Vancouver Canucks deny media access to players

Sports journalist Cam Cole rips on the Vancouver Canucks’ management for denying access to reporters in an article for The Vancouver Sun.

“Even though media outlets pay tens of thousands of dollars to send their representatives on the road to cover the team’s every sneeze and ingrown toenail, to write glowing features and analytical pieces on trends and concerns – informing readers while indirectly enhancing TV ratings, from which the team benefits – Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault, supported by GM Mike Gillis, declared interviews out of bounds Wednesday, leaving reporters to try to pick lint out of their navels in search of something to write or broadcast.”

And in case the regular consumer (who Cole admits probably doesn’t care about the media’s woes) wants to know why this matters, he offers this:

“The reporters who were left high and dry Wednesday are there trying to provide you with some depth and context to your understanding of the Canucks, while the team would very much like to cut out the middle man and feed you a controlled message through team-generated material produced by contract employees of Canucks TV or, or through Twitter accounts of the p.r. department or Mike Gillis. If 140-character tweets satisfy all your information needs on the hockey club, you will be well served by Gillis’s trenchant observations.”

The Canucks aren’t the only team joining the media silence trend. Brian Burke is the general manager of one of the most popular teams in Canada and the NHL but the media aren’t popular with him: he has
referred to reporters as “scumbags,” “maggots,” and “idiots”. But after
his recent snub towards “Hockey Night in Canada,” In a feature for J-Source, Ian Jacobs decided to take a closer look at this antagonistic relationship.