Sportsnet’s Reaction to Whitney/Armstrong Comments on Ryan Smyth

Millard: And were you waiting for the phone to ring from the boss?
Marek: Ummm, no! No.
Millard: Bosses call?
Marek: One, yes. He said he had our back.

This is from the March 3rd Hockey Central @ Noon podcast hosted by Darren Millard. Disgusting that there’s nobody being held accountable for the embarrassing performances from Armstrong, Whitney and now Marek. I actually was okay with Marek’s response during the telecast but after listening to this podcast, I can’t side with him on this one. I like the guy and I think he’s the heir apparent to Ron MacLean but his judgment on this one is right bloody terrible.

Could you imagine if Whitney or Armstrong would’ve made fun of Wendel Clark, Mats Sundin, Doug Gilmour, Saku Koivu, or Ray Bourque? There’d be backlash no doubt. But since it was Ryan Smyth and he’s from out west, that’s fine.

Weird that Whitney and Armstrong haven’t been heard from since…

“I told Horcoff I wouldn’t do it!” – Ryan Whitney

That’s two times in a week he’s taken a shot at Horcoff. Whitney and Taylor Hall had a good chuckle at the former Oilers’ captain’s expense on the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast last week. Now, Gretzky AND Smytty… Wonder what kind of gems Whitney has up his sleeve next? Maybe he takes a shot at Messier’s guarantee at some point? Or maybe this is a gentleman (barely) that is so sickened with himself and his career as an NHLer that he has to revert to taking pot shots at some of the classiest players to put on an NHL sweater.

So, this is what was said if u don’t want to listen to the link in the tweet above.

Marek: At the intermission we thought we’d do a little bit about pranking players, chirping players, that kinda stuff. Ryan (Whitney) told a story about Ryan Malone about how whenever he’d see Whitney come by the bench, he’d you know, loosen the Gatorade bottle and sure enough, dump all over him.

And Colby told a funny story when he played in Atlanta in a game against the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan Smyth was a member of the Avalanche. And all in unison, like all 16 guys all along the bench, started crying. Like doing the Ryan Smyth 2007 press conference when he was an Islander.

**Somehow I don’t think that these two stories equate… Maybe it’s just me.**

Millard: Oh, when he was traded from Edmonton and he was at the airport?

Marek: Correct, when he decided to turn down the offer to stay in Edmonton and ended up getting traded instead and then Ryan Whitney jumped on it and talked more about, you know, cause in the press conference Ryan Smyth talked about bringing the Cup back to Edmonton. He (Whitney) said,

“The Islanders? Potvin’s not there anymore, Billy Smith’s not there anymore.”

And Twitter was not amused. The nerves were close to the skin. We just thought it was a harmless chirp story involving the Atlanta Thrashers and a member of the Avalanche.

**The thing that pisses me off here is that Marek insists on identifying Smyth as an Islander in this instance. Technically, that’s true but come on… He knows very well that even he played for the Islanders, the Avs, and the Kings, that Ryan Smyth was really an Oiler his whole career. And Kevin Lowe could’ve very easily kept Smyth if HE were willing to pay him a little bit more at that time.**

Millard: Here’s how deep it went. Elliotte Friedman was MC-ing a charity dinner in Winnipeg last night and Scott Oake was being honored, Darcy Oake was there as well. And Elliotte looks at his phone and he’s starting to get troll tweets,

“You’ve never played the game. Why are you chirping Ryan Smyth?”

Elliotte said what the hell happened, so we brought him up to date. So…

Stellick: You kid Eddie Olczyk about his speech right? Like he knows… (inaudible)… When the emotion of when the Jets left, “We’re gonna bring it back”, and we said, “Eddie, what were you going to bring back exactly? Were you gonna win it in Arizona and bring it back or?” anyway, people get caught up in the emotion.

**Jesus… They’re comparing Olczyk’s speech to what happened to Smyth? Reaching much?**

Marek:  I understand the nerves are close to the skin in certain markets. We all do. I think we all know where those markets are.

“We built this Smytty on greasy goals!” Click the image and pick up a 16-bit Smytty right now!

Millar: The idea of crying after a trade, that’s a long gone, uh, habit. This year, Curtis Lazar was skipping out of Ottawa.

Marek: Oh I know. But that was a new lease on life and he was going back out west.

Millar: But your first trade is always supposed to be this shocker.

Marek: Well Colby mentioned up in strategy room on trade deadline day that when his mom called him to tell him that he was traded from Pittsburgh to Atlanta, that he cried.

Millard: Colby cries when the weather changes more than three degrees.

Marek: I know… When the waitress messes up his order at the restaurant for breakfast, “I asked for the hash browns, what has the world come to? What kind of god would allow this to happen?”

Stellick: Devante Smith-Pelly, he cried. Got caught up in the emotion right? It’s part of realizing he was going. You know other guys… Whatever.

**So this is how they justify it? Armstrong cried… Is that right? So why weren’t we hearing THAT story? Can they honestly compare Colby Armstrong and Devante Smith-Pelly to Ryan Smyth in any way, shape, or form apart from they all played NHL hockey?**

Millard: So, do you apologize?

Marek: For what?

Millard: For taking up Twitter’s valuable space and time last night.

**I’m pretty certain this isn’t what Millard wanted to say. There was a little pause before he forced this out and that’s too bad. I would’ve like to have heard Marek’s response to the real question that wasn’t asked here.**

Marek: I didn’t send out any tweets about it. I responded to a couple. Man did we hear it. Just when you think, like, your summing up; no, you’re still adding up. I got a note from Colby this morning, he’s flying home to Pittsburgh; he’s in the air and he’s sending me the tweets. He goes,

“Still coming in.”

Millard: When did you realize last night was becoming something?

Marek: Right away. As soon as the intermission was over, we went back upstairs to the next period and BOOM! Timeline explosion. Timeline bomb. Boom!

Millard: My first inclination is, because I’m panicky worry wort, all that kinda stuff, was ‘oh no, oh no’. Then there’s other kind of people, Doug MacLean would be that, where were you guys?

Marek: Uhhh Colby was a little surprised at the reaction because he’s loveable, nice guy Colb. Right? He’s everyone’s buddy. I think he was surprised at the nature of the negativity.

Millard: That’s a little worried to me.

Marek: A little bit worried, yeah. Ryan (Whitney) just kinda ‘unh’. Boston boy, shrug it off. Big deal, hit by a pitch, you know, no autopsy-no foul.

Millard: And were you waiting for the phone to ring from the boss?

Marek: Ummm, no! No.

Millard: Bosses call?

Marek: One, yes. He said he had our back.

**One called. I wonder how the other bosses communicated their opinion on the matter?**

Millard: GOOD!

Marek: It’s what you want from a boss.

Millard: So, did you pile on after that?

Marek: No, we left it. I said,

“Guys, back up, phones down. We gotta watch the game anyway.”

Millard: Hey guys, have you ever had an entire city mad at you? Well yeah, actually you did. Sorry Gord (Gord Stellick was the GM of the Maple Leafs for a short time from April of ’88 to August of ’89).

Millard: Do you know Ryan Smyth?

Marek: I’ve talked to him on radio a couple of different times.

Millard: I think he’d find it funny.

**Well Mr.Millard, he didn’t find it funny. At all. Did he?**

Some of the interesting comments from Smyth re: Whitney/Armstrong:

  • You know obviously I’m not going to stoop to that level. Not appropriate. They do what they want on the panel and I let them be.
  • There is a time and a place for it (chirping) in my opinion and in this situation, that’s how they obviously felt and let ’em be.

THAT is how you respond to clowns like Whitney and Armstrong.

Ryan Smyth is a class act and has always been a class act. Not only for the Edmonton Oilers but for every hockey team he’s every played for, including Team Canada.

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Bradley K Emes

    These guys are an embarrassment to all of hockey. They may have played in the NHL but never played with 1/100 of the emotion or skill of Ryan Smyth. They also took a shot at the greatest player in games history in my mind when they said I told hocoff I wouldn’t do this. The guys have no business being on any media give it a rest.

  • Dave Luukkonen

    Wow– how do you chirp a guy like Ryan? All he’s ever done is give his all for team and nation. Whitney was a decent player in Edmonton till injuries caught up with him. I’m really disappointed to find he has so little class .