"We feel we should be very supportive and help the city and the province as they plan future public events for our games," said Victor de Bonis, the Canucks' chief operating officer.

The NHL said it does work with cities hosting the Stanley Cup finals.

"The league's 30 member clubs already encourage and have successful programs that ensure responsible fan behavior in all of our game venues and at all league-sponsored events," said NHL senior vice president Gary Meagher.

"We are also happy to collaborate with civic officials -- and regularly do -- when our assistance is sought around league events."