A tip of the hat to Canucks fans

Updated 4/27/2011 7:49 PM

The weak can never forgive, while forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Mahatma Gandhi said that. Or maybe it was Don Koharski.

Either way, I'm here to forgive Canucks fans for being so weak.

So many of them have taken personally legitimate criticism of a team -- this is just sports, right? -- and chosen to scream about it while hiding behind fake e-mail addresses and phony names.

That wasn't really you, was it Sergio Momesso, making anatomically impossible suggestions?

That couldn't have been Trevor Linden making such wicked assumptions about my deceased mother?

Does Richard Brodeur really have nothing better to do than insist I ruin a perfectly good hat? Yeah, I didn't get that one, either.

It was also a bit of surprise that many who sent love notes in the last week can't spell and chew gum at the same time, and we're talking about complicated words like "kitten," "hockey," and, well, "gum."

Makes you wonder.

As for many of your suggestions about what I might do with my free time, I should just say that I don't have immediate access to farm animals, and furthermore, I've never considered some of what must be common practice in remote parts of B.C.

Look, I understand you're angry because your team is labeled "gutless," but your team is the absolute definition.

I'm sorry your team nearly gagged on a 3-0 lead against the No. 8 seed and had to go to overtime of Game 7 to put away a Blackhawks team with half an AHL roster, and that your goalie has to change his pants every time the going gets tough.

Yeah, gutless is Kevin Bieksa running away from John Scott and then jumping Viktor Stalberg.

It's Raffi Torres attempting to end Brent Seabrook's career, and being unwilling to stand and answer for it.

It's Ryan Kessler leaving his feet and slamming Patrick Kane's head into the glass.

It's Alex Edler's vicious elbow to Troy Brouwer's head.

And it's Dan Hamhuis hitting Dave Bolland in the head, with Bolland just having returned from a concussion.

Think Hamhuis knew what he was doing? This is a guy's life and livelihood we're talking about here.

Don Cherry called Hamhuis "despicable." Good word. Despicable. I prefer "gutless."

Then there's the fans who sent e-mail by the thousands -- until their team began choking away a 3-0 lead. Not a word after losses, mind you, but after barely squeezing by in Game 7, lots of fans back at the keyboard.


It's sort of sad because it seems like just a few years ago -- in March 2004 -- that Vancouver wanted to adopt me after I tried to put into context the Todd Bertuzzi incident involving Steve Moore and Markus Naslund.

I was beloved in B.C. for suggesting the Bertuzzi hit on Moore -- while inexcusable -- might have never happened had Moore been suspended for his cheap shot that knocked Naslund out for 10 days with a concussion.

Naslund -- Bertuzzi's linemate and the league's leading scorer at the time -- was in a vulnerable position and Moore didn't try to play the puck, but the head shot was ignored by the refs and league disciplinarians, adding to the Canucks' anger.

I was invited to visit Vancouver, move in with families and run for king -- and I didn't even know Canada had a king.

Canucks fans insisted the Vancouver media and the press throughout Canada had been patently unfair to Bertuzzi. They were so happy an American -- an American, of all people -- had finally set the record straight, and understood Bertuzzi's frustration that Moore would not stand and answer to Bertuzzi for what he did.

Why does that sound familiar?

And now I'm persona non grata for having an opinion about the antics of cheap-shot artists like Torres, Hamhuis and Bieksa. (I never even mentioned the hair-pulling Alex Burrows.)

I guess they like opinions in B.C. only if the conclusions support their Canucks.

Vancouver was obviously the better team and everyone in Chicago knew that going in, but it was also well known that Roberto Luongo and the rest of the chokers were capable of coughing up the series.

And they almost did it in historical and hysterical fashion.

At least they were consistent to the end, with Kesler's hit from behind, slamming Kane's head and cutting him near the eye in the final minutes of the series.

The Canucks were gutless last week, they were this week and they probably will be next week.

And now Canucks fans will descend on the Nashville media, angry that they have opinions, failing to understand that some of us in this business are charged with precisely that.

It's OK. I forgive Canucks fans.

Even for the weird hat thing.


• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.